Jaguar is bringin' sexy back!
It's been a while since I've driven a Jaguar as good as the 2014 F-Type. In fact, it was the 2008 XKR Coupe. It was brand new at the time, but the model is now on its last legs after its most recent (and probably final) refresh.
The XKR's 420-hp supercharged V8, luxury interior as well as it big-baller exterior didn't go unnoticed. By me or by others.
One awestruck onlooker was unable to contain his unmistakable urge to try an make an egg omelette on the passenger side window at 2 A.M. one morning. I was close to home, so I was able to hose off the nasty mess before it did any damage to the $126,000 coupe.
Cars like this have an affect on people, for good, for bad and for ugly.
While out breaking-in the V6 S not long after its arrival in Canada, Jaguar's press fleet manager said he came upon an E-Type owner driving around the countryside with his lovely companion one day.
He told me she seemed quite enamoured by the shiny orange convertible, but the gentleman driver wanted nothing to do with it. He even avoided eye contact.
My experiences with other Jaguar owners have been quite opposite. Almost all did double or triple takes, and roughly half flashed their headlights at me as they got smaller in my mirrors.
A few times I used the rear spoiler to wave back at them. Other times I'd just use my hand. The weather was fantastic all week, so the top was open pretty much the whole time.
The F-Type has quite a personality. Especially in V8 trim. I'm told the V6 S is even more phenomenal. It does have 380 hp, after all. Then again, the five-litre supercharged V8 makes 115 more than that.
The 495-hp exhaust note goes from snap crackle to snap, crackle and pop when you press the Active Sports Exhaust button. That unleashes the sound of 461 lb-ft of torque through an electronically-controlled exhaust baffle.
“It sounds like a Gatling gun going off in Baghdad,” said one of the press fleet car jockeys. I don't disagree, though I've never been there myself.
Mercifully, that round gear selector dial thingy found in other current Jaguar products did not migrate over to the F-Type.
Even better, its eight-speed automatic transmission is brilliant, in fact.
For manual gear shifts, choose between a more traditional stick shifter (a bit reminiscent of the BMW M6) or the paddle shifters to hammer through the buttery-smooth gearbox.
At 1,665 kg, the V8 S could be lighter (the V6 S weighs 1,614 kg). It could be heavier too, seeing as it is a convertible. The reinforced soft top swings open or closes in under 15 seconds, and is surprisingly quiet when closed.
The trunk is a bit small (just 200 litres), however, the folded top doesn't interfere with getting things in or out when stowed.
The interior feels sporty, techy, warm and inviting though its lack of a wood grain, carbon fibre or aluminum treatment leaves little things to be desired. The extended leather and suede treatment makes up for it somewhat.
The seats are highly-customizable and amazingly comfortable though, and the dash and centre console are nicely-finished with dimpled rubber touch points.
I love how the HVAC vents hide and appear whenever the system is turned off or on.
Installed options include a 12-speaker Meridian audio system, satellite radio, heated front windscreen and climate, leather, vision, premium as well as performance packs.
As tested, the Italian Racing red V8 S stickers for $113,700, which is a steal when you think of what similar Jags sold for just five or six years ago. Prices* for options can be found below.
Jaguar will put the V6 S up against the V8-powered Corvette Stingray at AJAC's TestFest event in the Sports Performance over $50,000 category later this year. Fuel economy and price being key factors.
A fully-loaded C7 Stingray will cost significantly less (about where the base F-Type starts), and the LT1 V8 does have a four-cylinder mode and superior fuel economy.
I honestly can't find any other flaws with the V8 S. It is gorgeous just like the E-Type – the silhouette and rear in particular – and it goes like the Dickens.
It's aural sex, and as much as I love to look at it, love to drive it and would love to own it, it's just one of those things that isn't meant to be.
+ Best design of the year. Hands down.
+ Comfortable and luxurious interior, great seats.
+ Warm buttery smooth transmission.
+ Real amazing exhaust note.
+ A worthy E-Type successor!
- A bit pricey.
- Not as fuel efficient as the competition.
- Not a hard top convertible.
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S
Base Price: $100,900
Price as Tested (before taxes): $113,700
Engine: 5.0L V8 supercharged
Horsepower / Torque: 495 hp / 461 lb-ft
Transmission: 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters
Suspension: Double-wishbone (f/r) with adaptive dampers and adjustable suspension (25 different driving modes)
Curb weight: 1,665 kg (3,670 lb)
Fuel Economy Ratings (city / hwy): 10.4 / 7.1 L/100 km
Observed Fuel Economy: 11.6 L/100 km combined
Basic Warranty (months / km): 48 / 80,000
Options on Test Vehicle: Vision pack ($2,300); Performance pack ($3,300); Premium pack ($900, requires Climate pack); Extended leather pack ($2,000); Climate pack ($650); Meridian Surround Sound System ($1,500); Heated front windscreen ($350); Sirius Satellite Radio ($450). Additional charges: Destination and delivery ($1,350).
*All prices are subject to change.