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Jaguar F-Type V6 S and V8 S 2013 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Jaguar again is on the prowl, lithe as always, more fierce than ever.

Jaguar again is on the prowl, lithe as always, more fierce than ever. This time it's with the crackling F-Type, the British company's first two-seat sports convertible in 40 years and a modern expression of the revered E-Type of 1961 to 1974. It joins a small pantheon of pure-bred sports cars like the Porsche Boxster and 911, as well as the US Chevrolet Corvette and Dodge Viper.

Pricing

Even the price, given the F-Type's level of sophistication, could be argued as reasonable. The base-spec F-Type, which was not available for testing, has a starting price of $138,645 with a supercharged 250kW V6 engine.

There are just two other models, designated as the F-Type S. One has a 280kW supercharged V6; the other is powered by a 364kW supercharged V8. The V6 S has a base price of $171,045, and the V8 S model tops the range at $201,945.

Driving

Both the V6 S and V8 S models were driven for this review, on public roads and a race circuit. The preference here is for the V6 S, which has way more power than any human ought to covet, and was marginally better balanced in feel and on the specification sheet. The V6 has 50:50 weight distribution, while the V8 has 52:48, making it a trifle nose heavy.

However, if drag races are your thing, you'd have to opt for the V8, which rips off 0-100km/h sprints in just 4.3 seconds, according to the factory specifications. The V6 isn't far behind, at 4.9 seconds.

Part of the secret is the F-Type's light weight, thanks to its nearly all-aluminium construction. The V6 S for example, checks in at 1614kg. That's with a fair load of options and the standard eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control.

No doubt more than a few purists will lament the lack of a manual gearbox, but the fact is that few customers would order one after they experience the eight-speed's capabilities. It shifts intuitively in automatic mode, moving crisply up and down through the gears, and blipping the throttle on downshifts to match the gear to engine revolutions. After driving in the automatic mode, likely nobody but professional drivers will even mess with the manual mode paddle shifters on the steering wheel, lest they become embarrassed by their lack of skill.

Along with the performance, Jaguar injected a bit of whimsy into the new F-Type. The S models come with what formerly was called an exhaust bypass but here is called an active exhaust. Enabled by the touch of a button, it activates bypass valves under hard acceleration that allows a crackling free flow of exhaust around the muffler.

The F-Type is a thriller on the racetrack. There's even a special dynamic launch mode that calibrates the traction control to dampen wheel spin for maximum acceleration, and huge brakes deliver stopping power. On the street, however, the F-Type is as docile as a Honda Accord. Even the ride is surprisingly supple as the suspension system and comfortable seats, with lumbar and bolster adjustments, soak up road imperfections.

Jaguar resisted any urge to fit the F-Type with a hard top. It has a traditional fabric top that can be raised and lowered in 12 seconds at speeds up to 50km/h. Like the now-defunct Toyota MR2, the folded top becomes its own boot cover. Top up, there's some interior road and engine racket. But, hey, this is a sports car.

Verdict

There are few cars anywhere with the F-Type's combination of head-turning styling, everyday ride comfort with point and shoot handling, as well as high-speed racetrack performance that sends lasers of excitement down the driver's spine.

Pricing Guides

$95,995
Based on 5 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$91,990
Highest Price
$95,995

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
V6 3.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $56,760 – 65,230 2013 Jaguar F-Type 2013 V6 Pricing and Specs
V6 S 3.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $91,990 – 95,995 2013 Jaguar F-Type 2013 V6 S Pricing and Specs
V8 S 5.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $82,610 – 94,930 2013 Jaguar F-Type 2013 V8 S Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$79,990

Lowest price, based on 5 car listings in the last 6 months

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