28 Feb 2014

2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S Convertible - Short Review And Photos

I'm running a Jaguar F-Type V8 S for a week.  Here are my thoughts after a few days

2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S Convertible

The Jaguar F-Type V8 S is devilishly naughty.  The first few times you drive it you fire up the supercharged V8 lump, press the throttle and the rear wheels light up and spin, sending the rear a few degrees off line.  Then the traction control kicks in and new underpants are required.

Jaguar could have set the traction control to kick in much earlier but they chose not to do so.  The car's character is defined by this wickedness.

There's a button on the glorious looking dash that looks like a pair of spectacles but is in fact meant to be a twin exhaust.  Press it and you get even more noise than it already makes, with added snarl and crackliness.

Press the throttle all the way down to the floor at 50 or so mph and it doesn't just kick down a gear, it does a double kick down - or more if that's required to get the revs right near the limiter.

The Jaguar F-Type V8 is a beautiful machine with an enormous amount of power and the character of a Tasmanian Devil with ADHD and tourettes.

I've driven many powerful cars but none have quite the same facility to allow the driver to scare him (or her) self stupid with it's boundless enthusiasm for speed and noise.

The F-Type fitted with the V6 engine is a delicately balanced sports car with fantastic handling that nearly matches the Porsche 911 Carrera and Lotus Evora in terms of poise and controllability.  But with the V8 under the bonnet it becomes something more.  

It still retains the handling, although the V6 is slightly better balanced, but with an extra 115bhp and 130 lb ft of torque the V8 is much more of a monster.

Once traction is found the V8 S grips very well, courtesy of its aluminium chassis and Jaguar's finessed suspension, but it just pings towards the horizon at such a rate of knots that you can hardly believe, and which, if you carried on for more than a few seconds, would land you in jail.

With my son in the passenger seat and in charge of the timing app (embedded in the info screen) we did 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds.  That was on a wet road and without using the F-Type's launch control.  The official figure is 4.2 seconds.

It took me 200 miles and two days on the road to fully master the F-Type V8, to be able to apply just enough power to get round corners (or even set off in a straight line) without backing off as soon as the tyres lost traction.  

Once you do get the hang of it the car becomes the fully fledged sports car that the V6 S is from the off.  Once you learn quite how much throttle to use in a given situation it becomes the car you want to rob a bank in order to get the £80k you need to buy one.

When it comes to cars my son is very hard to impress.  If it isn't a Lotus he's not interested.  But he loves the F-Type.  He loves the shape, the colour, the noise and the fact its a convertible.  Instead of dropping him at the school bus stop he has made me drive to school and parade past his peers before dropping him off in front of as many people as possible.  Small boys do genuinely drop their jaws, point and chatter amongst themselves about this car.

And to be honest I love dropping him at school in the car too. 
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S Convertible

The F-Type's boot is tiny, the cockpit is well appointed but quite small.  The seating position is perfect and the seats comfortable and supportive.  I like Jaguar's info screen and it's better in this car than in some other models.  It has digital radio and bluetooth connection and the stereo is nice and loud.

You can cruise at 70mph on the motorway with the roof down and the wind will tickle the top of your head but not try and remove your hat.  The roof opens and closes at up to 30mph and is fully automatic.

It has a toggle for either Rain/Snow/Ice or i-Dynamic modes.  Both are useful.  Most mileage I've done has been in the Rain/Snow/Ice setting but some has been in i-Dynamic, which tightens up the steering and suspension and improves throttle response.

Acceleration is brutal and the brakes have good feel and stopping power.

The gearbox is an 8-speed automatic.  It has a manual mode and flappy paddles, and it has a sports mode.  Use sports mode and the throttle response is like that on a motorcycle - you have to be smooth.

It's averaged 21mpg so far but will do 32mpg on a motorway cruise.

I'll publish a full review soon.


Price - £79,985
Engine - 5 litre, V8, supercharged, petrol
Transmission - 8 speed ZF automatic
0-60mph - 4.2 seconds
Top Speed - 186mph
Power - 495bhp
Torque - 460 lb ft
Economy - 25.5mpg
CO2 - 259 g/km
Kerb weight - 1,665 kg
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S Convertible interior

2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S Convertible seats

2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S Convertible boot

2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S Convertible

2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S Convertible dials

2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S Convertible exhaust

Review by Matt Hubbard