|Jaguar’s F-Type looks gorgeous no matter the trim line. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Maybe he should’ve been in an E-Type. After all, Enzo Ferrari never called the DB5 “the most beautiful car ever made.” He wasn’t alone of course, the E still revered with the same awe today that the great Il Commendatore showed at its unveiling in March of 1961.
I’ve driven that road, albeit at the controls of a late ’80s Fiat Uno-not quite the same experience. I’ve tested much more alluring cars on California’s Big Sur, mind you,
|Fabulous rear end design looks great with the top down… (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
I was fortunate enough to pilot a Series 2 two-place coupe at the beginning of my writing career, when a friend who sold classic cars let me take the odd one out for a test drive and photo op, after which I’d write it up and publish it on my then new autos e-zine. It was the ’90s, and I was an early adopter to this new thing called the Internet. Funny now thinking back to my first European press launch in 2000,
|…. or upright. And it doesn’t take long to power it up or down either. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
I’m sure some of the old-timers present (many of which were and still are especially nice fellows) had actually been on the original E-Type press launch, which would certainly be a story to relay to the grandkids. That makes me wonder if I’ll be telling similar tales to my future grandchildren about the good old days of driving the E-Type’s spiritual successor, the near certain collectable F-Type.
|These complex headlamps look dazzling. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
|The gloss black detailing and black alloys are optional. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
For this reason the F-Type is now considered a serious alternative to the less expensive Chevrolet Corvette and pricier Porsche 911, amongst others vying for the ever-thinning number of enthusiasts buying into this premium market segment.
|The cloth top is very well made and extremely quiet, providing comfortable four-season motoring. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
After growing from 36,787 units in 2010 to 75,126 in 2014, it dropped to 72,772 in 2015 and 67,119 last year (not including Bentley and Maserati that just started reporting sales numbers in 2016), whereas Canada’s sports car market increased from 2,941 units in 2010 to 5,752 last year (again not including Bentley and Maserati which would push last year’s Canadian total up to 5,890 units).
Before getting called out by angry politicians for attempting to discredit the U.S. bubble economy, it’s fairer to discredit both North American jurisdictions. The falling U.S.
|This dynamic rear spoiler raises at highway speeds to add aerodynamic downforce. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Similar to rising housing prices that seem to have been directly related to foreign buyers parking questionably sourced funds (implementing a 15-percent foreign buyers’ tax appears to have verified this by mostly quelling Vancouver’s single detached housing market), a lot of high-end sports/luxury cars have likely been purchased by some of these money’s-no-object foreign buyers, or at least those temporarily living in Canada (there are plenty of young UBC students driving Aston Martins, Audi R8s, BMW i8s, Ferraris, Maseratis, McLarens, Mercedes GTs, Porsche
|The F-Type’s elegantly slim LED taillights almost disappear in the red metallic paintwork. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Likewise, Jaguar’s Canadian division has benefited directly from increased F-Type sales since its first full year of availability in 2014 when it sold 229 units to last year when a record 522 left dealer lots. In the U.S. sales topped off at 4,629 in 2015 and then dropped to 4,069 units last year. These numbers pale in comparison to the 945 Porsche 911s sold in Canada last year and the 8,900 purveyed during the same 12 months in the States (Canadian sales also rising and U.S.
|The F-Type’s interior is a step above most competitors. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
|This down to business cockpit is a driving enthusiast’s delight, but it pampers nicely too. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
The car we bring you today is the latter with the base engine and just a few upgrades. While it doesn’t sprint to 100km/h in a mere 3.7 seconds and top out at 322 km/h (200 mph) like the new SVR (the SVR Convertible hits its limit at 314 km/h/195 mph), the base F-Type Convertible boasts an energetic 3.0-litre supercharged V6 capable of 5.7 seconds from standstill to 100km/h and a top speed of 260 km/h (161 mph) with the six-speed manual or 5.3
|The large colour multi-information display at centre is very useful. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Of course, I couldn’t help but exercise my right of temporary possession by putting it through its paces. The last time in an F-Type wasn’t long ago, a 2017 R Coupe powered by a rapturous sounding supercharged 5.0-litre V8 pushing 502 lb-ft of tire-smoking torque down to all four 20-inch Storm forged black alloys on ZR-rated Pirelli P Zero rubber, the stunning two-door hardtop launching from standstill to 100km/h in a knee-weakening 4.1 seconds before attaining a 300km/h (186 mph) top speed (which I never even came near attempting).
|Jaguar’s 8.0-inch infotainment display provides navigation, a backup camera, and much more. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
On the road the F-Type is like no other sports car. I’m not saying it’s better than a 911 or the Aston Martin Vantage so many enthusiasts compare it to, but it’s as good as either with its own unique personality. The base F-Type has Jaguar’s classic front-engine, rear-drive layout, just the way I happen to like it best. The engine
|All of the F-Type’s switchgear is first-rate. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Its power to weight ratio is spot on, and ability to slice through the most circuitous sets of consecutive switchbacks at rapid rates of speed downright shocking in its seeming ease. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a thoroughly engaging sports car, delivering the high levels of feedback craved by enthusiast drivers, but it gets the job done so effortlessly it would be anticlimactic if it weren’t for little controlled slides at the rear wheels and that sonorous exhaust note I keep going on about.
|These sport seats are ideally comfortable and superbly supportive. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
The wonderfully comfortable and fully supportive sport seats boasted a mix a black leather and red thread, for a particularly attractive look. They featured a multitude
|The F-Type Convertible’s roll hoops are joined by a reinforced windshield cross-member and strengthened A-pillars. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Of course, being a convertible there’s unlimited headroom as long as it’s warm enough outside, but even in the winter months there was a good five inches above my head, and it’s a very nicely finished soft top as well, with an insulated fabric liner. It goes up and down quickly at the touch of a lower console-mounted switch, allowing you to take advantage of sudden sunshine or vice versa on the fly.
|The deep trunk should provide ample room for a weekend getaway for two. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
And let’s remember, my tester, despite a gloss black styling package, those fabulous
|The base F-Type’s clamshell hood exposes a very powerful yet efficient supercharged 3.0-litre V6. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Suffice to say the F-Type is the purest of sports cars gentrified for a luxury lifestyle, a car with the power to move one’s soul yet embodied with the calming spirit of graceful style, craftsmanship and quality that can easily sooth an aching mind after a demanding day’s challenges. Therapy from behind the wheel? As any Jaguar owner can attest, life with one of the British marque’s cars rates at a higher level, and spending part of each day with the F-Type raises one’s game yet again. It’s the attainable modern-day equivalent to the E-Type, effectively delivered in one fabulously performing, luxuriantly equipped, intelligently safe, sensibly reliable package. You truly must imbibe.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)