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2014 Jaguar F-Type: Smartly-Integrated Tech And Almost 500 Hp

Hear That Loud Exhaust?

F-Type S and V8 S models come standard with an active sport exhaust system that alters the noise characteristics of the exhaust with the press of a button. The active sport exhaust controls bypass valves to restrict or open up the exhaust. By default the active sport exhaust system functions more like a silencer and tones down the exhaust note to not draw attention. But pressing the active sport exhaust button opens it up and livens up the sound. It’s like a musical eargasm every time you floor it and especially so with the V8 S. We drove the F-Type S and V8 S with and without the active sport exhaust enabled and found the restricted exhaust to be too quiet while it sounds glorious when opened up. The V8 S creates such a harmonious sound, which we enjoyed thoroughly when driving through a couple tunnels with our foot on the gas pedal.

If you can't figure out whether the F-Type you're looking at has a V8 or V6 engine, just start at its sexy backside. The V8 S sports four exhaust pipes, while the V6 models have two center-mounted pipes. Although the V8 S is more acoustically pleasing, the V6 still sounds fantastic.

An Eight-Speed Automatic

An eight-speed ZF automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels. Yes, that's right. The first sports car from Jaguar in nearly 40 years is only available with an automatic. At first, we bemoaned the decision. But Jaguar's engineers showed us that the eight-speed is very capable. Its shifts are fast, and it'll even hold a gear for the right acceleration out of corners. The driving dynamics are so fantastic that we almost forgot we were driving an auto. Jag claims its secret is locking up the torque converter at speeds above 5 MPH, and the eighth gear is only used as an overdrive for fuel economy.

As a mental check, I asked my driving instructor at The Ridge Motorsports Park for his opinion on the transmission, since he had already spent a few days with the F-Type. He similarly didn't mind that car was an automatic with paddle shifters.

Automatic Door Handles? Um, Yes Please!

Aerodynamics were a big focus for Jaguar's engineers as they designed the F-Type. As with Nissan's GT-R, which we reviewed in 2013 Nissan GT-R Black Edition: The Gran Turismo Car, the F-Type features door handles that sit flush with the doors.

Nissan's handles deploy manually when you push on them. Jaguar takes a more luxurious approach. The door handles automatically pop out when you approach the car, providing you purchase the push-button start option. It's another cool novelty that reminds friends, family, and potential dates that this is a sports car, no corners were cut, and you're as alpha (or as superficial) as they come.

Deploying Spoiler

The F-Type comes with an active rear spoiler that deploys automatically above 60 MPH or manually at the press of a button. Jaguar claims the spoiler reduces lift by 260 pounds and improves stability at high speeds. We probably shouldn't say how fast we drove through the roads around Mt. Rainier, but we certainly didn't not have stability issues at those "high speeds."

A Fast Convertible Top

Jaguar engineered its powered convertible top to fold very quickly. It only takes 12 seconds to open or close, and you can operate it at speeds of up to 30 MPH. That means you don't need to pull over; there's enough time between green lights to let the top drop on the drop-top.

2014 F-Type: Beautiful, Fun, And Fast

In both V6 and V8 trim, the 2014 F-Type is a brilliant car. It's equally fun to cruise in and drive aggressively. Despite a curb weight of roughly 3500 pounds, the F-Type still feels nimble. We were naturally drawn to the V8 S trim for its brutal horsepower, but ended up enjoying the V6 more around the autocross course for its predictably under heavy load. The V8 S just gets a little squirrely when you're leaning into it around corners.

The F-Type's driver's seat is both comfortable and supportive, while the cockpit puts all of the important controls within a quick glance and reach. Jaguar's data infotainment system does come up a little short in terms of aesthetics. Moreover, features controlled by touch are more difficult to access, since the recessed display obscures the lower part of the screen somewhat. Fortunately, the most common functions have physical buttons that correspond to them.

Jaguar's active center vents are a slick novelty, as are the rear spoiler and door handles, all of which deploy automatically when they're needed. As far as looks go, the F-Type is a head-turner for sure (and for anyone who isn't looking, that exhaust should grab their attention). Personally, I'm a fan of that backside, with its E-Type tail light styling cues and flared fenders.

If you’re looking for a beautiful roadster to drive aggressively, but want something with more panache than a Porsche Boxster, Mercedes-Benz SLK, or BMW Z4, all the while staying under $100,000, Jaguar's F-Type is a marvelous choice. We couldn't imagine leaving the garage in this thing with anything other than a smile on our faces.

  • xPandaPanda
    Torque > Horsepower...
    Reply
  • FloKid
    Where are the benchmarks?
    Reply
  • thasan1
    shut up and take my bank account and my house and my kidneys!
    Reply
  • Grandmastersexsay
    11363091 said:
    Torque > Horsepower...

    No.

    Horsepower = (Torque x RPM)/5252

    The only reason you want more torque is because it gives you more horsepower. Having more low end torque simply gives you more low end horsepower, which equals more average horsepower, or more power under the curve. Horsepower dictates your rate of acceleration, not torque. You could gear a bicycle to produce 1000 ft lbs of torque, but the person peddling it still will only be able to produce about 1/4 hp.

    Saying torque > horsepower is like saying mass > force. It just doesn't make any sense. Force = mass x acceleration.
    Reply
  • vertexx
    11364117 said:
    Having more low end torque simply gives you more low end horsepower, which equals more average horsepower, or more power under the curve. Horsepower dictates your rate of acceleration, not torque.

    Thanks for the physics lesson - you had it almost right, though, until you said that Horsepower dictates your rate of acceleration - wrong.

    You actually answered your own question. F=M*A, so conversely, A = F/M. Torque is angular force. So, angular or rotational acceleration is proportional to Torque, not Power. The key, though, is that Torque at the wheels is what matters. Therefore, rotational horsepower of an engine can be applied through the appropriate rotational speed reduction (in the transmission) to result in the greatest amount of Torque at the wheel.

    But ultimately, Torque at the wheel results in acceleration.
    Reply
  • vertexx
    Great write-up guys! Definitely my kind of hardware review, and I'm sure it certainly is a nice break from the tireless redundancy of hardware performance testing.

    Is there a performance benchmark for car navigation systems? Haha! My bet though is you'll eventually need one. Or how about that Adaptive Dynamics System, can it be OC'd to get 600 steering input samples per second?

    Regarding the car, overall awesome design, but I'm a little mixed on the details. I think Jaguar has its work cut out to come up with a design that is their own. Right now, the front-end (picture 2) is a little too "Lightning McQueen" and the back-side view (picture 3) is a little too "Miata".

    Overall nice to see something fresh in this segment though.
    Reply
  • bambiboom
    Gentlemen?,
    The Jaguar F-type could not help having a degree of disappointment, given the years of teaser-hype expectation building and numerous car show and rendering false starts of the E-type successor, but my disappointment goes deeper, into the realm of market research pandering.

    The problem is that with the F-type, Jaguar has embodied Jaguar's marketing position as a rich man's mid-life crisis demographic/ style / branding marketing committee driven company rather than from the individualist car-enthusiast's mold.

    It's not the shameless copying of the BMW Z8 (of 1999!), the addition of a boring, turn of the Century interior ( and nowhere as interesting as the Z8's), and a small helping of Ferrari California, it's that overwhelming sense of market pandering and brand/ line position in which the F-type can't be more exciting than an XK8. This is a page from the Porsche corporate playbook that hobbled the looks and performance potential of the mid-engined Boxster- so as not to detract from the market-core rear-engine 911 series. The market dialed-in Jaguar of today, like Porsche, can't afford to make the cheaper car better in any way than the top end one.

    They'll sell a pile thanks to the marketing committee's fine work with target group surveys and the number of recently divorced, 55-year old CPA's in Los Angeles earning more than $110,000 per year, but the F-Type is nowhere near the league of inspiration of the E-Type.

    Cheers,

    BambiBoom

    Reply
  • tuanies
    11364527 said:
    Great write-up guys! Definitely my kind of hardware review, and I'm sure it certainly is a nice break from the tireless redundancy of hardware performance testing.

    Is there a performance benchmark for car navigation systems? Haha! My bet though is you'll eventually need one. Or how about that Adaptive Dynamics System, can it be OC'd to get 600 steering input samples per second?

    Regarding the car, overall awesome design, but I'm a little mixed on the details. I think Jaguar has its work cut out to come up with a design that is their own. Right now, the front-end (picture 2) is a little too "Lightning McQueen" and the back-side view (picture 3) is a little too "Miata".

    Overall nice to see something fresh in this segment though.

    We do have navigation system benchmarks but those are reserved for the week-long loaner vehicles. I wanted to give the picture story for a launch event a shot because we only get to spend a day with the car paired with another journalist. Its fun but we don't quite have the time to get detailed footage and benchmarks of every tech aspect as we usually do. Unfortunately, the events are the only place we get access to the product managers, designers and engineers to ask our tech focused questions.

    11364605 said:
    Gentlemen?,
    The Jaguar F-type could not help having a degree of disappointment, given the years of teaser-hype expectation building and numerous car show and rendering false starts of the E-type successor, but my disappointment goes deeper, into the realm of market research pandering.

    The problem is that with the F-type, Jaguar has embodied Jaguar's marketing position as a rich man's mid-life crisis demographic/ style / branding marketing committee driven company rather than from the individualist car-enthusiast's mold.

    It's not the shameless copying of the BMW Z8 (of 1999!), the addition of a boring, turn of the Century interior ( and nowhere as interesting as the Z8's), and a small helping of Ferrari California, it's that overwhelming sense of market pandering and brand/ line position in which the F-type can't be more exciting than an XK8. This is a page from the Porsche corporate playbook that hobbled the looks and performance potential of the mid-engined Boxster- so as not to detract from the market-core rear-engine 911 series. The market dialed-in Jaguar of today, like Porsche, can't afford to make the cheaper car better in any way than the top end one.

    They'll sell a pile thanks to the marketing committee's fine work with target group surveys and the number of recently divorced, 55-year old CPA's in Los Angeles earning more than $110,000 per year, but the F-Type is nowhere near the league of inspiration of the E-Type.

    Cheers,

    BambiBoom


    Interesting thoughts. But you are right, they will sell a ton of them. But that is exactly what Jaguar needs. Their sales are on the upswing and I find their entire lineup very attractive, the cars look angry but still classy. I know there was a lot of opposition when the XJ debuted and lost the signature 4 round headlights, but that was a big gamble that paid off for them. These designs and positioning are how Jaguar manages to stay alive as a brand and not get killed off like Saab. Sure it doesn't have the character or class as the older E-Type, but incorporating some of the design cues is a nice nod to the E-Type. The F-Type is a much more refined car that you can live with as a daily driver and it won't try to kill you.
    Reply
  • clownbaby
    Oh jaguar, your cars are so shiny and always sport such lofty "specs", but end up in cheap used car lots, full of broken plastic, bad wiring, broken motors etc, and being sold to poor schleps that buy them as a status symbol. When I see a jaguar on the road with more than 30k miles and it's not a complete piece of garbage, I'll think about taking them seriously. But really, why would anyone even consider a jaguar when there are so many other great cars out there in a similar price range that won't fall apart 2 blocks off the lot.
    Reply
  • JPNpower
    This is a good successor to the E-Type
    Reply