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Jaguar F-Type review

Jaguar F-Type review
Sportscar hits the road in 2013

You can tell British premium car maker Jaguar is deadly serious about moving from being a niche manufacturer to challenging German hegemony in the luxury sector.

Jaguar not only hired the grounds of the famous Musee Rodin in central Paris to launch its new F-Type roadster at the Paris Car Show. It also flew in American singer-songwriter Lana del Rey to entertain the media with a couple of numbers.

Jaguar not only lavished money on the launch, it wasn’t holding back on the hyperbole either.

Jaguar F-Type review“Jaguar is a founder member of the sports car segment with a rich sporting bloodline stretching over 75 years, and in the F-Type we’ve reignited that flame. The F-Type isn’t designed to be like anyone else’s sports car. It’s a Jaguar sports-car, ultra-precise, powerful, sensual, and, most of all, it feels alive,” said Jaguar’s Adrian Hallmark.

It undoubtedly looks very nice, if perhaps a bit too much like an Italian Maserati from the front. The F-Type roadster will go on sale across the world next year. A hard top version is likely to follow. You won’t be able to relax when you sit inside either.

“We wanted the experience of sitting in the F-Type to be exciting,” said designer Ian Callum, lauding the cockpit-like interior.

Jaguar, which used to be owned by Ford and is now controlled by the Indian Tata Group as part of Jaguar Land Rover, said the new F-Type is a direct descendent of the iconic E-Type from the 1960s.

Jaguar F-Type reviewThe new F-Type is mainly built from aluminium. Buyers can choose from two V6 3.0 litre supercharged gasoline engines of either 340 or 380 hp, or the top of the range 5.0 litre supercharged V8 producing just under 500 hp. These will be called the F-Type, F-Type S and F-Type V8 S. The V6 models have twin-exhaust pipes in the centre at the back, while  the V8 has two sets of twin pipes. Jaguar has designed a special noise for the exhaust, so you’ll know when one goes by. The fastest model will reach 60 mph from rest in 4.2 seconds and could reach 186 mph. All models have a sop to fuel-economy with “stop-start” systems, although a rumoured supercharged two litre engine version would be more fuel-frugal. There is an eight speed automatic gearbox. Power is delivered through the rear wheels. An active rear-spoiler can be activated to improve handling.

Prices are likely to start at around £60,000, with the top of the range V8 close to £90,000.

Jaguar failed to make much of a dent in its previous battles with Germans like BMW, Mercedes and Audi. Its attempt to match the BMW 3 Series with its little X-type four-seater crashed and burned.

Jaguar F-Type review

But with new ownership from India the new F-Type is likely to make potential buyers of small Porsche sports car and cheaper Aston Martins think twice. Jaguar said the F-Type is the first step in its five to 10 year plan to mount a serious new assault on the German leaders, which might even see a Jaguar SUV.

I’ll be driving the new F-Type in the New Year, and I’ll report more fully on the car then.

Jaguar F-Type review

Neil Winton

 Jaguar F-type V8S
Engine:5.0 litre V8 petrol
Power:
495 hp @ 6,500
Torque:
625 Nm/460 lbfoot @2,500-5,500
Gearbox:
eight speed automatic “Quickshift”
Drive:
rear wheels
Acceleration:0-60 mph 4.2 seconds 0-100 km/h 4.3 seconds
Top Speed:186 mph-300 km/h
Fuel Consumption:
claimed combined – 25.5 mpg-11.1 l/100km - WintonsWorld test – 20.7 mpg-13.7 l/km
CO2:259 g/km
Emissions class:
Euro V
Length:4,470 mm
Width:
1,923
Height:1,307
Weight:
1,665 kg
Wheel-base:2,622
Suspension:
double wishbone/double wishbone
Boot capacity:
200.5 litres
Competition:Porsche 911, Aston Martin Vantage, BMW M6, Audi R8, Mercedes SL
Rating:*****
Price:£91,395
For:beautiful, raucous, driver’s car
Against: need to remove your embarrass genes

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