Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Neutral Blog & Car Reviews

A collection of stories, reviews and rants

Review - Jaguar F-Type

jag4Moments in history happen once. Invariably the huge majority slide on by with no impact on humanity but occasionally they leave an indelible mark. In 1961, just as the "Swinging 60s" was just getting into stride, a British automobile manufacturer released upon an unsuspecting motoring public a gem called "the most beautiful car in the world", by Enzo Ferrari.

No less. 13 years and 70 odd thousand builds later the E-Type Jaguar is still regarded as one of the most beautiful cars ever made, leaving its imprint upon history. Powered, initially, by a 3.8L straight six and from 1964 the snarling 4.2L, the E-Type shocked other makers and remains a sought after item.

Come 2012 and Jaguar, after a few years under the ownership of Indian based conglomerate Tata, release the much anticipated successor at the Paris Motor Show. Immediately the F-Type stirs emotions, has Jaguarphiles prostrating themselves in ecstasy and rattles the cages of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche. In August of 2013, Jaguar Australia hosts the launch of this spiritually moving car.

jag2Three engines: There's two supercharged V6, both of three litres capacity. A snorting, angry, growling supercharged five litre V8 is your other choice and aurally, it's hard to decide; banshee scream or basso profundo. 

An interior that's for two and two only. Seats that are for drivers, drivers of a certain size as they're hip hugging snug. Looks that would put Jennifer Hawkins into a tizzy and frighten mirrors for not being able to live up to what they see. A folding roof that goes up quicker than a bank's interest rate and down quicker than a farmer's beer on a hot day.

The Australian launch was in Sydney, starting with a product overview on a Thursday night. Friday was a drive day; heading north from Sydney, looping through some tight and twisty roads before directions took us to Cessnock then back south for some private tuition before a return to the big smoke. It was impressed upon us to listen to the exhaust; a deliberate effort from the design and engineering teams to give the ears something delightful and they succeeded.

jag3A rasping crackle comes from the centrally mounted pipes as the eight speed auto blips its way through the gears; a down shift and a foot off the go pedal elicits a smile as the snarling, raspy sound reverberates off tunnel walls.

An upshift is completed in less time it takes to think about it, a computer instructs the engine to match revs on both the up and downwards journey through the gears and with eight closely stacked ratios it provides flexibility and exquisite drivability. Another computer reads the driver's style, conversing with the gearbox to decide which one of 25 programmes to use to ensure the right gear is right to go.


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