Sixty years after Jaguar’s legendary test driver Norman Dewis achieved a world record speed of 172.4mph in a modified XK 120, Jaguar returned to Jabbeke, Belgium to repeat the feat in its latest V8 supercharged F-Type.
The driver, 1988 Le Mans winner Andy Wallace, and the car at his disposal was Jaguar’s 488bhp F-TYPE V8 S.
The celebratory event marked the beginning of a convoy to the Geneva Motor Show featuring a classic ensemble of XK 120, C-type, D-type and E-type together with the latest F-Type.
Speaking after the sprint test, Wallace said: “I was delighted to be invited by Jaguar to be the first to undertake a public sprint test in the new F-Type. Our result today is amazing considering the original sprint test road was five miles in length and today we had less than half that to achieve 179mph. The car was still accelerating toward its top speed when I had to brake.”
Following the Jabbeke speed run, an identical F-TYPE V8 S was driven the 519-miles (835km) to Geneva, recording an average fuel consumption of just 35.6 mpg. The driver, a frugal driving specialist, probably never exceeded 3,000rpm, but nevertheless it’s still an impressive achievement for a near-500bhp sports car.
The Jaguar F-Type V8S has an electronically controlled top speed of 186mph, but will reach over 190mph flat out.