Sexy, Seductive, Sophisticated, Stylish, Splendid. You can use any adjective defining beauty and they will be apt for this car. This car is perhaps the best looking car in many years. These are the days, we as automotive journalists live for. Getting the keys to the JAGUAR F-Type. The cream of the crop. Wanting to know, what the best engineers and designers can achieve, pushing the boundaries while making a sports car.
What I had was the F-Type R. Retailing at a just over two crore on road, this is one car people dream of. Kids have posters in their bedroom. A car that James Bond would be happy to use. Fast and Suave. A proper sports car from the British manufacturer in almost half a century. The car looks a zillion bucks and you can keep on looking and admiring the curves for eternity. What gives this car its character is the sloping roofline which merges gracefully into the boot.
The front has a long bonnet with vents on either side of a wide nose. The headlights along with the grille with the monogrammed face of the animal make up a classy looking front. The Jaguar badging on the deployable rear spoiler along with the name of the car and R are all chrome. The tail lamps are unmistakable. You could make out easily that it’s F-Type the moment you see it. Simply alluring. Quad exhaust, positioned in pairs at the opposite end of the rear bumper differentiates the V8 from the V6. Dual exhausts at the center are utilized on the slower car.
Even if you don’t love cars, this will make you take a second look. Guaranteed. On the interiors, everything is spot on. The bronzed start-stop button, paddle shifters. The well laid out dashboard, the AC vents that come up after firing up the engine, the contrast stitching. Everything is wrapped in soft leather. It is the place to be. There is not a single thing to complain about.
I found the multi-coloured ambient lighting to be a bit gimmicky, but then again, aren’t all these cars built to make it as individualistic as possible, so as to identify with the person buying it. Go choose the lighting as per your mood!! The display can also show how many G’s are you pulling in real time and how hard you are accelerating or braking, which is pretty cool.
We had enough of drooling over the beauty, but it was time to unleash the beast sitting under the hood. The car that I had was the 5.0 liter v8 churning out 542 bhp, delivering 680 Nm of torque at 3500 rpm which can be nothing short an ego massage if you own one.
I wish you could experience this just to understand why I am grinning ear to ear even while writing this piece. A slight tap on the accelerator and it thrusts you into your seat. And, I mean literally shoves you hard within time between two heartbeats. At 3.5 seconds, reaching three digit speeds takes less time than most contemporary cars. The 8-speed ZF transmission is perfectly engineered and the shifts are lightning quick. I could feel a tingle in my bollocks every time I pressed the accelerator. The steering is precise and it inspires confidence in you.
Vulgar and rowdy. These two words describe the exhaust note of this V8. God, but I love it. This is what a sports car should sound like. It scares the hell out of you. I love every bit of this sound. Jaguar have given ‘Active Exhaust’ switch which, when switched on makes the loudest sound deafening. Sometimes, even scary. It made pedestrians run for their life anticipating the car coming at high speeds. But it was harmless fun and I had great confidence in the steel brakes. Jaguar also provide carbon ceramic brakes at an additional cost which can bring this 1650 kg animal to halt from 100 kph within 100 meters. Red callipers denote the standard steel brakes while yellow ones denote the high performance version.
V6 is no slouch, but this is in a league of its own. Lot more rigid than the convertible. In numbers 80% stiffer. This means we can have lots more fun, which I was fortunate enough to experience. Electric differential, torque vectoring and all other gadgetry help you keep the car on the road. And I must say it does the job brilliantly. Switching off the traction control should be done only if you are on the track and experienced enough to handle such power.
This engine is a bit like your distant aunt whom you met decades ago in your childhood. These aunts keeps on forcing one more paratha… “beta aur ek partha kha lo, bohot saalo baad mile hai!!” Similarly, the engine keeps on feeding your power until you are fully fed. Sometimes even fed up! You just cannot utilize this kind of power on the. It needs a race track. I did not have access to the track unfortunately. Hope, someday I could drive it on the track. But this does not mean it can’t be used on normal roads. It can drive like a regular car just as good. Getting over bumps isn’t a thing to be worried about either, i went over every Mumbai speed breaker without worrying about scrapping the underbelly of F-type.
I can’t get over that exhaust note. It will take me many days. Jaguar F-Type is without a doubt the best sounding car ever. No questions asked. It was time to play some soothing music on the way home and cool myself down before returning the F-Type next day. But you know what, forget the music, let’s roll down the windows and have a blast one last time is what I said to myself! With fuel capacity of 70 liters, F-Type R can go 350 kms in one full tank.
However clichéd it may sound, these have been mesmerizing couple of days in the office for me. Days to cherish as a petrolhead rather than a journalist for a long long time. Wish I could have it for a few more days, or perhaps months! This is a true sports car from Jaguar who have the legendary E-type in their credit. And the F-type following in her footsteps certainly has the right ingredients to make it to the annals of history.
Special thanks to Awesome Images Anis Shaikh