Jaguar F-Type V6 S Review

OUR TEST CAR: 2014 Jaguar F-Type V6 S

Jaguar F-Type V6 S - Page - 1
We've had quite a lot of anniversaries in the automotive world over the last few years and one of the biggest cakes was baked when the Jaguar E-Type turned fifty in 2011. Like any man that respects himself when going through the middle-life crisis, the E-Type got itself a sports car. The delivery was a bit late, but now the F-Type is here and that's all that matters.

Jaguar's F-Type is an answer to a question everybody's been asking for the company for quite a long while. That's because the Brits hadn't given us any true-heart sports car ever since the E-Type was retired.

Jaguar's been offering us more and more powerful special editions lately, but these were just pumped-up versions of their XK Grand Tourer. For crying out loud, the E-Type's design meant it became known as "sex on wheels", so it deserved a spiritual successor with the right proportions.

Of course, the 2014 F-Type appears in the context of the "new" Jaguar - if you've been listening to the news over the last few years, you're probably aware of the fact that Jaguar is carefully reinventing itself. Now that they've showed the world a wide list of new faces, they want to demonstrate that they're still good at the game that made them famous in the past.

We were recently handed the keys to Jaguar's pride and joy. The fob we received would unlock the mid-range V6 S model. We were eager to see if they had nailed it or not, so we canceled our dinner plans for the weekend.

When we first heard about Jaguar working on a two-seater sports car, there were quite some bets flying around the office. Some of us thought wanted the Brits to turn to the retro reincarnation styling trick. But Jaguar chose the more difficult road, penning the F-Type from scratch, all in an effort to show their new face.

Let's be honest though, the proportions are as classic as classic can be. This thing is terrifyingly wide, low, has a long bonnet and an almost non-existent rear console. Great start for the eyes then.

The headlights use a longitudinal arrangement, being well trained in the art of seduction. In between them, sits a grille with a fresh design, which is flanked by two gills. This is an elegant car, it doesn’t have to resort to acceleration violence in order to show you who's boss. Instead, it comes with a front splitter that warns you about its abilities, as if it was trying to protect you from a duel.

Look closely at the middle point of the aforementioned gills and you'll notice a line that heads atop of the fenders, going all the way to the rear of the vehicle. The door handles are concealed, but touch them and they'll step outside – the car is willing to shake your hand.

The profile of the Jaguar F-Type is no stranger to this kind of character lines either. The end of the front wheel arch marks the beginning of a 3D-sculpted side skirt, as well as of a line that gently touches the side vent and then starts fading away towards the back.

Ah, the rear, we've reached the most aesthetically pleasing side of the Jaguar F-Type. The slim LED taillights are nicely wrapped around the fenders, whispering "E-Type". The same can be said about the twin central exhaust of the V6 models. For that part of the audience who can't be bothered about the E-Type though, they look like some kind of blowing musical instruments – as we'll find out in the Open Road chapter, this is precisely what they are.

This Jaguar also has an active tail, with the spoiler automatically rising at 60 mph (96 km/h), or when you feel like pushing its dedicated button.

And if you happen to think that the Jaguar F-Type looks like it's about to surge forward even when it's parked, that's all due to some little tricks the designers played on us. It's rather simple actually: while the front grille leans slightly forward, the rear is brought inward.

Nobody cares about these little details anyway, let's just stick to the general conclusion: this car will steal your heart when you see it.

Upon entering the Jaguar F-Type, you get the kind of sensation that supercars, not sports cars, usually offer. You sit low and there's a massive dashboard between you and the windscreen.

The cabin is just as fresh as the exterior, with the designers having been given a free hand. They were gives a few clear assignments though and the most important was that they had to send a message to the driver: "Don't be shy, you are the king here!"

The interior of the Jaguar F-Type is clearly a driver-focused one. Jaguar used to make sidecars before it started building cars, so perhaps this is why they treated the driver and the passenger differently – there's even a handle on the side of the center console that separates the two.

It's a bit strange then that the steering wheel seems to be a slightly reworked version of what we find on the XJ sedan. The wheel is a bit too large and its paddles are made of plastic, but these would probably the only major complains the driver in you would have to make about the cabin.

The position comes to save the day. If an XKR-S driver ever pulls next to you with arrogance, you can just show him that you're sitting 0.8 inches (20 mm) lower. You can also brag about your joystick gear shifter, which seems much sportier than the rotary thing he's got in there. You've got the better interior anyway, so you can just display a superior smile and say nothing.

Everything is within your reach as they must've spent ages sorting out the ergonomics. In fact, this is the best dashboard we've seen from Jaguar Land Rover since they started redefining their model range.

Sure, you can spot quite a few tricks borrowed from other brands, but we don't care about this. All that matters is that they've made it all work brilliant.

We've complained about the digitization on the new Range Rover, but the F-Type Jag gets a nice balance between this and analogue goodies, all in a nice sporting spirit.

The best example are the dashboard instruments, which keep the classic layout. Pay a bit of attention to that speedo and you'll understand a hidden message – while you can read the values easily, they don't seem to care about the speed limits too much. The accentuated numbers are the ones that would matter during a race, not the speed limits. Cocky, we like that*.

We could say the same about the hue of shaded bronze used for the aforementioned paddles, engine start button and drive mode controller.

Go behind the Jaguar F-Type and you'll come across a 7.1 cubic feet (201 L) luggage compartment. However, judging this area of the car by the aforementioned figure alone is like choosing your car by its color. In real life, this capacity caters to your needs in a decent way, but the packaging is unusual. The trunk has an irregular shape – if you've ever built a complex LEGO car and crafted the last part out of leftovers you know the feeling.

*Drive responsibly. Always obey local speed limits.

Remember to salute your neighbors politely in the morning. You'll need to do that as the Jaguar F-Type releases some exhaust backfires from the very moment it starts.

Drama will accompany you for the rest of your journey through the city, as those who weren't already looking at the car thanks to its styling will be determined to do so by the exhaust.

Since you'll get attention, you should try to look comfortable, despite the fact that the car doesn't exactly assist you with this.

The low driving position means that the front and side visibility is just OK, while the soft top makes the rear visibility a joke. Even the interior rear view mirror is... ahem... visually challenged, since it's blocked by the textile wind stopper.

And while you can rely on the parking sensors and rear-view camera to go over this issue, the hefty width of the car is here to stay. You won't have an easy time navigating your way through traffic when things get tight.

Fortunately, things improve when talking about what's in the lower half of the car. While the suspension is just OK when it comes to asphalt issues, the powertrain is a delight.

The engine delivers plenty of kick from down low and its linear nature means you won't be caught surging forward when you don't want to. And the eight-speed ZF gearbox is like a personal assistant who always knows how to handle the delicate situations in urban traffic.

Once you go past the entry-level 340 HP model, you'll have to mind your right foot though - we were just using a third of the throttle in 380 HP to set off from a traffic light, but this generated a bit of tire squealing. Certainly not a delight for the people in the cars around us. And while we'll complain a bit about the steering in the following chapter, its light setup comes in handy inside the city.

We may have asked the Meridian audio system to play some soul-warming tunes a few minutes ago, but that was just because we had received a phone call that required such a soundtrack. Now that we've hang up, we're still doing music, but this time it's coming from that generously-sized active exhaust behind us.

Curiously enough, we're not accelerating too much, but rather just enough so that we can enjoy plenty of engine overrun moments. Do so and the V6 will pop like it was the machine gun on a World War II fighter plane.

We're in the 380 HP V6 S model and this car will only submit if you mistreat it a bit. Take it by the wheel and force it to follow your instructions and you'll get plenty of fun. Don't worry though, you will want to abuse this car and the credit goes to the exhaust voice.

There's also a sound symposer somewhere around here, but that's as relevant as the weather forecast when you're having fun indoors. That Eaton twin-vortex supercharger only has a slight wining, the rest of the noise comes from the exhaust. The revolution starts somewhere around four thousand rpm and it goes all the way up to six and a half thousand, where the next gear arrives.

By the way, the shifts are impeccable and. most of the times, you won't feel any drawbacks compared to a double-clutch unit. The eight-speed automatic is very gentles, but can be a little brutal if you want it to and, more importantly, is very obedient on downshifts. We may have complained about the plastic paddles, but their operation is pleasant.

We can't say the same thing about the steering, which doesn't feel connected enough for such a car. You'll get to feel this especially since the rest of the vehicle is sharp, always there to serve you.

And while the supercharger allows the V6 to deliver a remarkably effortless progress regardless of the speed, the stopping power matches this. Don't rely on this, but the brakes boost your abilities as a driver, providing excellent feel and deceleration values.

We've just passed the apex of a mid-range left-hander now and the 380 HP are eager to get us out of here. The handling is lively, there's no understeer and the aluminum chassis feels stiff.

It's these assets, along with the subtle intervention of the electronics, which make it hard to understand why the F-Type lacks precision at the limit. Guess you can't have them all.

As for the electronics, these have a subtle intervention, but they don't seem to keep the back in line when you're foolishly assisting the oversteer tendency with the brakes. The good news is that now you can configure the various parameters of the Dynamic mode. There's an even better one: selecting the Dynamic mode no longer means that you've got loose electronics that can bring dangerous situations like in the Jaguar XKR.

Be careful not to drive this thing hard over uneven B roads though. Such a combination makes the car a bit unstable.

And if you want us to talk Porsche comparisons, price-wise, the Jaguar F-Type V6S is placed somewhere in between the Porsche Boxster S and the 2+2-seater 911 Cabriolet. Nevertheless, the two don't seem like they'll be sharing too many customers.

Like we said, this is a brute, even without the V8 engine, whereas the Porsche has that perfect balance to its handling. Despite the Jaguar's all-aluminum drama and lack of rear seats, this is still heavier than the 911 Cabriolet.

In the end, the German models are more precise, but the Jag is more fun, so it all depends on how you want to spend your time behind the wheel.

They do share one thing though and that is the Grand Tourer side. The Jag knows how to take you across the country in full pleasure. You can simply dip your big toe into the throttle, let the supercharged crescendo surround you. As you eat up the miles, an inevitable smile will show up and stay there.

In this respect, the Jaguar F-Type reminds us of the Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster. Both feel a bit like modern muscle cars with a GT hat.
83user rating 38 votes
Rate this car!
autoevolution Aug 2013
In the city
Open road
Tech facts
83user rating 38 votes
Rate this car!
Photo gallery (92)
Jaguar F-Type cruisingJaguar F-Type V6 S cruisingJaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type V6 S2014 Jaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type V6 S at speedJaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type V6 S speedingJaguar F-Type V6 S at speedJaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type V6 S driving with top onJaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type V6 S in cityJaguar F-Type V6 S city drivingJaguar F-Type in cityJaguar F-Type V6 S city drivingJaguar F-Type driving in cityJaguar F-Type V6 S accelerationJaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type V6 S frontJaguar F-Type frontJaguar F-Type headlightsJaguar F-Type V6 S front wheelJaguar F-Type V6 S rear wheelJaguar F-Type wind stopperJaguar F-Type profile with top downJaguar F-Type with folded topJaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type rearJaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type badgeJaguar F-Type V6 S Performance ExhaustJaguar badge on F-Type V6 SBritish Racing Green on Jaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type V6 S brakesJaguar F-Type V6 S wheelsJaguar badge on F-TypeJaguar F-Type with top downJaguar F-Type V6 SJaguar F-Type V6 S side viewJaguar F-Type V6 S wing in actionJaguar F-Type open road drivingJaguar F-Type V6 S driving with top downJaguar F-Type V6 S open road drivingJaguar F-Type V6 S driving with top onJaguar F-Type driftingJaguar F-Type V6 S handlingJaguar F-Type accelerationJaguar F-Type powerslidingJaguar F-Type V6 S driftingJaguar F-Type luggage compartmentJaguar F-Type pop-up hoodJaguar F-Type power seat controlsJaguar F-Type passenger airbagJaguar F-Type door cardJaguar F-Type V6 S performance seatsJaguar F-Type performance seatsJaguar F-Type interiorJaguar F-Type door handleJaguar F-Type V6 S interiorJaguar F-Type interiorJaguar F-Type V6 S floor matsJaguar F-Type V6 S pedalsJaguar F-Type dashboard air ventsJaguar F-Type V6 S steering wheelJaguar F-Type V6 S trip computerJaguar F-Type V6 S speedometer and rev counterJaguar F-Type V6 S dashboard instrumentsJaguar F-Type V6 S gear shift paddlesJaguar F-Type media menusJaguar F-Type center consoleJaguar F-Type climate control systemJaguar F-Type infotainment menuJaguar F-Type V6 S Dynamic Mode setupJaguar F-Type engine start buttonJaguar F-Type gear shifterJaguar F-Type Dynamic and Winter Mode selectorJaguar F-Type dynamic mode setupJaguar F-Type ESP Off buttonJaguar F-Type V6 S Dynamic ModeJaguar F-Type key fobJaguar F-Type interior storage compartmentJaguar F-Type interior ambient lightingJaguar F-Type speedometer and rev counterJaguar F-Type dashboardJaguar F-Type V6 S engine and hoodJaguar F-Type V6 S engine