This is the original F Type. That coupe is a sexy Johnny-come-lately. Read about our drive here.
Most of the week was spent thinking of innovative excuses to take the Jaguar out. Most of them were flimsy with a tissue-thin relationship to the truth. In the end I realised I didn’t need an excuse, only the want of pleasure. Many hours were spent tripping n and around Sydney, the Royal National Park, and the scenic Kangaroo Valley.
The unseasonably warm weather was perfect to take the tops off. I settled into the sexy open tourer for a day’s country motoring. It’s what this car was made for. It is identical to the coupe sister, but a drop-top/coupe comparison is the automotive equivalent of Channing Tatum with or without a shirt, right? Of course you want to see the Full Tatum Monty, who wouldn’t. So, the top was down where it belonged.
The delicious interior is familiar to anyone having experienced an F Type Coupe. The detailing is superb, and as long as you don’t want to carry anything, can’t be faulted. The leather is supple, the metal surfacing superb, and the switches have that quality touch that gives a sense of luxury and longevity.
I picked up a buddy and headed off into the NSW sunshine. It’s so much cooler than motoring along the Med into San Tropez, don’t you think? Caps at jaunty angles, and long linen shirts turned up at the cuffs, add a certain verisimilitude to the dream and minimize 3rd degree burns. European friends often ask why more Australians don’t drive convertibles. We know it’s because Australia has the highest incidence of sun related cancer in the world, but it doesn’t make for good copy.
We set out for the Royal National Park enroot to Macquarie Pass, and as with the coupe, fell totally in love with the her. The voluptuous body, and throw-me-against-the-wall-and-have-me handling, make the F Type irresistible. It’s reminiscent of the E Type Jag without being a pale pastiche of it.
The barking note of the exhaust can become a little tiring after a few hours. Switching out of sports mode turns the snarling Jaguar into a purring pussycat. For my money, the sports mode doesn’t seem to do a whole lot apart from making the car loud, very loud. It snarls and snaps, and pops insistently when you back off the throttle suddenly. It has the urgency of a recently fired nuclear missle.
The road snaking through the park is a real test. It’s why the speed limit has been 60kph for many years. None the less, many contenders try and fail to make the most of the tight bends. Like many a brilliant drive, the park can be ruined by someone driving as if they’re the only person on the road. They drive along at 25kph under the limit to cries of “get a photo George”. Instead of fighting the urge to slap someone, you can tilt your face up and feel the cool breeze. It’s the kind of magic you just can’t buy.
Once past the obstacles, we streaked along at an Olympic pace. This is where I noticed something quite strange, the park proved no challenge. It was pleasant of course, but the F Type handles so well that most corners felt as though they’ve been taken at a mere crawl. The engineering is precise so the car goes exactly where you point it with little body roll.
Still, the view was stunning and as the light danced across the windscreen, you feel transported. you feel like you could be anywhere in the world. Cue the 50’s lounge music with scenes of the seaside road to Monte Carlo.
We paused high above the Pacific on a bluff where hang gliders soar overhead like playful swallows. We sat facing the sea drinking coffee, with the wind coming head on, and the Jaguar as a backdrop.
We just sat there.
We kicked the haughty engine into life, and with snorts and pops, left the bluff in a spray of dust.
The firm ride can be quite hypnotic but most of the time you just want to push her harder through each bend.
If driving an open top jaguar through the beautiful rolling hills is ticking items off your bucket list, then climbing switchbacks of a steep mountain range must be near to Nirvana. This is where the F Type feels psychically nimble. It’s like running in a sports shoes made of Aerogel. You switch direction with the flick of a wrist, and manual gears change with the ease of a blink. It feels as though it has no mass, just speed.
I was slightly surprised there weren’t more comments from passers-by. Our recent Mustang experience elicited far more admirers. Perhaps Jaguar lovers are more discrete.
After you tire of the raspy engine note demanding your attention, and have switched back to normal mode, the F Type becomes a gentlemen’s luxury personal transport. It retains all the personality of the snarling wild animal it had been in those tight corners, but is tamed enough to be a pleasant daily driver. It’s only when you’ve pulled the garage door down and tapped the outer edge of the door handle, that you realise you’re completely drained.
The emotion takes all the energy you can muster and perhaps that’s a good thing. Few vehicles can engage as this one does.
Jaguar says you can have a spare tyre if you want one, but the space saver takes most of the boot, and the flat won’t fit back in the same space. They’ll arrange for a man to come and take the old one away, but that’s only if the inflation kit fails. Remember, the comparable Porker has no spare either, and good luck getting an overnight bag in that back.
Because the Jaguar is driven by the rear wheels, the boot floor is quite high.
Most of the time the niggles are merely theoretical. You cannot fit two overnight bags in the back. And, unless the spare tyre is left in the garage, you won’t be taking a picnic basket and gingham cloth either. Jaguar say there is a luggage set of 5 pieces that fits, and I’d pay money to see it.
This is the perfect car for the man who has everything. It’s better looking than just about anything else on the market, with the exception of the glamorous Aston Martin Vantage.
The test car cost $153,935 and included the following options:
Meridian sound system upgrade $6,900
19” black wheel – $5,100
Seat Memory Pack 2 (Programmable 14-Way driver and passenger seats, adjustable steering column w/ memory) – $2040
Parking Pack (Front Park Aid, Rear View Camera)– $1725
As with all posh cars, the options list is long and costs many dollars. I’d like to see a few more of these options as standard, such as the blind spot monitoring, rear camera, auto emergency braking and other safety related features. Many of these can be had standard on cars ¼ of the price.
The question isn’t “would I buy one”, the question is “why wouldn’t I buy one”.
Would I buy one? Yes.
Price: AS TESTED: $153,935 plus on-roads
MAX POWER (kW)
MAX TORQUE (NM)
MAX SPEED (KPH)
FUEL ECON (L/100KM)
2,995cc Supercharged V6 Petrol
250 @ 6500rpm
450 @ 3500-5000rpm
6-speed Manual Transmission Rear Wheel Drive (RWD)
Switchable Active Sports Exhaust
Jaguar Performance Braking System
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
Meridian Sound System
Centre Console- Light Hex Aluminium
Sports Seats with Leather & Suedecloth seat facings
F-TYPE Manual Coupe $119 470
F-TYPE Manual Convertible $138 170
F-TYPE Automatic Coupe $124 470
F-TYPE Automatic Convertible $143 170
F-TYPE S Manual Coupe $151 770
F-TYPE S Automatic Coupe $156 770
F-TYPE S Automatic Convertible $175 470
F-TYPE S AWD Automatic Coupe $172 470
F-TYPE R Automatic Coupe $226 970
F-TYPE R Automatic Convertible $245 670
F-TYPE R AWD Automatic Coupe $242 670
F-TYPE R AWD Automatic Convertible $261 370
Engine: 250kw/450Nm 280kw/460Nm
0-100: 5.3sec 4.9sec
Econ: 8.9L/100k 9.1L/100k