The 2014 Jaguar F-Type delivers on something that enthusiasts have been begging Jaguar to do for years: build another true, two-seat, rear-wheel drive sports car. The last time the English automaker built anything like the new roadster was the 1974 E-Type—the final year of F-Type's direct ancestor.
Sure, there have been a slew of fast Jags in the interim, from the unfortunately-timed XJ220 supercar to the hyper-powerful XJ and XK, but none of these channeled the E-Type's pure mystique like the F-Type does.
The F-Type has three available engines: a 340-horsepower supercharged 3-liter V6, a 380-horsepower version of the same engine, and a 495-horsepower 5-liter V8. No matter which you choose, you'll get the same, silky-smooth 8-speed transmission.
The car's styling shows its E-Type heritage clearly, but with a modern touch: Its cats-eye J-blade headlights and wide-mouthed grill are a direct link to the past. So, too, is the sloping rear hatch area and taillight design.
Door handles operated by the key fob remain flush until activated, allowing for the highest level of aerodynamic efficiency along the side of the car. The convertible top opens and closes in 12 seconds, and can be operated at speeds up to 30 mph, a fine defense against sudden bursts of rain.
The interior features many sporty appointments such as grab handles in the center console, and supportive seats covered in rich leather. Other features include: a heated steering wheel, active center air vents, configurable ambient lighting and a TFT info screen mounted between the appropriately analog speedometer and tachometer.
Starting at $69,000, the base F-Type comes with a 340-horsepower supercharged 3-liter V6 engine that—coupled with the eight-speed transmission—powers this model from 0 to 60 mph in just over five seconds. The handling is sharp with the sport suspension and the open differential helps keep the rear-end from sliding around too sharply under power. Eighteen-inch wheels come as standard, and styling cues such as the center-mounted twin exhaust pipes are a direct connection to the legendary E-Type.
The interior features deep leather and suede seats, intelligent start/stop and a 380-watt, 10-speaker Meridian audio system.
At $81,000, the S offers a sizable step up in performance and features for its sizable step up in price. The S keeps the same supercharged 3-liter V6, but output increases to 380 horsepower—enough to shorten a 0 to 60 mph sprint to 4.8 seconds. The eight-speed transmission is now operated via paddle-shifters, and the suspension includes adaptive dynamics for increased performance over a variety of surfaces. Other upgrades include 19-inch wheels, S badging and a limited-slip differential, which allows for some tail-sliding fun should the mood strike you.
There are interior upgrades, as well, such as configurable ambient lighting and puddle lamps.
At $92,000, the V8 S model is the most expensive F-Type, but for that you get the maximum amount of performance available from the factory. In place of the V6 is a 5-liter supercharged V8 that makes 495 horsepower and propels the V8 S from 0 to 60 mph in just over four seconds. The brakes receive a major upgrade and are housed inside 20-inch wheels. The active differential prevents the big V8 from letting the rear wheels run away from the car too much, but still allows for some fun on track days.
The gripping, leather sports seats are now adjustable 14 ways, and you also get rear parking sensors with visual aids at the center-mounted touchscreen.
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|Build & Price|
Prices start almost $20,000 cheaper than the Jaguar, but options quickly drive up the price
At $67,995, this is cheaper than the base model F-Type, but the performance numbers are closer to the V8 S
Much cheaper than the F-Type and elegantly-styled, but the performance doesn't quite stand up to the Jaguar
If you want an all-wheel drive, two-seat roadster for under $60,000, this is it