When Autosavant first laid eyes on the 2014 Jaguar F-Type Roadster, It was at the 2012 LA Auto Show, where its stylish exterior and asphalt-ripping performance numbers helped Jaguar’s newest feline claw its way to the number one spot on our “Five Most Anticipated Cars of 2013” list. However at the time, Jaguar’s newest roadster was closed to the public with no seat time available for curious members of the media. That all changed at the 2013 North American Auto Show, where I had the opportunity to slip behind the wheel and take a detailed look at Jaguar’s newest two-seat sports car. Does it still have what it takes to remain number one on our list of most anticipated cars of 2013 or has it fallen a few rankings?
When it comes to exterior styling, the Jaguar F-Type still looks as bold and fresh as it did when it debuted last year with numerous stylish elements that do their part to give it an elegant yet bold appearance. The front grille of the F-Type takes most of its inspiration from the company’s C-X16 concept while throwing in a few elements from the XF and XJ sedans. The end result is a face that is immediately recognizable as a Jaguar while looking much more menacing and performance oriented at the same time. The side profile of the F-Type continues this theme with two “heartlines” which flow beautifully into the doors and the rear quarter panels. Despite these positive touches, the styling does stumble a bit when it reaches the rear of the car where the too-squinty tail lights and the rather bland tail don’t match up with the front end’s bold styling. This makes the car look unbalanced from some angles. And while we’re complaining, the electronically-operated exterior door handles were a cool visual treat but are a gimmick at best when it comes to overall function.
The interior of the 2014 Jaguar F-Type follows the familiar theme set into place by the company’s other models. A thick flat bottomed leather steering wheel greets the driver’s hands and is perfectly sized for performance oriented driving. Interior materials were very good with plenty of warm leather and soft plastics throughout. Gauges were easy to read with many buttons (there are alot of them) and switches within easy reach of the driver. The seats of the F-Type were very supportive and should do a good job of holding occupants in place when the car is tossed into corners. Finding a good driving position was easy, and getting my tall frame in and out of the F-Type was not difficult. Overall, a solid effort and it should do a fine job pleasing the tastes of F-Type buyers.
Performance for the F-Type comes from either a 3.0 liter supercharged V6 or a potent 5.0 liter supercharged V8 which are both good for 340 and 495 horsepower respectively, with mid range S models pushing the V6’s output up slightly to 380 horses. All of this muscle is channeled to the rear wheels through a new 8-speed “Quickshift” automatic transmission which allows the F-Type to hit 60 mph in 5.1 seconds for the base F-type (slightly lower for S variants), and 4.2 seconds for the V8. These numbers will help the F-Type stand out from others in its segment.
When it comes down to it, does the Jaguar F-Type still have the credentials needed to stay number one on our list of most anticipated cars for 2013? While my time in the F-Type was brief, the answer to that question is a resounding YES!!! What’s more, if anyone from Jaguar is reading this, we look forward to driving the F-Type down our favorite back roads sometime in the near future (hint, hint).