For such an iconic name in the world automotive market, jaguar has been very quiet – perhaps even disappointing – in recent times. there have been glimpses of a return to the former glory, but equal doses of other models that simply failed to deliver.
new F-Type was first presented to the world as the C-X16 concept car, and it immediately captured motoring attention. To the British market particularly, there was enough promise to get people genuinely excited – like the hope of Andy Murray finally becoming a British Wimbledon champion – after all, it has been almost 40 years since the magnificent E-Type Jaguar stopped production.
Jaguar clearly had confidence in its work. It released a 13-minute video clip featuring Homeland actor Damien Lewis in a Hollywoodstyle car chase through the Peruvian desert. The image is cool, young and very fast.
So we have expectation, a newly defined image and massive hope… that’s a tall order to live up to. Did it stand a chance? Well, it is so very pleasing to say, it exceeds the hype.
This is one good looking car. This is one stylish car. This is one very fast car. This is Jaguar back with a bang and presenting a new platform to become a genuine force in the sports/luxury car market well into the future.
Let’s be clear though – this is not classic style and refined British grace. This is stocky speed, with bulging guards, chopped back-end and a nasty-looking grille. Inside you’ll still find a classy look and feel – it is, after all, a luxury sports car – but this is a car designed to enjoy and drive fast.
Hey good lookin’
Let’s start with the outside. As mentioned before, the F-Type is a departure from the traditional Jaguar styling, but it works. Some cars look good from certain angles, some cars need a particular colour to make it shine, but the F-Type looks good in any format and any colour.
Initially available only as a convertible, a coupe version was just released to the Australian market as this article went to print – and it is equally spectacular.
Inside is a work of art. There are two levels of leather, but even the standard variable has a lovely feel. Pleasingly, there is an obvious lack of hard plastic, with smooth leather and soft-touch rubber covering most surfaces.
There are some interesting touches, such as the use of copper for some of the buttons, which is a welcome change from the usual chrome. There’s not a lot of storage space (the boot is almost completely full with the spare tyre), but if you’re planning on taking the entire family on long holidays you probably wouldn’t be considering an F-Type Jaguar anyway. To me, this car is about driving, so as long as there is somewhere to store the hat and sunglasses when I don’t need them, I have all the storage I need.
A jaguar is very fast large cat… right? It would be fair to suggest that some of the lumbering Jaguar sedans from the past couple of decades have done its name an injustice, but not this. This is a very quick car. There are three forms on the market: a pair of supercharged 3.0L V6 options and a supercharged 5.0L V8. While the V8 will get enthusiasts salivating, don’t assume either of the six-cylinders are slow. Jaguar says that base model will get you to 100km/hr in 5.3 seconds, while the V8 can handle it in 4.3 seconds. Quite impressively, fuel consumption is listed at 9L/100km for the base and 11.1L/100km for the V8, which is excellent when you consider that the latter can put out 364kW at 6500rpm and 625Nm from 2500 through to 5500rpm. All three versions are equipped with an eight-speed Quickshift automatic transmission, with no manual on offer.
Who’s for options?
With an option list that looked as long as my wishlist for Christmas, some people will be disappointed. At the base model, there are some 30 extra items you can select… and many of them you would expect as standard on a luxury car. Having said that, it can work in your favour if you only want one or two specific items. For example, you could take the base 3.0L V6 and add the switchable active exhaust and some larger wheels, and you are on the road in a beast of a car at a very reasonable price point to its real competitors. Standard features on the entry model include 18-inch alloy wheels, suede/leather sports seats, eight-inch display monitor, satellite navigation and 380W audio, keyless entry and start. The mid-range 3.0L V6 S will offer you 19-inch wheels, high-performance brakes, Adaptive Dynamics suspension and active sports exhaust with centre-mounted tips, and – perhaps most important to the serious driver – a limited-slip differential. Over at the V8 S you’ll find 20-inch wheels, the Jaguar Super Performance Braking System, Active Dynamics suspension, active sports exhaust and an electronic active differential.
This is a car that makes a statement: on the road, in looks, for the driver and for the manufacturer. It is arguably the most important car the British brand has built for nearly 50 years. Jaguar has survived on classic looks and historical name value for decades, but in the current competitive market that can’t last very long. The F-Type is its opportunity to attract a new, younger audience, and I for one hope it succeeds.
F-TYPE 3.0L V6 – $138,645
F-TYPE 3.0L V6 S – $171,045
F-TYPE 5.0L V8 S – $201,945
Excerpted from an article originally published in the February/March 2014 issue of Think & Grow Rich Inc. magazine. If you are a subscriber to Think & Grow Rich Inc. magazine, you will receive this article in your February/March 2014 issue of TGR. If you are not a subscriber, click here to subscribe.