The return of the affordable British two-seat roadster There is nothing; I repeat, nothing that sounds as good as this Jaguar does. The sound coming out of this supercharged V6 is indescribable and unmistakable.
Ever since I saw the Jaguar C-X16 concept at an auto show a few years ago, I was completely smitten. Then again, nearly everything Jaguar has designed over the last couple years has been extremely easy on the eyes. However controversial its design may have been, I love the way the current XJ looks. The facelifted XF is just as good and the XK still looks just as fresh as it did when it was styled. It’s rare for a concept to hit dealerships without some serious styling tweaks, but other than the lack of a roof, the 2014 Jaguar F-Type has done just that.
This car is absolutely beautiful. If you’re low-key and like to fly under the radar, this car is not for you. In that case, perhaps you should consider a used Lexus SC or a Mercedes-Benz SL. Everywhere I went with the F-Type, it drew stares. I got thumbs-ups, people pointing and smiling, and repeated screams from schoolchildren who mistook it for both an Aston Martin (acceptable) and a Lamborghini (um, I don’t think so). It’s not just the way the car looks either – the Jaguar F-Type sounds absolutely ludicrous. There is no reason to make a car sound this good, but Jaguar has done it.
This car is stunning – there’s no other way to put it. However, the looks aren’t what get the F-Type attention… words simply cannot describe just how preposterous the F-Type sounds. I took the car on a drive with our team, as well as some other local auto writers, and by the end of the afternoon, everybody was giggling like children at the sound of this car. It’s seriously like listening to a Civil War reenactment. The roars, crackles, and pops are truly incredible.
My tester was the V6S, equipped with the 3.0L V6 with a supercharger. This engine sports 380 horsepower and allows the baby Jag to sprint to 100 km/h in well under 5 seconds. The slick-shifting 8-speed automatic shifts so quickly and firmly that I never found the need for a double-clutch or manual transmission. Coming from me, that’s a bold statement. This model also comes with the Active Sports Exhaust, which creates the wonderful symphony I described earlier.
When put into Dynamic Mode, the car truly comes alive. The exhaust gurgles with every shift, and power is always available on demand. There wasn’t a single instant where I felt like the car could do with more power, until I realized that I will be driving the even more ridiculous V8S in a few weeks. The limited-slip differential means that the car is pretty composed, and feels a lot tighter and more precise than the XKR.
The attention to detail on the Jaguar is wonderful, but not surprising. Unlocking the car with the standard-issue Jaguar/Land Rover key deploys the door handles. When the car is locked, they remain completely flush, so as not to ruin the stunning lines of the car. The multimedia interface is the regular Jaguar/Land Rover unit, which I’m not particularly a fan of. It’s relatively easy to use, but not very responsive and is definitely outdated compared to some of the other units on the market. My test car had the Meridian stereo that sounded great, even with the top down. Then again, listening to music in an F-Type is blasphemous and should be punishable by law.
My V6S tester was loaded up with plenty of options. It had the dual-zone automatic climate control (with center vents that disappear into the dashboard!), the flat-bottomed sport steering wheel with bronzed Ignis paddles, and nearly everything else you would want. The seats are plenty comfortable, though my six-foot self found the car a bit claustrophobic with the top up. I’m not exactly complaining though; this is a car I would drive with the top down well into southern Ontario’s chilly autumn season. Unlike some other convertibles, the top doesn’t really affect trunk space when retracted. One of the F-Type’s flaws is its lack of trunk space – taking this car grocery shopping proves nearly impossible unless you’re a bachelor with a tiny appetite.
The most surprising thing about this F-Type for me was the fuel mileage. Even when driving it spiritedly down my favourite roads, I couldn’t do any worse than 11L/100km. When cruising on the highway with a light foot, I was actually getting 8.5L/100km. Naturally the 8-speed transmission helps considerably, but I was befuddled at how frugal this little monster really is. Strictly using ethanol-free premium fuel, I managed an average of 9.6L/100km over my test week. When reading these numbers, it’s important to keep in mind that I was enjoying the throttle and occasionally holding gears in order to properly enjoy the soundtrack the F-Type graces the road with.
With its starting price of $88,900, the 2014 Jaguar F-Type V6S seems almost affordable. When optioned up, my tester just barely passes the $100,000 mark. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Up until now, the only premium two-seat roadster I would consider in the $100,000+ price range was the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante. This F-Type though – it’s 90% the car for 60% the money. It sounds brilliant, it has the looks of a proper James Bond car, and it’s not as expensive as it could be. This new Jaguar is in the running for the most fun I have ever had in a car, and it’s really, really good.
2014 Jaguar F-Type V6S Gallery