2015 Jaguar F-Type V6 S Roadster review
Isaac Bober’s 2015 Jaguar F-Type V6 S Roadster review with pricing, specs, ride and handling, safety and verdict.
In a nutshell Meet the Jaguar F-Type, the brand’s sportiest car since the XJ220.
Jaguar F-Type V6 S Roadster
Price $138,64.10 (+ORC) Warranty three years, unlimited kilometres Safety not yet tested Engine 3.0-litre supercharged V6 Power/Torque 280kW/460Nm Transmission eight-speed automatic Body 4470mm (L) 1923mm (W) 1309mm (H) Weight 1594kg Thirst 9.1L/100km
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JAGUAR HAS WOKEN UP after a near 40-year slumber determined to claw its way to the top of the sports car heap. Meet the Jaguar F-Type.
Plenty has already been written about the F-Type being a spiritual successor to the E-Type, the car most of us, including Enzo Ferrari, consider to be the most beautiful car ever built. That’s quite possibly true, the successor bit, because the F-Type is nothing like its sibling, the XK. It’s shorter, a smidgen wider and it sits lower. It’s also a staggering 30% more rigid, torsionally, than the Jaguar XK and that car’s not exactly floppy.
While the F-Type might be the spiritual successor to the E-Type, it’s certainly not that car’s aesthetic successor. The proportions are best described as chunky but there’s real beauty in the snout of the thing, and the headlights look absolutely gorgeous. The ‘deployable’ door handles look cool when retracted against the body.
Drop your backside down inside the F-Type and you’re immediately embraced by sports bucket seats. Offering decent padding in the right places the seats are both comfortable on longer-distance runs and grippy for when you’re attacking the bends (for track work you’d want the performance seats which are straight out of the Jaguar XKR-S).
A strict two-seater, the rest of the cabin is true sports car with enough glamour, thanks to the double-stitched leather wrapped dashboard and painted and polished metal surfaces, to make the F-Type feel more than just a little special. The central touch-screen offers sat-nav and media (there’s also a cost-optional car set-up function), although, like all Jaguar Land Rover product the sat-nav map looks basic and a little cheap. And the lack of a reversing camera (there are reversing sensors) at this price point ($138,64.10+ORC as tested – F-Type V6 S) is disappointing.
We’re testing the F-Type in mid-spec V6 S form and that means a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 producing 280kW (at 6500rpm) and 460Nm (from 3500-5000rpm) which is enough grunt to get the F-Type to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds. The V6 is mated to a conventional (and now almost old-school) eight-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel mounted paddles. Fuel consumption is 9.1L/100km.
On the road, the Jaguar F-Type impresses almost immediately, and while this is easily the hardest riding Jaguar ever, there’s enough give in the suspension, even across poorer surfaces, that you can leave the thing in Dynamic mode. Dynamic mode firms up the damper calibration, adds weight to the steering wheel and sharpens up both throttle and gearbox responses. Even out of Dynamic mode there’s virtually no dive under brakes, nor body roll, or squat when you plant your foot.
Where many makers are offering electrically assisted steering, Jaguar has persisted with hydraulic assistance and this offers decent weight and it’s quick too but, sadly, there isn’t enough feel through the wheel to keep you truly connected to the car. At highway speed the steering offers impressive straight-ahead stability.
While there’s no manual version of the F-Type, the eight-speed automatic is both fast and smooth in its shifts, and it’s almost impossible to catch out, too. While owners will most likely stick shifter in D – Jaguar has eschewed the rising, rotating gear selector from the XK and XF, in favour of a rocker-style gear shifter – it’s worth shifting with the paddles when out on the right road. Using the paddles allows you greater control, obviously, but also allow you more opportunity to hear the Jaguar, and it sounds a-a-a-mazing. The active exhaust bypass valves on the V6 S allow the full roar of the F-Type to be heard, and the pop and crackle on overrun is pure music.
In the bends and the F-Type V6 S offers a near 50:50 weight distribution endowing it with beautiful balance into and out of a corner. Sure, it’s no lightweight at 1594kg, but the V6 S can be danced through tight and twisting corners with all the verve of a Porsche 911 Cabriolet. And that’s lucky, because that’s exactly the car that Jaguar says is the F-Type’s natural sparring partner.
In terms of safety, the Jaguar F-Type doesn’t have an ANCAP rating, but it gets four airbags, a bonnet that pops up when it detects a collision with a pedestrian to cushion the impact, a mechanical limited-slip rear differential, traction and stability controls. There are also roll-over bars, intelligent high beam, emergency brake assist, and electronic brakeforce distribution.