It is ridiculously fast, and has a sound like nothing I have ever heard. I am talking about the 2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S convertible, the first two-seater Jaguar has produced in 50 years.
Let’s start under the hood with a 495-horse 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that will take you from 0-to-60 in 3.9 seconds according to Jaguar. Personally, I think it is faster than that. It’s a true rush to stomp on this car. This Jag has an 8-speed automatic transmission that shifts firmly and quickly under heavy acceleration. The Jag has a terrific performance braking system, which you will need if you top this car out at 186-miles per hour, its max speed-which is controlled by the way.
The 2014 Corvette I had recently got a lot of stares, but this car comes really close to getting as many looks. I don’t know if it is the long hood and short rear end, the 20” forged wheels, or perhaps if people are turning around because of the sound. Did I mention it sounds great? Whatever the case, my British Racing Green tester attracts a lot of attention.
This sportster has an electric fabric top, which will go up or down in a mere 12 seconds. You can put the top down at speeds up to 30-miles per hour, which is sort of amazing. With the top down, it folds neatly and leaves you with a decent amount of room for a convertible. Once you get the top down, you can crank up the 12-speaker Meridian sound system. The problem with that is you can’t hear the exhaust as well. If I haven’t mentioned it, this car sounds great.
Inside, it is what you expect from a Jaguar…rich, leather, performance seats snuggle you when you sit down in the cockpit. Ivory stitching is well done throughout the interior, and the flat-bottomed steering wheel is terrific and has finger controls. The center console is well laid out and has large knobs to operate the dual-zone climate system.
Hit the pushbutton start to unleash the sound of the amazing exhaust system this car has. The touchscreen is a bit antiquated for a car in this price range, but I can live with it. One cool but useless feature is the air conditioning vents that pop up out of the dash when you turn the car on. At no charge, you get Bluetooth connectivity, and navigation system.
The Jaguar F-Type has some pretty cool features like deployable outside door handles. They pop out when you hit the keyless remote, and when the door is shut they are flush with the body. I love the functional hood vents and side ports, and the Xenon headlights with LED outlines gives this Jag a distinctive look. The rear spoiler is automatic. At over 60-miles per hour it raises itself for better aerodynamics, at under 40-miles per hour, it puts itself to bed.
Make no mistake, this is a serious driver’s car. It is Porsche-like in many ways in the handling. The accelerator of this car is touchy and takes some getting used to, but cornering is superb and unlike some other reviewers, I like the steering. The electronic differential and adaptive suspension give this Jag a great feel when you are behind the wheel. The amazing sound of this car just adds to the overall driving experience.
You can get the F-Type in three engines, two V6 supercharged versions, and then the big V8 like the one I have. Base price on the smaller engine version is $69,000, on this V8 the base is $92,895 with shipping, but it goes up pretty quickly from there. Heated seats and steering wheel adds $600. The Premium Pack gives you a garage door opener, wind deflector, and locking glovebox for $200. Vision Pack will give you adaptive lighting, front parking sensors, rear camera, and blind spot monitoring for $2100.
If you want the British Racing Green color, it’ll cost you $1500. HD radio runs $450, illuminated sill plates are also $450, the Extended Leather Pack runs $1925 and gives you a more luxurious interior with more color choices, the 770-watt sound system will cost $1200. One must-have is the Performance Pack which is $2950 but gives you performance seats, configurable dynamic mode, red brake calipers, the flat-bottomed steering wheel, and Black Pack which gives you glossy black interior features. Finally, the 20” forged wheels are $2500.
The best part of the Performance Pack is the Selectable Active Exhaust. The push of a button unleashes an incredible sound inside the cabin. It is amazing and one of the best exhaust sounds I have ever heard. All that sound is channeled through quad exhaust pipes that run out the rear of the car.
Not that you care about fuel economy in a beast like this, but it does have start/stop technology. When you stop the car, the engine stops but everything else runs. The first thing you’ll want to do is turn that off. Starting and stopping an almost 500-horse, big-honking V8 is just annoying. Plus, it kills the sound of the amazing exhaust!
This is a halo car for Jaguar, and they need it-sales the past few years have been pretty rough. This car will not solve that problem for them, but it sure will make people sit up and take a look at the F-Type. If you are going to drive a car like this, you have to say the name right. Properly pronounced, Jaguar is a three-syllable word: Jag-you-are. If you call it a Jag-ware, they come take your incredible exhaust system away, and permanently turn on the Start/Stop system.
What I liked most: Seriously? THE SELECTIVE ACTIVE EXHAUST.
What I would change: Just the touchscreen as noted above.
MSRP: Base price $92,000, as equipped $106,770.
Fuel Economy: EPA rated at 16 City/23 Highway.
Weight: 3671 pounds
Warranty: 4 year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with roadside assistance and complimentary first maintenance.
Manufacturer’s website: http://www.jaguarusa.com/all-models/f-type/f-type-models/f-type-v8-s.html