Even to the most diehard enthusiasts, cars are not loved simply because they look, sound, or behave in a certain way; cars are loved for how they influence our lives, our experiences. Overlanding addicts adore their 4×4 rigs because these all-terrain vehicles permit adventure. Classic car aficionados develop friendships through meetups and fun runs.
There is, of course, an underlying appreciation for the engineering and design of the vehicles themselves. But above all else, each zealot learns something about himself or herself through their automotive love affair.
The Jaguar F-Type S is easy to appreciate. A two-door, rear-wheel drive, supercharged sports car – what’s not to idolize? But, like every other segment that cultivates enthusiasm, the $83,700 F-Type is not just a thumping engine wrapped in curvaceous bodywork. It is – in the corniest of terms – a window into the soul.
Most would agree that the F-Type is a stunning automobile. However, there are more eye-catching ways to spend your money. A bright orange Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker Edition will almost certainly get more attention, but the message being communicated is quite different.
The F-Type’s long hood, prominent hips, and narrow LED taillights suggest an owner with taste. That’s not to say the Challenger isn’t classically handsome, but while its chiseled features arrive screaming in a crowded room, the F-Type’s sculpted cues cull jealous whispers.
Even more so than for a standard F-Type, an S-badged roadster in Salsa Red offers quite a bit to whisper about. Ornate 20-inch wheels, satin silver roll hoops, and brilliant chrome center-exit exhaust ports accentuate a seductive exterior. Despite the tendency to label a red convertible as a rolling midlife crisis, the Jaguar is far too beautiful to be boxed in.
Any driver can ruin a car’s inherent cool with his or her behavior behind the wheel, but it would be an impressive feat to strip the F-Type of its class.
Better Than Boxing
The art of unwinding can take years to perfect. It’s easy to plop down on the couch and disengage with reality, but honing a hobby or dedicating to an exercise regimen takes effort. Consider the F-Type somewhere in between: all the satisfaction with little of the exertion.
Instead of exercising your own body, try utilizing a 380-horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V6. For a light-duty workout, choose the available eight-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddles. For greater involvement (and greater reward), a six-speed manual is standard equipment. Jam your right foot to the floor to experience 0-60 mph acceleration in less than five seconds and a top speed of 171 mph.
Enhancing the rush is a pulse-pounding exhaust note that can be amplified (via a bypass valve in the exhaust) with the tap of a button. Each gear shift sounds like the crack of a whip – or is it your spine finding alignment from the G-force chiropractor? Either way, life’s tensions have begun to unfurl.
For ultimate delight, find a twisty section of roadway and explore the F-Type S’s true athleticism. A stiff, nimble chassis works with a limited-slip differential and adaptive suspension to tackle any stretch of tarmac. Cradled in ergonomic sport bucket seats, you need only direct the Jaguar’s movements via an electronically assisted steering system.
Grippy Pirelli P Zero tires communicate their limits as you jog the sports car left and right. When the driven wheels do exceed their threshold, the rear comes around in a graceful slide. Extracting the limits of the F-Type S’s performance isn’t as easy as tapping the buttons on your television remote, but harmony between car and driver will never leave you unfulfilled.
To The Victor
The F-Type S convertible’s dapper design and searing exhaust note are perhaps more about spectator enjoyment than your own. Inside the cabin, however, it’s all about you.
A driver-focused cockpit dazzles with soft leather touch points, piano black trim pieces, brushed metal finishes and gunmetal gray center inserts. Tap the bronze push-button ignition to wake a digital driver display, climate control readouts and 8-inch infotainment system. At the same time, hidden air vents rise from the dash. These animated features are signature traits of Jaguar vehicles, and make the F-Type feel that much more alive.
When you’ve finished gawking at the body color-matching contrast stitching, elegant gear selector and robust flat-bottomed steering wheel, you can explore the car’s advanced convenience features. The F-Type’s technology highlight is a large center touchscreen display that uses tiles to control common functions like music, navigation, smartphone connectivity and climate control. Though technically an outdated operating system (Jaguar recently introduced a replacement module), its interface remains responsive, vivid and intuitive.
Those who prefer not to poke around on a screen – especially while in motion – can use a selection of physical buttons on the center stack and steering wheel, or voice commands. Speaking of safe operation, the F-Type S is available with driver aids like parking sensors, a wide-angle backup camera, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring and adaptive headlights.
Your enjoyment behind the wheel depends on more than cool gadgets. Again, the F-Type delivers with firm, but comfortable ride quality. On all but the most punishing road surfaces, the Jaguar glides as gracefully as any premium vehicle.
Some vehicles add a dimension to our personality, facilitating interests and passions we never knew were there. Use your truck to go camping enough and a thirst for the outdoors will become part of your identity. A sports car, however, unlocks traits and desires that have always existed within.
Our daily routine can (imperceptibly) suppress a longing for thrills and beauty, but a sports car – the right sports car – revitalizes those desires. The Jaguar F-Type S is a constant reminder of aesthetic grace and intoxicating fun. $83,000 is a high price to pay for soul searching, but which would you prefer: a topless two-door, or therapy?
Photo Credit: © 2017 Autoweb/Miles Branman