Jaguar F-Type R, £43,950
Our time left with V8 power is short, which makes the prospect of buying a car with it even more enticing. Our preferred option is one of the fastest versions of Jaguar’s Jaguar F-Type: the R.
While some are drawn to the sports coupé’s more conservative 2.0-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre V6 engines, we can’t help hankering after the 0-62mph-in-4.0sec supercharged 5.0-litre V8 with 543bhp and 501lb ft. You could, of course, get even more from the V8 in the supercar-baiting SVR, but you would have to be a speed demon of Andy Wallace proportions to feel short-changed by the R.
The R is equipped with an active vehicle dynamics system that uses electronic sensors to analyse the behaviour of the car, optimising traction and stability after deploying appropriate power to reduce understeer or oversteer.
Firmer suspension, an electronic active differential and optional carbon-ceramic brakes are also fitted to handle all that power, while four-wheel drive was an option.
Despite its performance, the R is manageable for everyday drivers. We loved the way it performed so much that we gave the car four and a half stars on its launch back in 2014.
The F-Type’s equipment levels are impressive, with climate control, sat-nav and rear parking sensors all coming as standard, but the R improved things further with some bespoke kit, including 20in alloy wheels, R performance seats and an R leather steering wheel. Ambient lighting, front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera and a smartphone pack were also added.