Saturday, July 20, 2013

The new 2014 Jaguar it your type?

I had an opportunity to attend a launch party and unveiling of the all-new 2014 Jaguar F-TYPE.  You might ask why this is so special, well; this 2014 F-TYPE is the first new roadster from Jaguar in 40 years.   The historical E-Type debuted in 1961 and ended in 1974, so the gap will finally be bridged, and I can assure you that there are some major advances in style, technology, and performance.  I will get back to the features of the car shortly, but let me set the stage for this very special event first. 

Upon entering the dealership the lobby was flanked by two of the all new F-TYPE convertibles and also a 1970 E-Type 2+2 Coupe.  All guests were treated to food/drinks/music, and a wonderful atmosphere where you were encouraged to check out all the features of this new vehicle.  The showroom was filled with approximately 60-70 guests including several members from the North Alabama British Motoring Society.  Many of these car enthusiasts had driven their own classic/vintage British motorcars to the event.  One very special club member’s car was featured inside, a 1970 E-Type 2+2 coupe with a 4.2liter straight 6-cylinder.

Okay……now for the scoop on the new car that Jaguar is not referring to as a tribute, but flows with the classic E-Type’s DNA.  The 2014 Jaguar F-Type is available in three models; Base, S, and the V8 S. This two seat fabric top roadster sets itself apart as totally different looking from anything in Jaguars’ current family, and is described on the brochure as “Pure Driving Pleasure”.  Each model is equipped with a Roots-type twin vortex supercharger under the one piece stamped aluminum hood.  The Base has a 3.0 liter V6 engine with 340 HP, the S model has a 3.0 liter V6 with 380 HP, and the mighty V8 S has a 5.0 liter V8 with an incredible 495HP.   The supercharger is mounted in the “V” of the engine to keep the profile of the hood more compact which maintains the sleek look to the hood line. 

As I reflect for a moment, one of the more exciting thrills of the evening was when the sales manager unexpectedly fired the engine on the V8 S and blipped the throttle a few times……..I can assure you that the guests were awake and eager to hear more from the beast growling under the hood!  That leads me to tell you about the Active Sport Exhaust system Jaguar has made standard on the S and the V8 S models. It features active bypass valves which open during more spirited driving, allowing exhaust to exhale a bit more freely.  The result is quite frankly unlike anything I’ve heard before……..the best way I know to describe it was a deep American V8 rumble mixed with a healthy dose of Ferrari.  By the way, this system does has a manual switch so that you can take control of when and where you want to make a little music of your own.  When you decide to take part in a little of the spirited driving that I mentioned you can do so at a pace that will impress even the tougher car magazine editors.  The new F-Type’s V8 S will take you on a major head rush as it reaches the 60mph standard in a mere 4.2 seconds, and is reported to have a 186 mph top speed.  (I hope I’m invited back for one of those “spirited” test drives I keep referring to)  In case you are curious how that stacks up against some stiff competition, in a recent Automobile Magazine test drive the Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet was only able to reach 60 mph in 4.5 sec. and the “as tested” cost was $18,855 more than the Jaguar.

I almost forgot to mention that it delivers a whopping 460 lb. ft. of torque through the 8-speed automatic dual-clutch gearbox.  If you are feeling the need for speed and decide to flip the switch on the dynamic mode to the left of the joystick looking shift lever, the F-Type will reward the driver with a host of race inspired goodies--quicker throttle response, quicker steering, and the adjustable shocks become more firm to plant this roaster into the turns with a more race inspired feel.  The action heats up even more if you decide to take measures literally into your own hands by switching to sport mode on the shifter knob--you can change gears when you want to and then if that wasn’t enough go for it by flipping the paddle shifters from behind the wheel and never take your hands from the wheel.  If this type of driving excites you then choose the Performance Pack option and enjoy the 8inch touch screen in the dash as it displays the G-Force meter, lap times, and other “go fast” info you race junkies are looking for from a rear wheel drive sports car.

My favorite part of the car was the sexy hips that the roadster was sporting in the rear--the side profile of the car rolled over and into a point near the back of this car reminded me of the classic look of its older brother in the showroom…..the E-Type but with a more refined and glamorous look.  It’s hard to imagine using the two terms racy and glamorous in the description of this car, but trust me that’s how I felt about it.  I overheard one guest say that the car “looks fast even when parked”.   And even though I’ve heard that term used before, it certainly rings true with this ride.
There are so many more features of this all new car that I don’t have time to cover, I could go on for hours.  But the best thing you can do is go see it and decide if this sleek new roadster is just what you’ve been missing in your garage!  The new 2014 Jaguar F-Type is most defiantly my “Type”.  The hardest part of your visit to the showroom will be……what color do you want?