Dressed in feisty R-Dynamic spec, the glowing blue Jaguar F-Type Coupé filling these pages looks every inch the cranked-up performance variant.
But, in fact, it’s ‘only’ the 296bhp, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder version that was launched in the summer to add a cheaper, cleaner option to the laudable sports car’s line-up. Yet it still costs 50 grand.
In the pound-per-cylinder stakes, it’s up there among the most brazen of this new generation of cube-canny, turbocharged performance cars that goad us via ever-increasing specific outputs, augmented induction noise and manufactured exhaust crackles into accepting the new normal of ‘less for more’.
That you can buy any secondhand alternative with twice the cylinders for the same money sounds compelling enough. That one such candidate is a pristine Audi R8 seemingly makes the proposition rhetorical.
Yes, this 424bhp 2011 R8 V8 4.2 with just 16,000 miles to its name is currently for sale by prestige dealer Simon Abbott Ltd in Eastbourne for £50,950 – about the same as the cheapest 2.0-litre F-Type (£50,795) and a little less than the R-Dynamic version we’ve borrowed (£54,495).
The eponymous Mr Abbott can be reached on 07976 910 708, and if you stopped reading here and called him, I wouldn’t blame you. He’s a friendly and straight-talking type.
But it pays to be open-minded, and for the automotive liberals still reading, we have a genuine battle on our hands. To dull-but-salient fiscal matters first: the Jaguar will use less fuel (39.2mpg versus 19.9mpg), cost less to tax going forward (£140 per year versus £535) and is cheaper to maintain (£285 for an intermediate service at Harwoods Jaguar Lewes versus £485 for the R8 at Eastbourne Audi).