If you thought that the huge amount of Rupees that Ratan Tata has poured into the coffers of the Factory of Coventry would not have brought significant results in the brand history, well, I’d say you’ll change your mind; I personally think that, never as in this period, Jaguar has produced (or it is producing) desirable, innovative and high quality cars.
Besides, for the F-Type the convertible version has been the first one to be produced to show how alive and proactive the company is; the company wants to emphasize the passion and desire for driving “en plein air” (even if it represent just a niche of the global market) and to win new customers (e.g.: “younger people”).
First of all, the similarities with the E-type are not many, but maybe it is better that way… I do not like to make any comparisons and this spider is a “new” sport car that tries, however, to maintain the essential values of the brand: materials and high quality finishes.
High quality seats with leather facings, aluminum console finisher and retractable air vents; I was shown a state-of-the-art Infotainment system featuring many marketing tricks: G-Force meter, lap time that many will not even use but they are choreographic.
It is interesting, however, how the driver can control (through the “Configurable Dynamics System” on the 8-inch Touch-screen) different driving parameters: throttle, steering, shifting, ect.
Jaguar sporting car seat configuration (1+1 ) perfectly wraps around the driver and driving is the most appreciate experience: instinctive, intuitive, alive; for once, the brochure does not exaggerate: it only takes a moment to feel a perfect interaction between the driver and the car as the cockpit architecture seems to be tailor made for the driver and the only luxury for the passenger is to grab the door handle.
The rear view is particularly successful: slim headlight unit, the important diffuser and the rear spoiler (which automatically deploys over 100 km/h and disappears under 60 km/h).
Jaguar says that all three models of the F-type range will equally sell; I think though, that the 380 HP V6 Supercharged will be the more successful one; 40 more nags (compare to the standard engine) might seem not much but, trust me, they transform the Jag into a much faster car, therefore we will invest on the F-Type S.
With this engine, the chassis is perfectly balanced, but the 3.0 engine has the greatest qualities of precision and responsiveness; the driver can take full advantage of the car performances as, also on “Dynamic” mode (my favorite one), the active suspension system allow the car to be more docile, as true Jaguar.
While driving, despite being a “little” smaller than a XKR , it seems to be “much” smaller and less demanding than a XKR , especially on wet asphalt (for which you need a specific setting). We had this feeling after leaving Cherasco (our photo shooting location) to climb the Barolo hills. When accelerating on a curve you can play on the accelerator, and soon you will feel in the back of the car a light progressive oversteer (easy to control), pushing its limits.
The Jag skids, it is fun, but you are not worried; the electronic active differential allows full control of the car and, at the same time, to accelerate. Thanks also to the ESP which, already in normal mode, gives the driver a good control of the car, meanwhile in intermediate mode put a patch on it just before the making any damages. Also recommended is the “Jaguar High Performance” (optional) for breaking, which you will have to get used to if driving one, in case of speed cameras.
I also think that the ZF eight closely-spaced gear ratios shift does not make you regret the “standard” one, and it is perfectly integrated, with its intelligent and adaptive gearbox’s control system, to provide a truly dynamic experience. Intelligent and adaptive software automatically modifies the gearshift strategy, ensuring the right gear is selected for every situation. For the sake of competitors’ double clutches. I tried: driving in 6 gear (8 gears in the Quickshift) I quickly changed in 3 gear: it was easy and smooth, with an involving sound!
Same thing if you are driving “standard” and you decide to stop in 2 gear: the car stays in 2 gear and you can change gear with the shift stick (like a joystick) or through the levers on the wheel (gold, as all the other car performance elements).
The convertible roof is built with composite materials specifically engineered to reduce wind and road noise; even the roof is fast – raised or lowered in just 12 seconds (at speeds of up to 50 km/h)
The active sports exhaust button is a standard feature, designed with Ducati, which makes the sound (compare to the V8) more unnatural, PlayStation sound. As an option the system also allows the driver to use a button on the centre console, to manually activate the bypass valves. Of course you will lways have the button on in order to avoid any fine for disturbing the peace
With the arriving of the Coupé, I am really undecided which of the two bodies to suggest: the wind blowing in my hair while driving in a Convertible or the van capacity (407 liters) of the Coupé?
For a “straight” two seats car to lower down the seats is almost impossible, so we better closely evaluate the language van capacity: 196 liters minimum, because the car has in trunk the battery and the windshield fluid container (for a better weight distribution)… But, maybe, wondering which of the two would drive Diabolik…
It is such a shame, then, to leave this object to, in strict order of importance, the American (especially from the West Coast), English and German public; we can only hope that sooner or later, sport cars in Italy will not be consider a “demon” to fight but oxygen, whose sale would help the pockets of our country.
A special thanks to bi-Auto Group Jaguar Dealer in Turin which has supported us during the test drive and photo shooting.
In “Drive” mode, the displays does not show which gear is on; it shows only in “manual” mode after using (once, to change gear or to change the ratio) the paddle or the shift gear; Spot sun flap, with courtesy mirror, as an optional for 70 euro; One accessory, for once standard and not optional: the super road tax!
The V6 – 380 HP. The best compromise body-engine; the stop-start system: so fast to be used also in the city; the central exhaust system, so E-Type.