2014 Jaguar F-Type has impressive power, but fewer features
than its competitors.
It seems you
can add "cost of entry" to the list of terms like
"boot" and "chips" that donít mean the same
thing in England and America.
How else to
explain the lack of an elementary feature like voice-recognition on
the $102,225 Jaguar F-type V8 S convertible? For Peteís sake, I
drove a $15,085 Chevy Spark with voice recognition for phone calls,
navigation and more earlier this year.
The idea of a
six-figure luxury car that doesnít offer voice recognition in 2013
is as bizarre as trying to sell the car without air conditioning. VR
systems have become commonplace features that reduce driver
distraction and make vehicles safer.
F-type V8 S has loads of power and a sporty character, but its price
and features put it at a disadvantage versus the Audi R8 V8, BMW Z4
sDrive35is, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51, Mercedes SL 550 and
Porsche Carrera S.
at $69,000 for a 2014 F-type with a 3.0-liter supercharged
340-horsepower V6 engine. The F-type S ratchets that engineís
output up to 380-hp and goes for $81,000. A rip-snorting 495-hp 5.0L
supercharged V8 in the F-type S V8 starts at $92,000. All F-types
come with a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. A
hardtop F-type coupe goes on sale next spring. Jaguar will unveil
that model next week at the Los Angeles and Tokyo auto shows.
I tested an
F-type S V8 convertible that stickered at $102,225. All prices
exclude destination charges.
produces 460 pound-feet of torque, which beats the R8, Z4 and 911
Carrera S and trails the Stingray Z51 and SL550. An active exhaust
system lets the driver select a snarling, dramatic exhaust note or a
quieter, unobtrusive sound. The V8 hits 60 m.p.h. in 4.2 seconds and
has a top speed of 186 m.p.h.
The F-type is
nearly the size of the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
Itís the sportiest car Jag has made in years, but that racy appeal
comes at the cost of some of the plush character and graceful looks
that have been Jaguarís hallmarks.
The car I
tested had a black interior with leather trim and a severe look thatís
quite different from Jaguarís usualplush appeal and warm wood.
are easy to read, and deep sport seats hold occupants snug. A touch
screen controls audio, navigation and telephone. A bin in the center
console and another in the passenger compartmentís rear bulkhead
The big, low
grille is recognizable as a Jaguar, but the carís narrow rear end
seems divorced from the brandís visual heritage.
The power soft
top opens and closes in just 12 seconds and works at up to 30 m.p.h.
alert, front parking sensors, rear parking camera, fHD and satellite
radio, heated seats and a heated steering wheel are all options,
surprising given the V8ís $92,000 base price.
handling and steering are razor sharp. It hugs curves and remains
stable in enthusiastic maneuvers. The suspension is tuned more for
handling than a plush ride. Multimode stability control can be set
to let the carís rear end slide slightly in heavy acceleration.
The V8 S gets 15-inch front and 12.8-inch rear disc brakes for
prodigious stopping power.
The F-type S
V8 has the power and performance to run with top convertible sports
cars, but Jaguarís plan to match power and performance with
features and luxury got lost in translation.
F-TYPE V8 S
tested: $102,225 (excluding destination charge)
stars (out of four stars)
buy: Looks, power, handling
No voice recognition system, controls, price
EPA fuel economy ratings:
V8 S: 16 m.p.g. city/23 highway/18 combined. Premium gasoline.
Audi R8 V8
convertible: 14 city/23 highway/17 combined. Premium gasoline.
sDrive35is: 17 city/24 highway/20 combined. Premium gasoline.
Corvette Stingray Z51convertible: 16 city/28 highway/20 combined.
convertible: 15 city/22 highway/17 combined. Premium gasoline.
SL550: 17 city/25 highway/20 combined. Premium gasoline.
Porsche 911 S:
19 city/27 highway/22 combined. Premium gasoline.
base prices (excluding destination charges)
V8 S: $92,000
Audi R8 V8
Corvette Stingray Z51convertible: $57,350
Porsche 911 S:
5.0-liter supercharged DOHC direct-injected 32-valve V8.
Power: 495 hp
@ 6,500 rpm; 460 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
assembled: Castle Bromwich, England
on vehicle tested:
brakes; stability control; seat-mounted side air bags; emergency
brake assist; seat belt pretensioners; power convertible top;
380-watt Meridian sound system; keyless entry; push-button start;
dual zone climate control; 14-way power adjustable seats; touch
screen; navigation system; Bluetooth phone and music compatible,
memory for driverís settings.
monitor; rear parking camera; front parking sensors; adaptive front
lighting; heated seats and steering wheel; universal garage door
opener; wind deflector; lockable interior storage; HD radio and
Sirius satellite radio; illuminated door sill tread plates; Meridian
premium audio system; performance seats; configurable dynamic mode;
red brake calipers; flat-bottomed steering wheel; selectable active
exhaust; red seat belts, interior black trim pack.
F-TYPE V8 Picture received from Jaguar Nov. 12, 2013