It’s the V8 that grabs the headlines in the Jaguar F-Type range – and with good reason. Its supercharged engine’s 542bhp and 502lb ft are good enough for a 3.9sec 0-60mph time and on to a top speed of 186mph. Meanwhile the lunatic SVR produces 567bhp and 516lb ft of peak twist which propels the F-Type to 60mph in 3.5sec and onto a mammoth 195mph.
In optimised conditions, then, it’s feasible that the F-Type could nudge into a time starting with a ‘3’, which is faintly ludicrous given that it never feels like a car that is blessed with a surplus of traction, but it is blessed with a clever AWD system and benefits from 52 percent front/48 percent rear weight distribution and a shedload of power and torque.
It’s the urgency and the noise, we’ve concluded, that sets this F-Type apart and makes it feel like the drag-strip refugee that it appears to be – especially if you press the button on the centre console that opens the valves in the optional active exhaust more frequently than usual.
Incredibly, against the might R, the rest of the models don’t exactly feel like they’re left wanting in the performance stakes. The supercharged V6 S is just 0.6sec slower to 62mph and, at 171mph, is just 15mph shy of the R at the top end. The engine is responsive and immediate, but it lacks the bombastic pops, bangs and Detroit muscle soundtrack of the range topper. It’s not a high-revving unit like a Porsche either.
It does, however, offer plenty of character at lower revs, and set the exhaust valves to ‘angry’ and it’ll provide enough fireworks to satisfy the most finicky of buyers. And an official kerb weight which reads 51kg less than the R, and headline figures of 375bhp and 339lb ft means it is a competent devourer of straights.