First Impression: Jaguar F-Type V6S and V8S

Jaguar F-Type V8S

I recently had the opportunity to do a quick drive in Jaguar’s new F-Type. Jaguar held a driving event in Philadelphia where they set up an autocross course in the parking lot of the Phillies’ stadium. Though it was only a quick, but intense, experience, I did get to sample both the V6S and V8S models from the F-Type range.

Timing was down to the wire, as there was a massive thunderstorm bearing down on us, and by the time I did my runs, it had already begun to rain. This article will serve as a quick first impression take on the new F-Types, and hopefully I will get a chance to drive them for longer in the coming months.

Appearance

Jaguar F-Type V6S

Right off the bat it should be said that no modern car, in our world of endless safety regulations, can ever hope to match the pure beauty of the legendary Jaguar E-Type. That said, the F-Type is quite a sweet looking car. Its low, wide stance and sleek proportions give it a fantastic presence. This car is sexy, and much more exciting that your run-of-the-mill Porsche. On visuals alone, the F-Type is a very “special” car, and “special” is something you want when you shell out this sort of money.

Inside 

Jaguar F-Type Interior

Because things were rushed, I didn’t take the time to play around with things in the interior too much. From what I did notice, I can report the following:

  • The interior is nicely finished, and feels high quality as it should.
  • The optional sport seats are fantastic. They hug you well, but aren’t uncomfortable.
  • Driving position is good.
  • The new gear selector, which replaces the hockey puck, is a nice improvement.
  • The cabin isn’t laterally cramped like it often is in other roadsters
  • The trunk is pretty tiny, like most roadsters. A Porsche 911 is far more practical in terms of storage space.

The Drive

Jaguar F-Type V6S

As I said above, this drive took place on an autocross course, so my experience was quick, intense, and over all to soon. It had also started raining before I got my runs in, so cornering grip was not at a premium.

V6S

I began in the V6S, the car being touted by many as the sweet spot of the F-Type range. It has a supercharged 3.0L V6 under its hood, producing a healthy 380hp. The V6S was quite rapid in an autocross setting, and surely fast enough to have a lot of fun with on the road. In a situation with lots of tight corners and short straights, the V6S was able to use its power effectively. There doesn’t seem to be any wasted energy when you get on the gas, and that is important when you are sprinting from corner to corner on a technical road.

V8S

Being a bit slippery out there, I did get the opportunity to have a little more fun than I would have in the dry. By the time I hopped in the V8S there was a good bit of water on the tarmac. I floored it off the line and the rear tires spun wildly. Feeding out the gas pedal, I was able to find traction and the car accelerated well. There was, however, a feeling that the V8S  could never really use all of its power in a setting like this. Part of it was the wet road, and lack of traction, but I did get traction on the back straight and the thing took off at an astonishing rate. The next corner approached instantaneously, and for the rest of the course I never could use full throttle. It wasn’t just because of the traction either, it was because of the lack of room.

The V8S has the same supercharged 5.0L V8 as the XKR. Jaguar claims it has “495hp” compared to the XKR’s 510hp. That said, I find it hard to believe any company would spend the time and money to actually detune an engine by 3% when simply writing “495hp” on the spec sheet can be done for free. The F-Type V8S is a 500hp car, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Handling

Jaguar F-Type Jaguar F-Type V6S

After going flat out with traction for a moment in the V8S, I had to brake hard for the oncoming corner. All the cars at the event were fitted with Jaguar’s optional “Super Performance Braking System”, so the stopping power was substantial. If there is one necessary option for any F-Type buyer to add, these brakes are it.

Letting off the brakes and turning into the corner, the car is very easy to place. Once I hit the apex, I decided to give the throttle a prod to see what the driver aids would do (in sport mode). The rear of the car stepped out quickly, but I was able to catch it. I didn’t feel the systems kick on until we were already well sideways, so rest assured that sport mode will let you play around with the car quite a bit.

Both of these S models had a fantastic chassis, and both of them came fitted with Jaguar’s fancy electronic differential. Through corners the F-Type feels energetic and composed, as any sports car should. The steering is quick and accurate, and the car responds to your inputs instantly. Both models were happy being tossed into tight corners, with the chassis doing a great job of communicating to the driver. Handling is definitely a major strength in both of these F-Types.

Comparison

Jaguar F-Type V8S

The truth about the F-Type is that the engine you choose completely changes the nature of the car.

The F-Type V6S is more of a traditional sports car. It has more than enough power, but retains a handling bias. It weighs around 3500lbs, and has a lighter front end than the V8S, making its turn-in a little more lively. If you are someone who frequents tight winding roads, then this is probably the best version for you.

380hp is still a substantial amount of punch in a car like this, and it is able to translate all of that power into forward motion easily. Having gratuitous power is fun, but having all usable power is often more effective. The V6S is the lighter, more nimble option, and it is one to be considered seriously, even if you can afford the V8S.

The F-Type V8S, on the other hand, seems to have an engine that steals the show. It is definitely more of a handful, but that sort of power will definitely be a blast out on the open road. I thought the XKR was fast, but this car has the same amount of power with 400lbs less weight. Mix that with the chassis of a dedicated sports car, not a GT car like the XKR, and you have the makings for a hilarious amount of fun.

The V8S still has loads of handling prowess, but it requires a lot more finesse when powering out of a corner than the V6S does. In the real world, it will be much harder to use the full performance of the V8S because of its massive amount of power. But when you are able to open the taps up, the V8s will surely be the ultimate adrenaline fix in the F-Type range.

Dollars and sense

For some reason many people are saying that the F-Type is too expensive for what it is. This is likely because the media has painted the F-Type as a Porsche Boxster competitor throughout its development. In reality, the F-Type straddles between Boxster and 911 models, and its placement in the market is actually quite brilliant.

F-Type V6: Costs $69,000, and competes with the Porsche Boxster S, BMW Z4, C7 Corvette, and Mercedes SLK. The base F-Type makes a case for itself, but lacks many features from the S models. In this company, I would rather have a Boxster S or the new Vette than the base F-Type.

F-Type V6S: Costs $81,000, and competes with the Porsche 911 Carrera. It comes in $3,000 cheaper than a base Carrera Coupe, and a massive $15,000 cheaper than a base Carrera Cabriolet. Most buyers shop convertibles against other convertibles, so the difference between the Jag and the Porsche is substantial. When you consider that a fully loaded F-Type V6S costs around the same $96,000 as a Carrera Cabriolet with no options on it, the Jaguar becomes the car to have. The V6S is surely where my money would go between the two.

F-Type V8S: Costs $92,000, and competes with the Porsche 911 Carrera S, Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante, and Audi R8 4.2. Where all of its competition offers around 400hp, the V8S is giving you 500hp. A fully loaded V8S will run you around $106,000, that’s $4,000 less than a 911 Carrera S Cabriolet, $8,000 less than an Audi R8, and $16,000 less than an Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante. Again, the Jag winds up being a very solid choice.

In short, the S models of the Jaguar F-Type are a phenomenal value for money.

Sum up

Jaguar F-Type V8S

My first impression of the Jaguar F-Type has been great. Jaguar seems to have delivered on their goal of making a true sports car. Even from the limited time I had with each car, it is clear that the V6S and the V8S each has their own distinct flavor.

The F-Type is an undeniably attractive car, and has more showroom appeal than most of its closest competition. The real kicker in my mind though, has to be Jaguar’s placement of the F-Type in the market. Not only is it often the car you’d want to buy, but usually it is the car you should buy.

Hopefully I will get more seat time in F-Type models in the coming months, and I will be able to share some more detailed insights with you then. But for now just know that the F-Type appears to live up to all the hype.

-Nick Walker

5 thoughts on “First Impression: Jaguar F-Type V6S and V8S”

  1. I still think this car is a bit overpriced. Especially since the Boster/Cayman has all that handling, Corvette all the power, it seems to me that Jaguar only has the heritage….?

    Like

    1. It really isn’t a boxster/cayman competitor…. Only the base model, which isn’t worth it. The S models are squarely in 911 territory. The Corvette is a bargain, yes of course, and if all you care about is performance the Vette is probably the way to go. But the Vette lacks the polish of the Jag and the Porsche, and there is something a bit more special feeling about the higher end cars. That’s why many people buy the high end stuff in leu of the Vette. They aren’t paying for raw performance, they are paying for the polish and refined experience.

      Like

      1. The new Vette may very well change the game, though. As for the Cayman, I personally think the base model is worth it as it’s about the handling, not really about the power necessarily. The Cayman S is about $20,000 cheaper than the 911, as such still quite a big cheaper than the Jag….. I personally was just expecting the Jag to be about 10,000 dollars cheaper. Have you test drove the 911, Cayman, Cayman S, 14 Vette, and the three versions of the Jag?

        Like

      2. I’ve driven the 991, old Cayman R (similar to the new one), and a Vette GS. As for the F-Type, I’ve only tried the S models, but the base model F is missing the trick differential… thats the big issue for me, power has nothing to do with it really. A Boxster S is a way better way to go in terms of handling compared to the base Jag.

        $10k cheaper is always nice, but when you start comparing the S models to the cars they were actually aimed at, you will find the F-Type to be quite the bargain. Only the base model competes with the Boxster really IMO. After a certain price point the Boxster is just not worth getting…. you can option them up to over $100k… but then you’d be comparing it to the V8S F-type and the 991 Carrera S, and it just gets blown out of the water.

        Like

Your Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s