Driving the Jaguar F-Type

2014 Jaguar F-Type V8  S convertibleYesterday, I had the pleasure of driving the 2014 Jaguar F-Type, something that’s been years in the making.

Just over two years, to be precise. The F-Type will always be special to me not just because it’s a gorgeous, powerful sports car, but because it’s more or less the first car I’ve followed as an automotive journalist from start to finish.

I’d only been freelancing for Digital Trends for a few months in the spring of 2012, but the New York Auto Show was just a Metro-North ride away, and DT was happy for the coverage.

The star attraction of the Jaguar-Land Rover press conference was supposed to be a convertible version of the Range Rover Evoque crossover, but it turned out to be a red herring.

What really grabbed headlines was Jaguar’s announcement that it would build a new sports car, followed by a short video with a sound byte from its glorious V8, and a photo of a camouflaged prototype.

Naturally, the car wouldn’t be unveiled for some time but, after months of speculation, spy shots, auto show events, and media drives, the F-Type is in showrooms.

I finally caught up with this sensational sports car at an International Motor Press Association event in Bear Mountain, New York. My driving time was limited, and rain meant the top had to stay up, but it was definitely worth the wait.

The cabin of the F-Type is snug but well-appointed, like a luxurious jet fighter. The growl from the engine in this V8 S model makes a stereo superfluous.

As the name states, that engines has eight cylinders. It displaces 5.0 liters and, with help from a supercharger, produces 495 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Jaguar says it will do 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds.

Some might decry the lack of a manual transmission, but the eight-speed automatic seemed up to the task of sending power to the rear wheels as I guided the F-Type around curvy Hudson Valley roads.

There are many sports cars with reportedly-good road manners, but this Jag is genuinely enjoyable in an everyday context.

The interior is comfortable, and the overrun-crackle emitted by the exhaust in “Dynamic” mode is fantastic, even when you’re stuck behind slow-moving traffic.

Whenever a carmaker’s announcement involves words like “sport” and “supercharged,” you expect the resulting automobile to be good. With the Jaguar F-Type, it’s nice to be able to confirm that it is.

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  1. #1 by Levi Thetford on May 16, 2014 - 3:57 pm

    Awesome!

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