Jaguar F-Type

I haven’t found a review of the 3.0 F-Type so telling myself that Jaguar thought we were edgy and cool with a kind of anti-hero take on sports cars and not a small publication who isn’t to be trusted with the V8. They lent us the V6 one – not even the V6 S. I’m fine with that. I think I seem fine.

Much like the F-Type, I’ll do different levels of review. The first is what I call the entry level review: buy one of these. It’s properly fast and sounds like a race car. Don’t go for white as it looks shit.

The second review is more luxurious and fuller because reader, I trust you with this review and I want you to enjoy it: forming an independent opinion of a car which has had probably the biggest and most protracted launch in the world ever is not that easy. I jumped in trying to forget that it was an F-Type. This may sound odd but I wanted to test the car not the image. Apart from the colour, to my eye this car is handsome, not pretty and that’s important. It is sexy but not friendly looking. A bit like Angelia Jolie. Inside the cabin is VERY snug. It accommodate my legs after much seat and steering column fiddling and eventually a comfortable seating position is found.

Press the starter button (it’s keyless) and the engine does this kind of theatrical roar when it comes to life. My first reaction is to wince at the thought of the oil pressure not being up (old habits die hard) but soon after you appreciate that it sounds cool. After the umpteenth time though it gets irritating.

The brakes are ferociously grabby and the suspension is very stiff around town. I’m quite happy with this as generally this means that it will be good for what its intended and not posing.

With everything warmed up and the M32 slip road beckoning pull the switch to put it into ‘race’ mode (the label is a chequered flag) and shift the gear lever sideways into paddle shift manual mode.

A space appears and I clog it. Wow. It pulls like a racehorse round to 7,000rpm and just wants to go. This is no entry level sports car. This is a fast sports car. Jaguar, I see your point.

A steady cruise of 70mph is almost impossible, it just wants to go.

Off at the Bath junction of the M4 and heading towards Acton Turville the car comes into its own. The balance is sublime. The chassis is firm but with just enough pliability and slip to really reward your efforts. Why would you need to go faster than this? The engine is an orchestra and whilst the steering feels a little like a conductor who has had a drink of two before coming on stage, the whole thing works beautifully. You feel so at home so quickly.

Build quality will rival anything made in Germany and the dynamism will rival more expensive cars such as the V8 Vantage. As for image, Jaguars PR machine has done an incredible job with the F-Type. You get admiring glances and smiles from everyone which I feel that something from Stuttgart may miss out on. The F-Type feels like Britain’s prodigal son.

If you have £60k to spend on a sports car and you don’t buy and F-Type then you are in idiot. The only thing that will make you even more of an idiot is if you do buy one but in white.

I cannot wait to try the V6 Coupe.


Oliver Smith

Smith is our Automotive Editor. Having worked with some of the world’s finest British sports cars he is a keen historic racer and enjoys in his own words ‘the evolution of engineering’ in modern machinery.

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