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magnusfeuer
October 23rd, 2014, 10:40 AM
DISCLAIMER: I write this as a club member, not as a JLR representative. All opinions expressed herein are mine, etc, etc.

Life is hard.

JLR dumped an F-Type R on my driveway in preparation for an upcoming show in San Diego. In order to sort out the parking between it, the Caterham, the Volvo, and the Evoque, I was forced to take the Jag for a spin. Or two.

This car is a pre-production, tools tryout vehicle that is fitted with some non-standard ancillaries such as a round steering wheel, etc. Overall, though I'd say it is about 95+% the same as a 2014 car you'd pick up at a dealer. The car has led a hard life, being first slapped together by a bunch of frustrated Brits while ironing out manufacturing issues, then being handed over to the US press to be thoroughly raped, just to end up in our Portland lab where we tore out the center stack and put in our own prototype hardware.

Anyway, the car is fucking sexy. The lines are very, very distinct from any angle, and it is no question that this car is making a statement as soon as you lay eyes on it. Being a strict 2 seat affair it is quite small and compact, to the point that I wished there was more room for backward seat movement. I could, however, find a low, snug driving position that felt very nice.

The engine is one angry, lovely, lovely, supercharged six at 375hp. Firing it up, it cockily announces itself with a blip to 3500 RPM, popping on its way back to idle. As you take off, an exhaust baffle opens up at 3000 RPM making the whole acceleration a very loud experience. The engine produces a delightful burping sound as it goes through upshifts, and (again) pops and burbles on engine braking.

The 8 speed automatic gearbox actually does its work surprisingly well, and for the first time ever I actually prefer manual mode (with pull for upshift!) to the regular "D" or "S" mode. The engine is just such a joy that you do not want some retarded transmission control unit to mess it up.

Unlike my Evoque, where turbo lag in combination with gear hunting can ruin any quick takeoff, the supercharged low-end torque of the F-Type always matches up with the gearbox, making all speed changes a smooth, powerful experience.

Since this car has manufacturer plates, and the insurance situation is... complex, I haven't whipped the it at all. It does, however feel surprisingly tight and stiff for an open vehicle with a distinct, even hard suspension. Although I would pick the coupe any day, I wouldn't actually mind trying this one out on track.

Overall the F-type is a lovely, rambunctious car that has managed to combine the Jag's elegance with the raw, happy, and somewhat naughty behavior of old-school sports cars. It is, in short, everything that its German competitors are not - Fun, entertaining, and a little bit unpredictable.

Taking a step back, this is exactly what JLR is aiming at - being the bad-boy alternative to the competent, but somewhat stiff, boring, and predictable Audis, Porsches, BMWs, and Mercs. (No offense Chris.). And it works. All JLR's post-Ford cars stand out from the crowd, and JLR is driving the British hipness message hard in marketing. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO5sEMNwuEk for a typical example. It's a bit over the top, but I think it is intentional.

The only worrying sign is the new XE, which seems to have been dialed back in order not to be too radical for the business fleet manager in comparison with the 3 series, C klasse, and A4.

Oh well, you can't have it all.

I will try to get my hands on a coupe for a comparison run.

/Magnus F.

1575

Sean
October 23rd, 2014, 01:25 PM
There is an article in this month's Road & Track magazine (November issue) in which the author stated:
"This is the most beautiful car on sale today"

I have only skimmed the article at this point, but it looks to be a very positive review, with the only knock being directed at the limited outward visibility. Good for Jaguar for putting out another car of this type once again. Too bad it took them forty years.

escondidoron
October 23rd, 2014, 08:51 PM
Concur that the F-Type is a beautiful piece of kit. We especially appreciated the interior design. I too found that there could be just a bit more seat travel to suit my 6'4" frame. In the end my wife and I just bought a new Evora. The other finalist was the F Type coupe with the six. Beautiful car.

moosetestbestanden
October 24th, 2014, 06:11 AM
Concur that the F-Type is a beautiful piece of kit. We especially appreciated the interior design. I too found that there could be just a bit more seat travel to suit my 6'4" frame. In the end my wife and I just bought a new Evora. The other finalist was the F Type coupe with the six. Beautiful car.

Thumbs up on the Evora Ron. Post your impressions sometime please.

mopho
October 24th, 2014, 09:32 AM
SHILL!



:icon_highly_amused:

magnusfeuer
October 24th, 2014, 09:49 AM
Always.

Now shut up and go buy some JLR products. I need my Christmas bonus.

/Magnus F.

moosetestbestanden
October 24th, 2014, 04:10 PM
He really has gone Anglo. Not even a word from the former Sveeeede about that Vollvo motor on the other thread.

I say, old boy, what's on? Tea and crumpets?

escondidoron
October 24th, 2014, 07:39 PM
Thumbs up on the Evora Ron. Post your impressions sometime please.

Maybe after I have an opportunity to take it out for a real drive. So far it's just been back and forth to the office a couple of times.

Back to the original topic:
My wife thought the F-Type sufficiently gorgeous to actually request putting it on the short list and then further requesting that we make a visit to the dealer to check one out. Given her superior skills as an artist, combined with her lack of interest in most things automotive, that's a serious compliment to the Jag's designers.

prabjohns
October 27th, 2014, 02:52 PM
and JLR is driving the British hipness message hard in marketing
I wish I had British hipness……I think I was off sick the day they were giving it out.

Love the look of the F type. I enjoyed this review of it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6KFA7p7_aQ

F-type or Evora, nice dilemma to have had Ron!

magnusfeuer
October 27th, 2014, 08:55 PM
Clarkson obviously captured the essence of the F-type better than I ever could.

The suspension stiffness never bothered me, mostly because my ass has had all its nerve endings shaken to pulp by a Caterham.

/Magnus F.

Sean
December 10th, 2014, 08:16 PM
Saw one of these for the first time yesterday. Damn, it is a great looking car. I couldn't hear it at all, because there was a bit of traffic. Also because I had earplugs in due to being in the 7. The Jag looked good from any angle. F-me! :icon_smile: