2014 Jaguar F-TYPE: simply sensational

When a new car or truck arrives on the market, we're generally impressed by its improvements or innovations. In some cases, this new vehicle will redefine its market segment and send everyone back to the drawing board.

However, few cars move us like the F-TYPE did.

This new droptop sports car overflows with charisma and possesses undeniable character. The 2014 Jaguar F-TYPE flaunts bodywork so polarizing, so sensual that it draws attention everywhere it goes. And this car is not only sexy but fast, too.

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Three power levels
Two engines are offered in the F-TYPE, a supercharged 3.0L V6 that produces either 340 or 380 horsepower (base and S) as well as a supercharged 5.0L V8 that belts out 495 hp (V8 S). In all these cases, the only transmission available is an eight-speed automatic that provides very quick gear changes, especially when the Dynamic mode is enabled. We drove the base model, and even the least-powerful F-TYPE can induce adrenaline rushes thanks to its blistering acceleration.

Not only did the performance levels of this pure sports car amaze us, but the sound of engine is as bone-chilling. While subdued at idle, the energetic V6 comes alive at wide-open throttle, producing a high-pitch wail while each gear change banged off with the paddle shifters is accompanied by melodious flatulence blasting through the exhaust. Lift the throttle to slow down, and the engine pops and spits, displaying its mean character under sporty driving. Simply brilliant.

And despite its impeccable road manners when the heat is on, it remains very comfortable; even around town, the suspension is firm without being punishing. At highway speeds, the rear spoiler automatically rises to reduce lift, and lowers itself when the car slows down. In addition, the V6 engine is lighter than the V8, so this 2014 Jaguar F-TYPE tester is technically better balanced.

Every F-TYPE gets automatic start/stop, while extensive use of aluminum for the body structure, resulting in a fairly reasonable curb weight, help the car achieve respectable fuel economy numbers. At least, with the V6 engine; we averaged 12 L/100km.

Get noticed
Dressed in orange paint, our F-TYPE basically never went unnoticed. Yet whatever the colour, it's the car that draws attention and admiration from passers-by. The ultimate test was to leisurely cruise down Saint-Sauveur's chic main street, a city in the heart of the Laurentians where people are overexposed to luxury cars. Mission accomplished: the F-TYPE literally caused a traffic jam.

And to further flaunt this snooty British sports car, one can lower or raise the top in a little more than 10 seconds, even while driving under 50 km/h. Suddenly, admiration turns to envy and/or jealousy. Oh, how do you know if a V6 or a V8 is lurking under the hood? The former gets twin central exhaust pipes, while the latter boasts quad tailpipes. If there's no "S" badge on the grille and on the rear end, it's a base model like ours.

A proud F-TYPE owner also benefits from a sumptuous cabin that can be customized with several trim packages. We loved the optional performance seats, while our 2014 Jaguar F-TYPE's cockpit was highlighted by contrasting orange stitching on the upholstery and dashboard. A nice touch to impress your neighbours is the climate control vents that rise from the dash upon when the car is started.

But automotive perfection doesn't exist, and that theory also applies here. The trunk is small and shallow, and every time we'd lock or unlock the car (it varied from one day to another), the storage compartment cover located between the seats would mysteriously pop open.

Searching on the Internet, we found out that our F-TYPE wasn't the only one with this issue, as several owners mentioned it on discussion boards. On the other hand, aren't electric gremlins part of the car's charm? I'll let you be the judge on that.

Not a bargain
The 2014 Jaguar F-TYPE starts out at $76,900 in base trim, and more or less rivals the Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG, the Audi RS 5 Cabriolet and the Porsche Boxster. However, it's really in a class of its own in regards to power, looks and pure sports-car character.

On the other hand, its price climbs very quickly with the S versions, but the car is fully enjoyable in base form. Like a superstar rising to fame, the F-TYPE will make a big splash in the coming year, and all that attention will be well deserved.

FAMILY RATING

0/5: There are no ISOFIX hooks on the passenger seat, and good luck finding a stroller that fits in the F-TYPE's trunk. 

In collaboration with Canadian Tire.

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