Jag’s stunningF-Type is my car of year
IT’S the time of year when we look back at events of the past 12 months and for me that includes deciding on what my best car of 2013 was.
There have been many shining newcomers launched and every manufacturer appears to be raising the bar as they battle it out for sales.
Cars are performing better, fuel economy and CO2 figures are improving and designers are really earning their money.
I have sampled, small, medium and large models, estates, 4x4s and convertibles – all sorts of vehicles during the past year.
Some have been more fun than others, some have had luxury oozing from them – and the good news for new car buyers is that few haven’t lived up to expectation.
The car market is so competitive that manufacturers cannot afford to short-sell motorists.
I could have gone for the most economical, the best diesel or perhaps the top luxury model but for me the car that stood out from all the others was Jaguar’s F-Type.
Okay, I might be biased as it was fellow Scot Ian Callum and his team who designed this terrific looking car.
It can be described as sexy, muscular or whatever and you cannot fail to be impressed by its beauty – from whatever angle you look at Jag’s two-seater, convertible sports car.
It might not have the magic of Santa’s reindeer sled as it flies across the sky boosted by its nine rp (reindeer power) – Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.
But I discovered that Jag’s V6 and V8 engines – 385 and 488bhp – produced explosive power in the F-Type.
Settle into the leather-trimmed sports seat in this cockpit-style interior and get ready for lift-off.
There are three models to choose from – F-Type, F-Type S and F-Type V8 S, powered by Jaguar’s new 3-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine, in 335 and 385bhp, and its 5-litre V8 supercharged 488bhp unit.
First up for me was the F-Type S and I loved every minute of my time with it.
Push the start button and the response is immediate with a great roar coming from the engine.
I selected auto in the eight-speed Quickshift transmission and gear changes were just as the name would suggest – quick.
T his model raced off the blocks with its zero to 60mph time of just 4.8 seconds and there were great sounds from the twin exhausts to go with the acceleration.
It also featured a switchable Active Sport Exhaust system that brought even greater sounds as the revs were pushed towards the red line.
The F-Type did everything you would expect from a top sports car – and a bit more.
The handling and agility were superb as it sped along some winding roads and performance was nothing less than thrilling, especially with the soft-top lowered.
The steering wheel mounted paddles also allow easy manual gear changes if you want.
With a limited top speed of 171mph you are never going to run out of power in this £67,520 model.
But if you feel the need for even more power then there is the V8 S which will virtually rocket off the starting line to 60mph in 4.1 seconds and boasts a limited top speed of 186mph.
I only sampled this model briefly but that was enough to feel the extra power under the bonnet.
Driving the car with the top down was exhilarating and sampling it as a passenger was similar to a white-knuckle roller-coaster ride.
The boom coming from the quad exhaust pipes – yes two at each side – was amazing and nearby pedestrians must have though t there was thunder on the way.
Jaguar’s long-awaited sports car is stunning and super fun – I would happily settle for the V6 S if you are reading this Santa.
Mostly, I have been a good boy over the year, and wouldn’t be greedy by asking for the £79,985-priced V8 S.