Jaguar F-Type Coupe vs Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Jaguar F-Type vs Aston Martin V8 Vantage
14 Jul, 2014 11:54am

Jaguar’s new F-Type V8 R Coupe takes fight to Aston V8 Vantage in supercar shoot-out

Having a car that is a celebrated automotive icon in your heritage isn’t always a good thing. Just ask Jaguar. For decades, the brand has barely been able to mention the word coupe without inevitable comparisons to its legendary E-Type.

Although some car makers would buckle under the pressure to recreate a modern version of their most famous car, Jaguar has taken its time and gone its own way. The F-Type Convertible was launched last year, and has proven much more than a tribute act. Now, the Coupe version adds strength to the line-up.

We’ve already tested the entry-level Coupe, where it finished a whisker behind the Porsche Cayman S. However, the flagship £85,000 V8 R is a serious supercar challenger.

Here it will need to prove its ability against one of the best in the business – the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. To make life tougher, Aston has created a special welcome gift in the form of the N430 limited edition. With 430bhp on tap, plus 20kg less weight and a raft of extras, the exclusive Aston is priced at £91,080 – just £6,080 more than its rival.

Has Jaguar created a car that can eclipse models in the supercar sector, or will the Aston Martin’s heritage and power prove that it takes more than a famous ancestor to be a performance car legend?

Jaguar F-Type Coupe review

• Aston Martin V8 Vantage review

Click on the links above to read each review, then read on for our verdict.

Head-to-head

Engines

Despite their differences in power delivery, the Jaguar and Aston are powered by what is essentially the same AJ-V8 engine. The Vantage’s hand-built 4.7-litre features a dry-sump oil system that allows it to be mounted lower in the car to reduce the centre of gravity. The F-Type’s newer 5.0-litre version features a twin vortex supercharger that boosts power and gives a more immediate throttle response.

Brakes

Both these models feature well engineered braking systems. The Jag also comes with the option of carbon-ceramic discs for £7,400. However, during our tests, the carbon-ceramic set-up offered little difference in performance. This isn’t needed unless you plan on some serious track time.

Transmissions

Manual or auto? It’s a choice that’s divided performance car fans for decades. Those who prefer the control offered by the former will love the Aston’s old-school transmission. But if you’re happy to let technology do the heavy lifting, the Jaguar’s eight-speed auto is one of the best.

Bespoke coupes

The Jaguar F-Type Coupe has plenty of standard kit, but you can still add lots of extras to personalise the car to your tastes. Standard metallic paint is £700, although our test model’s Firesand Orange paint is a £1,250 extra, while the 20-inch Storm wheels come with the £7,400 carbon ceramic brake package. The V8 R gets a 20-inch six-spoke alloys as standard, while optional wheels range from £500-£1,500. You can also add panoramic glass for £1,250.

Inside, there are seven leather options, or you can specify ‘Suedecloth’ trim (£1,500). The red interior pack (£2,155) adds red trim to the doors, seats, dash and centre console. The N430 is a limited edition, but it’s available in coupe and roadster bodystyles. There are five colour schemes to choose from, each with different detailing. As well as black with silver trim, you can go for green and yellow, blue and red, silver and white or white and red.

Aston also offers carbon fibre add-ons inside and out, plus four brake caliper colours, and contrast stitching in the same colours. You can also opt for Alcantara on the seats and steering wheel, and there’s even a tailor-made N430 luggage set.

Verdict

1st: Jaguar F-Type Coupe

Just when we thought the F-Type couldn’t get any better, the flagship Coupe version comes along to prove us wrong. Where previous fast Jags have always flattered to deceive, the F-Type has the handling and performance to match its gorgeous design. The drivetrain is flawless, while the chassis combines typical Jaguar comfort and refinement with scalpel-sharp responses. A fantastic effort from a true British institution.

2nd: Aston Martin V8 Vantage

It seems harsh to describe a car which is so timelessly handsome as the Vantage as being in its twilight years, but that’s exactly what it is. However, while it finishes second here, it has lost none of its charm. Aston is now actively marketing the Vantage as an ‘analogue-era’ supercar, and for many, the challenge of having to work hard to extract its performance will be the main reason for choosing it.

Figures

Jaguar F-Type V8 R Aston Martin V8 Vantage N430
On the road price/total as tested £85,000/£104,360 £91,080/£96,245
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000) £38,199/44.9% N/A
Depreciation £46,801 N/A
Annual tax liability std/higher rate £5,870/£11,740 £6,383/£12,766
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles) £3,198/£5,330 £3,919/£6,532
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost 50/£989/M/£500 50/£1,609/M/£500
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service £331 per year (3yrs) £651/£680/£651
Length/wheelbase 4,470/2,622mm 4,382/2,601mm
Height/width 1,321/1,923 1,260/1,866mm
Engine V8 s’charged/5,000cc V8/4,735cc
Peak power/revs 543/6,500 bhp/rpm 430/7,300 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs 680/3,500 Nm/rpm 490/5,000 Nm/rpm
Transmission 8-spd auto/rwd 6-spd man/rwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel 70 litres/repair kit 80 litres/repair kit
Boot capacity 315 litres 300 litres
Kerbweight/payload 1,650/400kg 1,610/300kg
Turning circle 10.9 metres 11.4 metres
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery 3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs 3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers 16,000 miles (1yr)/97 10,000 miles/22
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos. 2nd/7th* N/A
0-60/30-70mph 3.9/3.0 secs 4.9/3.9 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 2.3/3.0 secs 2.9/4.4 secs
50-70mph 5th/6th/7th/8th 3.2/5.4/6.9 secs/N/A 5.5/7.4 secs/N/A/N/A
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 186mph/1,500rpm 190mph/2,500rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 49.1/35.3/9.3m 49.2/35.7/9.1m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph 66/51/65/71dB 67/51/68/75dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range 23.9/5.3/368 miles 19.5/4.3/343 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 17.8/34.0/25.5mpg 14.4/27.2/20.5mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 3.9/7.5/5.6mpl 3.2/6.0/4.5mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket 273/259g/km/35% 335/321g/km/35%
Airbags/Isofix/rear parking camera Four/yes/£255 Four/yes/£995
Automatic box/stability/cruise ctrl Yes/yes/yes £5,000/yes/yes
Climate ctrl/leather/heated seats Yes/yes/£350 Yes/yes/£495
Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go £700/yes/£450 Yes/yes/no
Sat-nav/USB connection/Bluetooth Yes/yes/yes £1,795/yes/£484
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