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Jaguar India recently organised a series of events called ‘The Art of Performance Tour’ through different cities in India. The customers were given a taste of the entire range of vehicles from Jaguar stable. Right from the XE all the way to the flagship XJ and the maniac F-Type V8, the experiences was good enough to show what is so special about these British automobiles. The XJ may be a luxury limousine, but like every other Jaguar is one fun to drive machine. That said, the F-Type though was the best experience of the day without any doubt. What a machine it is!
Starting with the looks, the F-type is more like a work of art, a masterpiece of engineering and design. Originally the F-type was born to be a worthy successor to the beautiful legendary E-type. Enzo Ferrari himself said “It is the most beautiful car ever made” during the launch of the E-type in March 1961. The F-type then had a lot to fulfill when it was on the drawing boards. The final result however, turned out to be another one of the best looking cars in the world, the F-type.
It looks drop dead gorgeous, stunning from any angle you look at it. It has the right bulges all over. The muscular shoulder line, those bulges on the bonnet and the works! The 3.0 V6 gets two massive exhaust pipes in the centre where as the V8 gets a typical quad exhaust that adds to the drama. Its not just the exterior but also the interiors where this car is beautiful. The ergonomics are well appointed and simply yet elegant. Unlike most of the convertible and coupes, this one is rather comfortable and easy to live with. Now, if you’ve experienced supercars, you might know they are not exactly easy to get in or out, to find a comfortable driving posture and that struggle to find proper visibility out of the road. In the F-type you encounter none of those supercar issues. And that’s the best part of the experience. The F-type is pure fun! you just have to get in and drive. It’s so accessible and usable, you can comfortably drive it everyday.
Driving the F-type :
The door handles sit flush with the beautiful curvy body and the drama begins right here. Unlock the car and the handles pop out revealing the beautifully crafted Jaguar branding hidden inside the handles. Getting in and out of these doors and those seats is rather normal unlike other low slung supercars where you have to sometimes struggle to not be embarrassed. Start the car, and engine wakes up with a serious growl as if it warns you that this is a full sized 5.0 L V8, you better buckle up. The AC vents rise above to reveal themselves out of the dashboard. You get Paddle shifters behind the steering wheel or you can just leave it in auto with the gear lever. The F-type is simple, get in, start the car and just floor it! job done!.
Lowering the motorized soft top roof takes a short 12 seconds and can be done while the car is moving as fast as 30 mph. Although taking down the roof may not make sense in most of the parts of our roads, the option to go topless is definitely fun especially with that awesome loud exhaust on certain locations. At the arranged track, obviously one wouldn’t miss lowering the roof for the aural pleasure and the wind in the hair experience.
So, following the drill, I just mashed the accelerator to the floor and the F-type just launched like a missile with all the noise and wind. You can feel the Traction Control System struggling to find grip at the rear and avoid wheel spin. Even with the Traction Control kept on, the car fish tails and you need to steer to keep it pointing straight. What a dramatic launch it is. With no time you end up finishing the road ahead. In a short time, you suddenly notice that you have no track left in front of you. The exhaust makes the right noises, it crackles when you shift or lift off the throttle. This 5.0 L V8 is one of the best sounding motor ever. The gearbox, 8 speed ZF gearbox which does duty in a lot of other cars is a tried and tested piece of engineering. It handles the engine output perfectly to translate the engine power in to motion. The experience is just uncanny.
We did not have bends and turns on the track prepared for the event but i’m sure it will be a dream to drive it on curvy sections of ghat. The brakes do the job well to tame the 495 horses in the convertible and 550 of them in the coupe. The seats in such cars are also generally hard and uncomfortable for long drives, the F-type though is perfect. Your back stays comfortable and happy.
What a car it is. It has all the drama and jaw dropping looks, supercar performance and sounds, all this with a luxurious comfortable accommodation even for those inter-city trips. The E-type was legendary for its performance, looks and engineering. The successor F-type has all the right ingredients to repeat and re-wright the history. There are very few cars that deserve the ‘legendary’ tag and be remembered for ages. The F-type is one such work of art. It is pure pleasure, pure automotive experience!