A proper sports car from Jaguar has been a long time coming and the new Jaguar F-type has to pare up to past greats such as the E-type (which can in some ways, be called its spiritual while keeping its head up in the face of stiff competition from its German and Italian rivals. I recently got a chance to test the Coventry’s latest cat in its sportier V8 S guise.
Looks: The F-type certainly lives up to its predecessor the E-type’s ethereal beauty and the photos translate just a fraction. The muscular hangs in the C-pillar, the cat-eye headlights, carbon-black grille, the sleek roofline and the dual-exhausts helps the Jag look domineering, sporty and classy all at once – a feat that it’s rivals (the 911 and R8) fail to achieve.
Interior: The cabin seems to hide the F-type’s sporting ambitions quite well with luxurious, well-padded leather seats, piano-black seat controls, a gear-stick plopped right out of the Range Rover Sports and brushed aluminium inserts everywhere, with the flat-bottomed steering wheel being the only sole indicator. The super-intuitive touchscreen placed in the center adds to the luxury element too.
Drive: It’s only when you press the ignition button is when you realize you’re actually sitting in a capable sports car – the exhaust noise is feral, particularly when you press the sports exhaust mode. Take it for a cruise and the car is well-mannered and smooth as it’s saloon siblings. Push the throttle and thrash it around corners and the car takes on another, much more athletic personality – this could probably be the most agile production car to come out of Coventry’s doors, even better than the XK-R. But the car’s setup and engine make it pretty clear that it’s more comfortable being a GT than an all-out sports car (maybe because of the supercharged 5.0 V8 that’s been refined for smoothness?) and, that, leaves it with a bit of a confused identity. It is an agile car and does attack corners well, but is nowhere near as good on a track as a 911 or R8. The F-Type V8 S, even if it’s sportiest guise, isn’t sure whether it wants to be a smooth GT (or a much cheaper alternative to the Bentley Continental GT) or an all-out sports car that baits the 911 or R8 – and that’s where it’s biggest flaw lies.While this has to be the best thing to come out of Coventry, it’s not quite good as the best from Germany or Italy.
Verdict: If you like a proper looker to cruise on a beach-side road in and don’t care much about the telepathic driving capabilities of the 911 or R8, then this is the car for you.
Details: Pre-owned 2016 model available at Reem Automobiles, Dubai – for inquiries visit reemauto.ae or call +9714343633.