Jaguar certainly has a knack for producing cars with classic looks and a striking presence. The tradition remains well and truly alive with the new F-type, a stunner in every sense of the word. But just how practicable and liveable is the modern day reincarnation of the glorious E-type? Well EFTM has driven the Jaguar F-type Convertible, let’s find out!
The 10 Minute Test Drive
There are several striking first impressions when first entering the F-type. To start with unless blessed with a lithe body it’s no cinch to even get into. A very low almost pod-like seating position requires some acrobatics to settle into. Then you sense the sprawling front bonnet covering an engine bay that’s simply enormous. It’s like being behind the nose of something the Royal Air Force may have created with a very cozy cockpit feel, for both driver and passenger.
The supercharged V6 produces a sound that’s throaty yet interspersed with pops and crackles that would be highly inappropriate if produced by a human – if you get my drift. In fact downshifts produce one of the most entertaining exhaust notes you’ll likely ever hear. You soon find yourself hammering the paddle shifters, just for fun.
The as-tested base model is not in the mind-blowingly quick club, say like the Nissan GT-R we so adore. But even so speed does rapidly build in a forced, instant, shrieking type of way. It’s a simple exercise to have the rear end more than just play up, this is a serious machine in any state of tune and should be treated as such.
Body roll is literally nonexistent, the steering super responsive. The F-type is just a joy to maneuver, at any speed.
Ins And Outs
As mentioned we drove the ‘slow’ F-type, there are four models in the range and 2 engines in various states of tune. There’s an S, V8 S and R model to choose from with accompanying performance and technology upgrades.
But for now let’s focus on the 250kW / 450Nm supercharged 3.0-litre V6 Convertible at hand. For me the real strength of this delightfully pleasing unit is its ability to simply make you feel satisfied. The power is raw and highly tapable when it really matters, dropping back down a few of the eight-cogs at speed is when the serious thrust shows up. What’s more is that fuel economy remains acceptable even after some pretty heavy sessions. I averaged 10.8l / 100km overall, the claim is 8.8l, that’s pretty darn good in my book.
Another trait that’s noteworthy is the ride quality, the entry level F-type misses out on the higher spec adjustable suspension programs making do with the one state of tune. The outcome is a relatively comfortable day-to-day ride, stiff enough for genuine curve eating, but absorbent enough to appease those not looking for track day performance.
A smallish spoiler emerges from the rear boot lip when speeds exceed 100km/h an hour, a novelty that was enjoyed by countless kids, faces pressed against family SUV’s looking down at what must be an alien-like sight for them.
Of course we just had to see the British model go topless because only then can you really appreciate what a fine set of looks the Jag has. With the ability to raise or lower the material roof at speed (I managed it at around 40km/h) the driving experience is transformed yet again. The unique exhaust is amplified even more and the flat and wide stance further exaggerated turning heads wherever it goes.
Of course there’s a few drawbacks, like the lack of space for anything other than perhaps a bulky jacket in the boot and smaller bits and pieces you may be able to squeeze behind the seats, narrow door pockets, net pocket between the seats, centre bin or glove box. Remarkably the boot, which looks huge externally is ironically totally occupied by a space saver wheel. Its design madness, you even reconsider taking this car out for even a handful of the most basic supplies.
Other than that the cabin is fairly straight forward, large flat buttons run the air con and there’s the infotainment system as seen in the Jaguar Land Rover group of vehicles. Simple to use yet hardly spectacular by any standard. As opposed to the Meridian sound system, which rocked my word.
As you’d expect the Jaguar F-type will appeal to mostly the well-healed. A MRRP figure of $138,645 is of course serious cash. But for a car that can be optioned up into basically a supercar you still get the looks plus a massive chunk of performance.
I think the Jaguar F-type is the hottest looking piece of aluminum / composite sheet metal I’ve seen anytime recently, the Coupe version is to die for and the Convertible still floats my boat. Neighbours, fellow motorists and school kids look on adorningly every time you pass by.
EFTM Rubber Stamp
This is a big boy’s toy, and the boy better have some serious coin in the bank to obtain one. But it will be the most fun you’ve had since acquiring that sparkling yellow Tonka Truck for sandpit sessions all those years ago. The Jaguar F-type Convertible earns the EFTM Distinction Rubber Stamp of Approval.