By Arv Voss, Motor Matters
The all-new 2014 Jaguar F-Type marks the return of a classic, two-seat convertible sports car. The F-Type represents the rebirth of a seriously sexy sports roadster with performance to spare.
Not since the legendary XK 120, XK 140, XK 150 and XKE-Type has Jaguar produced a truer sports roadster for the avid driving enthusiast. We'll admit Jaguar produces a luxurious and highly desirable lineup of vehicles, but nothing more alluring and capable than the new F-Type, which comes in three distinctive rear-wheel drive models.
All 2014 F-Types are powered by supercharged engines. The base F-Type draws its energy from a 3.0-liter V-6 that produces 340 horsepower along with 332 lb.-ft of torque. The F-Type S, also powered by a 3.0-liter V-6, pumps out 40 additional horses for a total of 380, while boosting the torque level to 339 lb.-ft. Top of the model line is the F-Type V8 S, which delivers a more than substantial 495 horsepower while generating an impressive 460 lb.-ft. of torque from its 5.0-liter V-8.
All F-Types handle gear changes through an eight-speed Quickshift automatic transmission with a centrally mounted SportShift selector that provides full manual sequential control with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The 2014 Jaguar F-Type is seductive from every angle, displaying a sophisticated glamour and beauty. It exhibits a near perfect proportion and stance, with a long hood, a rearward-positioned cabin, and a short rear deck and overhang.
The 1+1 cockpit is unashamedly driver-focused in controls and switchgear positioning. The dashboard is low, and provides optimum visibility. A deployable center vent atop the dash disappears from view along with control icons with the ignition off.
I drove both the F-Type S and F-Type V8 S in freeway driving, twisting back road scenarios, on-track, as well as an autocross course near Seattle. Both cars wore an exterior finish of Fire Sand metallic, with a black interior and Black convertible top. The base sticker for the F-Type S was $81,000. The F-Type V8 S was base priced at $92,000.
The 2014 Jaguar F-Type S and F-Type V8 S were both equipped with "Configurable Dynamic Mode," allowing the driver to select sharper steering feel and throttle response. Configurable Dynamics also adds a track function to record lap and split times and will provide information on throttle and brake inputs as well as G-forces generated.
Acceleration is awesome and braking is positively confidence-inspiring thanks to the oversized rotors. The ride quality and stability renders the roadster solid and totally planted without any harshness. The steering input is positively spot-on, with instantaneous response. In fact, every response from the steering to transmission shift points, throttle response, braking and suspension has been finely tuned to deliver the most connected, accurate and involved driving experience possible. The F-Type V8 S delivers a more raucous and raw exhaust tone.
The driver's environment is emphasized through an asymmetrical cabin layout with all the controls placed naturally to hand and logically grouped, allowing for maximum attention on the driving experience.
Virtually everything about the Jaguar F-Type delivers a warm, fuzzy feeling for the quintessential sports roadster. It's well out of my financial reach -- but if it were, I would order it today in Italian Racing Red and live happily ever after.
2014 JAGUAR F-TYPE S
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 2-passenger RWD roadster
BASE PRICE___________________ $81,000 (as tested: $98,420)
MOTOR TYPE__________________24-valve supercharged V-6 w/DI
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 380 at 6500 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_________________ 339 at 3500-5000 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 8-speed automatic
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 176.0 in.
TURNING CIRCLE (curb-to-curb)___35.0 ft.
CURB WEIGHT__________________ 3,558 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 15.8 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway