Fast and Furiously Attractive

The 2014 Jaguar F-Type is a near-perfect sports car

BYJim Prueter
Jaguar’s approach to the new F-Type roadster can be summed up in three words: bold, confident, and, above all, desirable, says Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design.
 
But the styling is more than bold — it’s bonkers. Jaguar says it mimics the shape of a Coke bottle, with powerful rear haunches adorned with taillights that give a nod to the classic Jaguar E-Type, introduced in 1961. 
 
The sculpted hood and powerful fenders are among the surfaces that appear to be shrink-wrapped over the vehicle’s mechanicals. Differing exhaust and tailpipe designs distinguish the V-6 and V-8 variants: dual center-mounted pipes on the V-6, twin outlets on each side of the V-8.
 
The smooth, flowing interior is massively attractive, from the driver-centric cockpit’s LED-illuminated instrumentation to the leather sport seats. Control switches are finished in matte black soft-feel rubber with white markings, satin chrome, and dark aluminum. The engine start button, paddle shifters, and dynamic-mode toggle are highlighted in an orange finish.
 
In the “way too cool” category are retractable vents that mimic the air intakes of a fighter jet. Hidden from view when off, they rise when the ignition turns on.
 
Need for Speed
The 2014 Jaguar F-Type is a spectacular car with superb performance: up to 495 supercharged horsepower with an eight-speed “Quickshift” automatic transmission, a center console-mounted SportShift gear selector, and steering wheel-mounted paddles for full manual control.
 
And, of course, it’s fast. The V-8 F-Type S boasts a top speed of 186 mph, which comes on in an intense, G-force blast as the car screams toward triple digits. As nearly perfect a sports car as the F-Type is, the single best feature has to be the magnificent notes from the exhaust pipes that come on in intense bellows as the vehicle launches.
 
Now there are cheaper cars that are as quick or quicker in a straight line. The ride is firm, but, thanks to the adaptive suspension, nothing like the disk-herniating ride of a Porsche 911. You can’t find a more holistically sorted, livable and drivable sports car. It’s bold, confident, and desirable.
JIM PRUETER, an automotive writer based in Phoenix, has provided reviews and advice about cars for more than 20 years.

2014 Jaguar F-Type

Base Price: 
$69,000
Price as Tested: 
$104,620
Fuel Economy: 
16 MPG City
23 MPG Highway
Likes: 
  • Endless amounts of power
  • Gorgeous inside and out
  • More fun than a Porsche 911
Dislikes: 
  • Tight cabin for tall drivers
  • Tiny trunk
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