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Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014
Autos

Cat’s meow: Jag’s new F-Type


Published:

Godzilla with a migraine, the raptor in Jurassic Park, Jack Nicholson screaming “You Can’t Handle the Truth” – none of them sound this scary and intense. Or loud.

Drop down a gear in this new 495-horse Jaguar F-Type V-8 S, floor the throttle and just listen in awe as the tailpipe crescendo builds from 2,000 rpm all the way to the red line.

This is Jaguar’s spiritual successor to the legendary E-Type and its first true sports car in 50 years.

Much more hardcore and driver-focused than its XK sibling, the F has its cross-hairs squarely set on the speedsters from Stuttgart: Porsche’s Boxster S and 911 Carrera Cabriolet.

It boasts all the right sporting credentials; light yet super-stiff aluminum architecture, potent 5.0-liter supercharged V-8, eight-speed Quickshift automatic, brakes that could stop time, and arguably the most precise steering this side of a go-kart.

Of course, life’s too short to own an ugly sports car and here the F-Type steals your breath. It’s not drop-dead gorgeous in the way the original E-Type was; it’s too wide and stubby for that.

But there’s a blunt instrument beauty in its gaping, chrome-edged grille, swept-back headlights, and muscular rump.

Inside, this new F is all business, with its extremely driver-centric cockpit. You don’t so much sit in the car as wear it like tailored suit.

And it’s a true roadster, so at the press of a button the canvas top can drop in a mere 12 seconds and at speeds up to 30 mph — perfect for when you’re caught as red light turns to green.

You don’t need to stretch to the pricey yet awesome V-8 S — $93,000 and change — to get thrills from your F-Type.

Arguably just as much fun to drive because of its lighter weight and greater agility is the base version with its 340-hp supercharged 3-liter V-6. Yours for $69,895.

On a twisty back road, it is breathtaking beyond belief: the way it spears from corner to corner, the way the eight-speed auto shifts with such speed and intuition, the way the car feels so poised and balanced through the turns.

Jaguar is definitely back in the sports car game — and this new F-Type is, without doubt, sports car purr-fection.

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