Want to know how the new Jaguar F-Type performs? I got the chance to test drive one at Melbourne’s Motorclassica 2016 event. Don’t mind if I do!
Testing Out The Jaguar F-Type Experience
It’s not everyday you get the chance to drive a 404kW Supercharged example of Britain’s finest metal, however in a striking example of good fortune the Jaguar Experience team were offering just that when I attended 2016 Motorclassica.
Though only a short drive, and confined to the busy Melbourne CBD at that, it was obvious from the get go that this Jaguar offers a driving experience not soon to be forgotten. As testing the speed and even handling was all but out of the question if I wanted to keep my licence intact, I focused on the sound and character of that glorious quad cam supercharged powerhouse that really defines this vehicle, and that is no bad thing.
Did I mention it sounds good? With the active exhaust set to LOUD this coupe is borderline deafening, emitting an antisocial crackling on over run and a bellowing note under wide open throttle it is purely addictive. If you’re after a more technical appraisal on the system, take a peek at what our friends over at the Society for Automotive Engineers have to say here.
Relentless acceleration no matter the speed is most impressive. From a standstill that supercharged 5.0 litre bent eight does all it can to overcome the traction afforded by the 20 inch (295mm at rear!) rubber and leave you in a smokey cloud with a big smile. Whilst it is to be expected from a car in this class, I still found myself laughing like a small child at each prod of the accelerator, wishing only that I had some more road to explore the cars true capability.
Shifts from the ZF 8 speed are silky smooth and razor sharp. If you’re feeling relaxed the standard drive and sport modes perform admirably, however my drive was mostly conducted using the paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel, which proved more than adequate to explore some of what the tremendous engine has to offer. In a car such as this I generally prefer a manual transmission, not because it is better at anything in particular but for the sense of connection with vehicle and resultant driving enjoyment (in fact nowadays the automatics are superior at almost everything besides weight). I can report that this situation is no different, and I would love to try the F Type R with a good 6 speed manual and three pedals, however with that all said the 8 speed is still an excellent transmission. Jaguar have clearly hedged all their bets on this (based on customer demand, so it’s hard to blame them) as none of the V8 F Types are available with a manual transmission, for that you will need to stick to the supercharged V6.
Overall a clearly beautiful car, cosseting and smooth to drive with a raucous sound track and tremendous power delivery. If it didn’t cost $242,280 + on road costs I think we would all have one.