Jaguar F-Type V8S

The range-topping Jaguar F-Type V8S gives the Aston Martin V8 Vantage a run for its money

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

Cars such as the XKR-S have been a big hit for Jaguar. And the F-Type V8S packages this personality in a smaller, lighter and more agile sports car. It’s better to drive and far cheaper than the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster, and it’s easy to see this F-Type stealing customers from Britain’s other famous sports car maker.

Sitting at the top of the range, the V8S demands a considerable £12,465 premium over the F-Type S. It’s powered by a new version of Jaguar’s established 5.0-litre V8, and has the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster firmly in its sights.

The engine delivers 488bhp and 625Nm of torque, and the extra 165Nm is immediately apparent. It arrives at just 2,500rpm – which is 1,000rpm earlier than on the V6 versions – and the instant thrust changes the car’s character.

While the V6 models are fast, urgent and responsive, the V8 is effortlessly rapid, sprinting from 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds and delivering serious in-gear flexibility. There’s a deep rumble and firecracker soundtrack on the overrun, and the V8’s unique quad tailpipes provide a different kind of aural treat, too.

On twisty roads, you can feel the extra weight in the nose – the V8 is 51kg heavier – but Jaguar has designed the chassis to be able to cope with it, and there’s enough rigidity in the front subframe to maintain good suspension behaviour and retain superb steering response.

In longer bends, it’s harder to keep the nose tucked in and you can feel the inertia transferring to the loaded front wheel, pushing the car wide. Still, with all that power under your right foot, it’s easy to transfer the loss of grip to the rear axle via the throttle.

Fitted with a unique electronic differential, the V8 troubles its stability control a fraction more, and on wet roads, with the system turned off or in its sportier setting, you need to be alert to a loss of traction.

As with the V6 S, the optional configurable Dynamics set-up allows you to fine-tune damper, steering and gearbox modes, and despite 20-inch wheels the V8S rides relatively well.

A sports car with a hot-rod personality, it’s also a civilised and relaxing cruiser. It’s easy to see why Jaguar’s advanced order book already features plenty of requests for the V8S.

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