Driving Jaguar’s new F-TYPE (w/VIDEO)

In cold and dreary conditions last week, three well know racing drivers – Martin Brundle, Christian Danner and Justin Bell – put both 375bhp V6 (F-TYPE S) and 488bhp V8 (F-TYPE V8 S) prototype models to the test around Snetterton circuit and on the surrounding Norfolk roads.

The international racing drivers and commentators were the first outside of Jaguar’s own development team to be able to test the F-TYPE’s performance limits and their feedback was absorbed by Jaguar’s Mike Cross, Chief Engineer for Vehicle Integrity, who has led the process of ensuring the F-TYPE delivers a driving experience in keeping with Jaguar’s aims.

Jaguar F TYPE driving impressions G5 Driving Jaguars new F TYPE (w/VIDEO)

“It’s been a fascinating day,” said Mike. “The entire F-TYPE development programme has, from a vehicle development perspective, been focused on delivering a connected sports car driving experience. To witness three respected drivers take to the track and to hear their positive comments validate our work has been great.”

The F-TYPE, launched at this year’s Paris Auto Show, is Jaguar’s attempt to take on the might of Porsche’s 911. It’s a two-seater, convertible sports car, although we expect a coupe version to join the range later next year or early in 2014. Three models are available from launch; 335bhp F-TYPE and 375bhp F-TYPE S, both powered by Jaguar’s new 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine, and the 488bhp F-TYPE V8 S powered by a 5.0-litre supercharged V8.

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  • Jaguar F TYPE driving impressions G3 636x424 Driving Jaguars new F TYPE (w/VIDEO)
  • Martin Brundle assisted the F-TYPE development team during the early stages of the project. As well as being a television commentator (now with Sky Sports F1), he spent 13-years in Formula One and raced successfully for Jaguar in World Sports Cars, taking the drivers’ crown in 1988 and victory at Le Mans in 1990.

  • Jaguar F TYPE driving impressions G6 636x424 Driving Jaguars new F TYPE (w/VIDEO)
  • Christian Danner is also now a Formula One commentator – for German TV channel RTL and was the winner of the first ever Formula 3000 championship (predecessor to GP2 & F2). He has raced in F1, Indycars and touring cars – winning both the Spa and Nürburgring 24-hour races in 1992 – and is the F2 lap-record holder at the Nürburgring.

  • Jaguar F TYPE driving impressions G4 636x424 Driving Jaguars new F TYPE (w/VIDEO)
  • Justin Bell is perhaps better known as the son of five-time Le Mans winner, Derek Bell, but is also an accomplished racer in his own right. After beginning his competition career on two wheels, Justin Bell switched to cars in 1988 and has since raced for many car manufacturers, winning the 1997 World FIA GT2 Championship in a Dodge Viper with a 1998 GT2 Class win at Le Mans in the same car.

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