2016 Jaguar F-Type Coupe: The Magnificent Beast

13 Mar 2016 | 1,347 views | No Comment
By John Heilig MODEL: 2016 Jaguar F-Type Coupe ENGINE: 3.0-liter supercharged V6 TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 360 hp @ 6,500 rpm/339 lb.-ft. @ 3,500-5,000 rpm WHEELBASE: 103.3 in. LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 176.0 x 74.2 x 51.6 in. TIRES: P255/35R20 (F)/P295/30R20 (R) CARGO: 11.0 cu. ft. ECONOMY: 15 mpg city/24 mpg highway/18.3 mpg test FUEL TANK: 18.5 gal. CURB WEIGHT: 3,456 COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche 911, Mercedes-Benz 600SL STICKER: $99,305 (includes $995 delivery, $14,910 options) BOTTOM LINE: Not only is the Jaguar F-Type Coupe one of the most beautiful cars on the road, it has the performance to match its looks, even with the “base” 3.0-liter V6. f-type_awd_coupe_038 The last Jaguar “Type” coupe I drove was the V-12 E-Type more than 40 years ago. The E-Type was, and is, one of the iconic cars of all time with its long hood (or bonnet) and teardrop-shaped passenger compartment. I can still recall the neighbors drooling over the car and hating me for having the privilege to drive it. That V-12 under the hood didn’t hurt either. The F-Type rivals the E-Type min beauty and Jaguar head of design Ian Callum is to be congratulated. The flowing lines, alloy wheels, dual exhausts and flush door handles are details of this masterpiece. And even if the engine under the hood has lost half its cylinders, it still delivers a healthy dose of horsepower that will allow the F-Type to pulverize any speed limits in the country. Like its predecessor, the F-Type is a pleasure to drive. There is a healthy roar from the dual exhausts, thank to 360 horsepower gurgling under the hood. With the 6-speed manual transmission, it is fun to quickly shift into neutral and blip the gas when I want to impress neighbors of the high schoolers walking by my house. Unfortunately, my shifting skills have deteriorated from my youth, but I was still able to work my way up through the six gears to respectable, if illegal, speeds. The shirt shift shifter was perfect. Start/stop technology helps the economy, although a heavy right foot might counterbalance this. Front seats have excellent side support. The passenger seat has a “grab handle” on the center console if the driver gets too rambunctious. Cornering is excellent, well in keeping with the Jaguar reputation and the F-Types good looks. The ride is hard, but not harsh. You need a firm ride for great handling. Fortunately, the F-Type’s is not too hard. I was pleasantly surprised by the tight turning circle. When a bunch of the aforementioned high schoolers were walking by my house, I was able to turn  the Jaguar around and pull out, rather than back out. The driver faces a clear instrument panel with a speedometer on the left and tach on the right. The center-mounted information panel can be set for  digital speedometer, so the reversal of the two main gauges didn’t affect me. I could not figure out how to get or set a trip odometer. Rearward vision is somewhat impaired by the small rear window, or rather the slope of the window which makes it appear small from the inside. I’ll gladly make the sacrifice for the appearance. Forward vision is also somewhat impaired because of the low seating position. I hut a curb and nicked the front right wheel just pulling into a space. There is a rear view camera for parking, but since it is mounted so close to the ground, it gives a different view. The center stack is dominated by a multitude of buttons and switches under the central screen. There are also several buttons on the fat, flat-bottomed wheel. With these switches and buttons you can control everything in the car, but I remember that the E-Type also had an array of chrome toggle switches. The main screen has four choices – audio, HVAC, phone and navigation. The navigation system is easy to program a destination. There are three HVAC knobs - left temperature, fan speed, right temperature – and it worked well. The center storage console is located on the rear wall between the seats. Cargo capacity is quite good for a sports car at 11 cubic feet. The Jaguar E-Type Coupe has earned a well-deserved reputation over the years for its styling. I am certain that a couple of years from now the F-Type will be equally cherished. The fact that the car under that skin isn’t too shabby will help bolster that reputation. © 2015 The Auto Page Syndicate          

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