Last week, Jaguar came to collect ‘my’ F-Type R. When I say that they came to collect it last week, what I actually mean is that they came the week before (on a Friday) to collect it. I’d forgotten the collection date and was in Spain while on the launch of the Renault Megane RS when I got a call that went like this…
Jag man: “Hi Alex, I’m outside to collect the F-Type”
Me: “Oh crap! I’m currently in Spain with the key…”
Jag man: “Ah, ok….er….”
Me: “I’m really sorry, I screwed up!”
Jag man: “Not to worry, I’ll head back, and maybe if you could rearrange a suitable day, I’ll come back”
Me: “Yep, sure thing, and sorry again!”
Anyway, short story shorter, Jag man came back the following Monday to collect the car, leaving me with a supercharged V8-sized hole on my driveway…
Not that I’m complaining; I was given the keys to this £103k GT drop-top for just under five months and around 1600 miles of unfiltered noise, admiring glances and an isolated incident with the police. So with that in mind, here’s a fake owner’s experience of the car as a daily driver…
I realise I’m starting to sound my age here, but bear with me, because for a car that looks big and spacious, the interior and boot (trunk) of the cabriolet is anything but. In fact, with 207 litres of space (by comparison, the tiny VW Up has 250 litres of boot space), it fits about 2 backpacks’ worth of clothes and that’s your lot, meaning that your passenger will have to sit with the remaining stuff at their feet.
Of course, this is fine most of the time, but for trips to see friends on a weekend or to go weekly shopping, the space just isn’t there. For that, you’d have to choose the coupe F-Type, which is still luggage-limited at 310 litres without the spare wheel, but which is way more usable as a daily driver.
When you live with a car that makes you laugh every time you start it up (because it sounds so vicious), you know you’re in for a good time. I’ve said it time and time again, so excuse me when I repeat myself: the noise is bloody epic, and in the £100k price bracket, there is nothing that comes close. In fact, the only two cars I can think of that are on a par or maybe even more biblical in noise than the F-Type are the Huracan Performante (cue the tears) and the GTC4Lusso I drove recently (and which you’ll see on your screens next week).
The best thing about the exhaust note is the pops and crackles that are fired out of the quad tail pipes especially when the engine is still a little cold; time those explosions right with a tunnel and you’ve got yourself the perfect recipe for laughter.
Anyway, judge for yourselves…
Away from the noise, the R was also fun to drive; it’s ridiculously fast in a straight line (in any weather thanks to AWD), stable through corners and a wicked way to cruise.
People like to criticise the fact that all F-Type Rs come with AWD, but having lived with it, thank God it does, because without it, I think I wouldn’t have been able to hand the car back in one piece.
I love the F-Type R cabriolet. It’s stunning to look at, crazy fast and great to drive. However, I maintain that the sweet spot for me is the V6 S coupe (in red with black wheels, exactly like the one I drove in the video). While it might not sound as epic as the V8, it’s still a treat for the ears, and offers the perfect blend of power, performance, economy and weight to make one hell of a wicked car.
Of course, the red car in the video is an early V6 S with RWD which was, just about, manageable in the wet. These days AWD is your only option, so although you won’t be able to do burnouts, it is nice to know that you’re able to hit corners fast without emerging with brown pants.
I for one still hold a flame for the F-Type, and consider myself a very lucky boy to have ‘owned’ one for a good few months.
As for what car I’ll be getting next, that’s pretty much sewn up already. It has less than half the cylinders and a quarter of the power, but should prove entertaining. Guesses below!