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From the Chair April 2013

publication date: Apr 22, 2013
 | 
author/source: Ian Adcock

 

It could be argued that Jaguar’s long- awaited challenger to BMW’s 3-Series, due mid decade, will be the most important car the marque will launch since the XF,but you would only be partially right.

The F-Type, which I drove over a thrilling series of routes around Navarra, Spain, is the  most important Jaguar launched  for 60 years in terms of image and market presence. It tells rivals that Jaguar is back, doing what it does best – build beautiful cars that are the dynamic and performance equal to, and superior to, most rivals.

Jaguar F-Type impressed Chairman Ian Adcock 

The launch was a rare event that started on high with the ‘basic’ F-Type, although with 340PS on demand to deliver a 161mph top speed and 0-60 in 5.1  secs, it is hardly standard fare. With its standard suspension you could sense it leaning on its tyres, the well-controlled body just heaving slightly but then a glance at the speedo  revealed what high cornering speeds were being generated.

Prior to the drive the considered opinion was that the supercharged V6 with 380 PS (171mph v-max and 4.8 secs to 60) would be the pick of the bunch. The right balance of power and weight, and it didn’t disappoint as a few laps of the impressive Navarra race track and a sinuous road route revealed. Instant power whenever wanted and, in Dynamic setting, even sharper steering accompanied by taut suspension and prodigious grip,  even with the traction control disabled, with the switch into over steer predicative, progressive and easily contained.

If that wasn’t enough to persuade us that Jaguar has a winner on its hands the final 150 mile route was reserved for the mighty V8S with its 495 PS supercharged V8. It is brutally, addictively, fast: as 4.2 secs and 186 mph confirm.As I turned up at the mid-morning coffee halt, the car park reeked of tortured rubber and  brakes. It’s a long time since I’ve seen fellow hacks grinning from ear to ear, playing smart phone recordings of the exhaust notes battering the mountain sides and in-car footage of colleagues wringing  every last degree of grip from the fat tyres on roads that were virtually deserted. 

We all had our tales to tell: I couldn’t get over how rapidly the five-litre V8 bounced off its rev limited in 1st and 2nd gears. And no one could get enough of  its exhaust note: if the Norse gods ate rice crispies their ‘snap, crackle and pop’ would sound like that car’s exhaust on the over run or under hard acceleration and when changing gear.

Jaguar F Type drives into history this spring 

Usually when you get three versions of a car one disappoints (the base), one excels (mid-range|) and one is OTT, designed for those  buyers where  the cost of petrol is pence and not pounds per gallon. But Jaguar has produced three variants that all deliver their own special driving experience. Was I smitten? Damn right I was. Now, where’s that lottery ticket?

Make sure you’re at the driving day to experience Jaguar’s world-beater, as they hope to bring a model along.

   

 

Ian Adcock,

Chairman WGMW



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