It is almost impossible not to fall in love with the Jag F-Type. Its looks, which are a blend of sultriness and aggression, never fail to draw admiring glances, while the way it drives captivates enthusiasts’ hearts (it was named the “Best Convertible Sports Car” in our 2013 Straits Times–Torque awards). A good part of this roadster’s appeal also lies with its stirring soundtrack – it is unabashedly loud and always keen to make its presence felt. Even the middle variant F-Type S is raucous, despite “only” having a V6 motor.
The most compelling F-Type variant, however, is the range-topping V8 S seen here. Although it looks identical to its F-Type S sibling, keen observers will notice that the V8 S has quad-exhausts, whereas the S model is armed with a pair of centrally mounted “bazookas”.
The V8 S’s armament, however, is the real eye-opener. While the S model is equipped with a supercharged 3-litre V6 producing 380bhp/460Nm, the V8 S (as its moniker implies) packs a supercharged 5-litre V8 with 495bhp/625Nm – a whopping 115bhp and 165Nm more. This extra firepower allows the V8 S to rocket from a standstill to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds – 0.6 of a second quicker than the S model.
What makes the V8 S so irresistible, though, isn’t just its crushing performance – it’s also the aforementioned aural assault it brings. Thumb the gold starter button and the engine awakens with an angry crack before settling into a low purr. The real fireworks, however, begin when you switch on the Active Exhaust system prior to driving off.
Every flex of your right foot is translated into raspy, impassioned V8 notes that are amplified as the revs climb. Past 3000rpm, several valves within the exhaust system open up to allow the roadster to blare its furious crescendo. Lift off the throttle and the tailpipes crackle and pop with a machine gun-like rapidity. Driving through tunnels is pure joy. I daresay that no other car in this segment at the moment sounds this loud and this wonderful. (If you are in the market for an F-Type and you don’t go for this variant, you’re a fool.)
Indeed, the cacophony the V8 S creates is probably what terrifies other drivers. Over a three-day test drive, I witnessed road hogs moving from the fast lane into the middle one and lorry drivers actually using their indicators. As far as I know, the only other vehicle that has this effect on discourteous drivers is a Range Rover.
This roadster is too loud, too powerful and worse, too thirsty. It will barely manage 5km per litre, even if you tried. The F-Type V8 S is a guilty pleasure because it’s so wrong, but it just feels so right.
ENGINE 5000cc, 32-valves, V8, supercharged
MAX POWER 495bhp at 6500rpm
MAX TORQUE 625Nm at 2500-5500rpm
GEARBOX 8-speed automatic with manual select
0-100KM/H 4.3 seconds
TOP SPEED 300km/h
CONSUMPTION 9km/L (combined)
CO2 EMISSION 259g/km
PRICE INCL. COE
$520,000 (after $15k CEVS surcharge)
F-Type, F-Type S