Jaguar F-Type V8 S recreates an iconic sprint test

Article by Christian A., on March 7, 2013

Jaguar recently went back to Jabbeke, Belgium, to recreate an iconic sprint test. Famous test driver Norman Dewis had set a world record average flying mile speed of 172.4mph in a modified XK 120 about 60 years ago. But last March 2, this sprint test was recreated by a new Jaguar F-Type V8 sports car, driven by 1988 Le Mans 24 hour race-winning driver Andy Wallace.

A quality video that features the sprint test and epic cross country drive event can be viewed at http://youtu.be/RFc42QkiurE. Wallace was given only two miles to test the new Jaguar F-TYPE V8 S’s straight-line speed from a standing start and put it to a stop once more. This car only took 4.2 seconds to go from zero to 62mph. It was also able to reach a top speed of 180mph.

This sprint test kicked off a grand drive event where classic Jaguar XK 120, C-type, D-type and E-type sports cars came together with the new 495 PS F-TYPE in a ‘Jaguar Bloodline’ sports car convoy on its way to Geneva, Switzerland, taking place before the 2013 Salon d’Auto, where the new F-TYPE will be presented at the Jaguar stand.

After the sprint test, Wallace said that he was glad to get Jaguar’s invitation to be the first to take part in a public sprint test in the new F-TYPE. He added that this was an incredible feat particularly since the original sprint test road was five miles today and it only had less than half of that to attain 179 mph.

He said that the car was still sprinting towards its maximum speed when he had to step on the brake. Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, said that the original Jabbeke sprint runs mark the comeback of the Jaguar to Belgium. The XK 120 features an attractive design, outstanding sporting performance, and advanced technologies.

Complementing the sweeping line is a feature running back from the side vent. This feature line -- along with the "lightcatcher" surface detailing above the sill – lends the F-Type a sense of speed. This so-called lightcatcher surface detailing also makes it possible for the door surface to wrap around the sides, thereby creating a fuselage effect.

Meanwhile, the second "heartline" expands to form the rear haunch and then sweeps around the rear of the new F-Type. The rear end of the new F-Type features sleek yet clean lines, thanks to an active rear spoiler that deploys at a certain speed to lower the car’s aerodynamic lift. For instance, this spoiler is deployed up when the F-Type’s speed reaches 60 mph. As soon as the car slows down at 40 mph, the spoiler moves back to its flush position. This rear spoiler is complemented by a sculpted rear valance and a front splitter.

Ian Callum, Director of Design at Jaguar, remarked that every aspect of a sports car makes it possible for designers to create something visually exciting -- visceral and physical. He quipped that the design of a sports car should suit its purpose while wrapping up its mechanicals and its occupants in the most beautiful and sensual package, without any unneeded surfaces or decorations. Callum added that a design should have a story – just like every line in the F-Type having a start, a direction and a conclusion.

Meanwhile, the headlights of the new F-Type run vertically – instead of horizontally – drawing attention along the car’s fender crease. Interestingly, the compact xenon unit only employs one projector, while the J-Blade LED running lights further emphasize the design heartline that flows through the lamp.

Press Release

Jaguar F-Type V8 S Recreates C-Type World Record

Sixty years after Jaguar's legendary test driver Norman Dewis achieved a world record average flying mile speed of 172.4mph in a modified XK 120*, Jaguar returned to Jabbeke, Belgium**, on Saturday 2 March for another sprint test, this time with a new Jaguar F-TYPE V8S and 1988 Le Mans 24 hour race-winning driver Andy Wallace. With just two miles available to Wallace to explore the F-TYPE's straight-line speed from a standing start, and bring it to a stop again, the car hit almost 180mph*** and achieved 0-62mph in an impressive 4.2 seconds.

The celebratory event marked the beginning of an epic drive event in which classic Jaguar XK 120, C-type, D-type and E-type sports cars joined the new 495 PS F-TYPE in a 'Jaguar Bloodline' sports car convoy en route to Geneva, Switzerland, prior to this year's 2013 Salon d'Auto, where the new F-TYPE takes pride of place on the Jaguar stand.

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.****"

Marking the return of Jaguar to the Belgian proving roads, Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, said: "The original Jabbeke sprint runs marked the start of an exciting chapter in our history. The XK 120 combined seductive design and innovative technologies with incredible sporting performance, as Norman Dewis proved on that famous day in 1953. "Those core elements of our DNA are embodied in the new Jaguar F-TYPE, and I can think of no more fitting way to pay tribute to the achievement of one of our most famous roadsters than to return to Jabbeke to celebrate the successful test and set a new Jaguar benchmark."

Following the Jabbeke speed run, an identical F-TYPE V8 S was driven the 519-miles (835km) to Geneva by a specialist in frugal driving, recording an average fuel consumption of just 35.6 mpg (7.9 l/100km).

The all-new F-TYPE is on sale now throughout Jaguar dealers across Europe and will be available to view in showrooms from April. Prices in the UK for the new two-seater start at £58,500 for the 340PS V6 F-TYPE, rising to £67,500 for the 380PS V6 F-TYPE S and £79,950 for the range-topping 495PS F-TYPE V8 S.

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