Motoring review: Jaguar F-Type V6 S
‘A car for your heart, if not your head’
Engine capacity: 3.0-litre V6
Power output (PS @ rpm): 380 @ 6,500
Top speed (mph): 171
0-62 mph (seconds): 4.8
Fuel economy (mpg): 31
CO2 emisisons (g/jm): 213
The new F-Type is many things. Jaguar's hope for reinventing its brand? Yes. The latest attempt to catch up with the financial success of its sister company Land Rover? Most probably. This year's most talked-about car? Without doubt. The first proper two-seat sports car the company has made since the 1970s? Certainly. The spiritual successor to the iconic E-Type? Maybe.
What it isn't, though, is a Bond car, and here's where Jaguar is missing a trick. The Midlands-based firm signed up Homeland's Damien Lewis to launch it with a fancy Ridley Scott-directed film, but it should have splashed the extra cash on Daniel Craig. I'm basing this mainly on the fact that the test model I drove was not only modern and British but seemed to have been fitted with a set of optional machine guns and grenade launchers.
Fire up the 3.0-litre V6 engine and its bark is astounding. Your first reaction will be to wonder how on earth Jaguar got this car past the vehicle noise police in Brussels. Take it to the red line and a full barrage of gunfire erupts from the twin exhausts and it feels like you are being rocketed down the road by a full regimental combat team of the First Armoured Division on Salisbury Plain. Much of this is because Jaguar's Active Sports Exhaust opens under load from 3,000rpm to build the exhaust note to a crescendo. It blips and pops on the downshifts too.
It's pretty too. Enzo Ferrari called the E-Type the "most beautiful car ever made". The F-Type doesn't come close to that but it's aggressive front end and hunched rear quarters got looks and gawps everywhere I went.
Of course, there are problems; the boot is laughable. It's just terribly small and Bond would only have room for one bag - forget about planning a romantic week away for two. One night is all you'll manage.
The other problem is the price. The original E-Type cost around £2,000 back in the 1961, which very roughly is about £36,000 today. The F-Type ranges from £58 to £79k, which puts it in the same bracket as three of four very capable Porsches. Perhaps this is missing the point, though. Sports cars are not about sensible comparisons, they are about how they make you feel. And the F-Type makes you feel fantastic.
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