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The Cat’s Meow
Nate Chapnick | Photo: Courtesy Image | September 25, 2013
Jaguar shifts into high gear with the 2014 f-type.
With a classic exterior from legendary designer Ian Callum and hypercivilized touches, such as door handles that reach out to meet one’s grip, the 2014 Jaguar F-Type has all of the markings of true British gentility. But make no mistake: Jaguar’s first bona fide sports car in decades is also one of its most virile cats to roam our Southern streets.
As this is Jaguar’s first all-new model since 2009, it’s not surprising that every detail of the rear-wheel drive drop-top was thought out with painstaking precision and executed with Savile Row-caliber craftsmanship. This is most readily observable in its elegant form. While the iconic E-Type, made between 1961-1974, remains the design hallmark for Jaguar sports cars (and in the eyes of many, for cars in general), the F-Type’s exterior is striking in its own right. Purity of form incorporating timeless proportions makes it a surefire collectible: Callum’s meticulous work wrapping the car’s muscular sheet metal millimeter by millimeter around its body is, in some respects, flawless. Long, lithe and streamlined, with an extended hood and small rear deck, the F-Type will never be mistaken for anything but a Jaguar—and one that truly lives up to the name.
Inside, the two-seater’s cockpit has been engineered for maximum effect. Activate the climate control and a pair of center air vents rise, seemingly from nowhere, out of the dashboard. A push of the engine start/stop button brings the instrument panel to life with flight-check style dramatic flair. And the aesthetic design of the steering wheel gearshift paddles and engine start/stop button was inspired by professional diving watches, standing out from the rest of the dash in heightened fashion due to its Ignis Metallic Orange coloring.
The driving experience depends on which of the three supercharged engine options Atlanta buyers select: Jaguar offers a 340 horsepower V6, a 380 horsepower V6 S and a 495 horsepower V8 S. Equipped with the V8, the F-Type pins one’s neck to the headrest as it rockets from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. All of the engines share the same fuel-efficient eight-speed automatic transmission, which blips the throttle when downshifting to keep the car balanced through turns or under heavy braking. And the F-Type’s lightweight, all-aluminum structure lends it agility in effortlessly rounding corners and traveling at high speeds.
There is at least one practical element to the F-Type: In Jaguar tradition, there’s plenty of room in back for suitcases, making the car ideal for weekend getaways. Drivers will look good en route to their final destination—and arrive quickly, too. High speed, indeed.
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S
Base price: $92,000
Engine: 5.0-liter supercharged V8
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Horsepower: 495 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque: 460 lb.-ft. @ 2,500 rpm
Max Cargo Capacity: 7 cu. ft.
City fuel economy: 16 mpg
Highway fuel economy: 23 mpg
Fuel tank: 19.0 gal.
Weight: 3,671 lbs.
0 to 60 mph: 4.2 seconds
Top Speed: 186 mph
- Ability to raise or lower the top at speeds up to 30 mph
- Retractable door handles
- Adjustable exhaust note