Engine: 5.0 liter V8 Supercharged
Output: 495 hp , 460 lb ft of torque
0-60: 4.2 sec
Starting Price: $92,000
MPG: 23 mpg EPA Highway est.
Review (A MilesPerHr Exclusive):
Executive summary: on the track, the Jaguar F-type V8 S feels fast and sounds faster.
I first experienced Jaguar’s E-type spiritual successor on the road, and besides being pleasantly deafened by the screaming V8 engine note, my favorite feature of the car was its quick-shifting 8-speed ZF automatic. While banging through gears, (quite literally- each new gear was met with a booming “snarl” from the exhaust), I couldn’t help but wonder if the automatic would still be a joy in an environment where you want as much control as possible – the track.
So the opportunity presented itself to put the jungle cat through its paces at Monticello Motor Club in New York. Dialing in race mode via the on-board traction control system, I was met with a firmer ride and quicker throttle response. My good friend, the ferocious exhaust note, was back, but that wouldn’t be enough to impress me this time.
The first few corners let me gauge steering feel and stability. Jaguar may have opted for a more modern transmission, but it declined the electronic power steering seen in so many of its modern German rivals. That meant the thick steering wheel let you muscle the car into proper position, then add minor, communicative inputs. The chassis was well sorted in the corners as well. Even under hard braking, the car never felt too unsettled. That said, there was an unnerving lightness to the front end that contrasted the weight of the steering. This equated to the sensation that you were pushing the sportscar beyond its levels of grip, even though you knew the front end was planted.
Speaking of grip, there was as much or as little as your right foot would allow. Tender management of the throttle kept the F-type sticky in the corners, but measuring out an extra dose of power lead to predictable and controllable sliding. On the smile index, a painfully-wide grin was the only setting.
Re-acquainting myself with the transmission, upshifts were near-instant and downshifts remained safely under the discretion of the driver, without the computers trying to cut in under the first signs of strain.
By day’s end, I wasn’t floored by the F-type’s on-track character when compared to, say, the 2014 Corvette Stingray Z51, but its performance assured me that it was more than just a pretty face with a sweet [angry] voice. A Porsche 911 Carrera S will undoubtedly be faster around a circuit, but the F-type will be the car you’ll want to drive home in…just don’t plan on carrying any conversations above 3000 rpm.
Verdict: capable track car, world-class coastal cruiser
*Read this review on Fast Lane Daily*