Jaguar’s current advertising campaign for the new coupe F-Type has the best of British film baddies, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong hanging out of helicopters and speeding through London in the dead of night accompanied by the tagline ‘It’s good to be bad’. This marketing approach has, I can only guess been thought up to attract those who see Jags as driven by Arthur Daley wheeler-dealer types or cloth cap, driving gloves, duffers.
I’m not usually one to side with the Ad Men but this methodology should be encouraged. The new Jags are very far from being boring and despite Indian ownership, they’re flying the flag of ‘Cool Britannia’ long after the memories of Britpop and Tony Blair’s Downing St garden parties have faded.
So what about the new F-Type?
Well, the car I tested was the soft-top version and after just a few minutes in the drivers seat it had seduced me enough to know I was going to enjoy our time together. The pulsating engine ‘start’ button is pure theatre and there is a familiarity to the controls, and dials given from intelligent design and an interior (aside from a passenger hand grip) that is very much centered around the driver experience.
It usually takes me a while to properly get the measure of a new car, but the F-Type feels like a favourite pair of jeans, albeit with immense firepower in your pocket. I drove the larger of the two V6 engines, the F-Type S (the car is available in 3 versions, a 3.0litre supercharged petrol engine (340PS and 380PS ’S’) and a superhero, 5.0litre V8 ’S’ version producing 495PS.
At £56,000 for the entry level model, is very far from entry level in terms of spec (see below) and nestled nicely price-wise between two Porches (namely the Boxster and 911). It seems to be working as right now it’s selling like the preverbal hot cakes.
This front-engined, rear-wheel drive convertible takes inspiration from the classic E-Type, yes, it’s slightly less flamboyant, but you can see the family genes shine through. The F-Type has been designed by Ian Callum, the man responsible for all the recent Jaguars (not to mention the Aston Martin DB7 and Vanquish too) and he’s done a fantastic job to create something new, exciting and different, but with a nod to Jaguar’s rich history. The lines are clean and unfussy, the twin centre exhausts give it a symmetry and it looks fabulous from every angle.
Off the blocks, my car will do 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds, which is quick, but with a growly engine engine noise that can be tuned to your liking via the touchscreen console via a new Dynamic Drive system, it feels quicker.
The joystick type gear shifter is hi-tech, but easy to use and according to the guy who dropped it off, similar to the one used in modern jet planes (however I couldn’t find the ejector seat button). Both S models have limited-slip-differential to maximise traction and out on the road, this means plenty of grip and plenty of fun. An all-aluminium double wishbone front and rear suspension systems provide a smooth driving experience and a top speed of 161mph ensures (if traffic conditions allow) a very quick way to get from A to B.
Well the boot is too small and there are only two seats, but fuel consumption is fairly good and despite not driving the car over-efficiently I still managed approx 25mpg, which sat next to the combined MPG official figures (done by a robot) of 31.4mpg compares favourably.
On a summers day with the roof down the F-Type embodies a Britishness that is wonderfully unique, and in the competitive world of high end sports cars that is something money just can’t buy.
Jaguar F-Type £69,500 V6 S
Engine 3.0 litre V6S Petrol Supercharged
Maximum Power EEC-PS (kW) 380 (280)
Maximum Torque – EEC – Nm 450
Transmission: 8-speed ‘Quickshift’ transmission
Acceleration 0-62 mph: 5.1
Top Speed: 161mph
MPG: Urban 22.4 / Extra urban 40.9 / Combined 31.4
Carbon dioxide emissions – g/km 209
On the Road price: £67,520 (Price as tested with options: £80,990)
• Bluetooth® telephone connectivity/ Sat Navigation
• 8” colour Touch-screen display
• Bi-function HID Xenon headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights & Direction Indicator
• Rear Parking Aid with Touch-screen visual indicator
• Rear Wheel Drive
• Intelligent Stop/Start
• Dynamic Stability Control (with Trac DSC mode)
• Winter Mode – with enhanced Rain/Ice/Snow capabilities
• Electric Parking Brake – drive away release
• Jaguar Smart Key SystemTM with Keyless Start
• Emergency Brake Assist
• Electronic Brake-force Distribution
• Twin Exhaust pipes – Centre Mounted
• 18” Vela wheels
• Exterior Door Mirrors with Electric Adjustment and Manual Fold – Heated,
Tinted Glass, Side Turn Indicators
• Jaguar Tyre Repair System
• LED tail lamps
• Chrome Grille Surround
• Deployable Rear Spoiler
• Single zone automatic climate control
• Trip computer / touchscreen console
• Intelligent venting system
• Jaguar 180W Sound System – 6 speakers DAB Radio
Optional Extras include
Configurable Dynamic Mode (£400)
Keyless Entry (& Start) (£450)
Performance Seats (£1,450)
Premium Leather Interior (£995)
Meridian Surround Sound System (£1,700)
Parking Pack (£500)
Flat Bottom Sport Steering Wheel (£400)
20-inch Turbine Wheels (£1,000)
For full spec details visit
This feature is also published in edition#13 of Flush Magazine, download our free iPad App here