When we tested the Audi Q5 recently, it took five days before I found the right buttons to turn a good SUV into a great one. The 3.0 TDI was transformed in sport mode – a totally different beast to the car that I had become used to.
And you could say the same about the F-Type. It’s only when you switch to ‘dynamic’ mode, activate the acoustic exhaust button and, preferably, drop the hood, that the Jaguar awakes from a grand tourer into a rasping sports car.
I’m not sure I’ve had as much fun in a performance car since I first went sideways in a Caterham 7. There’s no need to push it hard either, the F-Type returns mile after mile of thrills in every situation.
Red is my least favourite colour for a car but I could even overlook the paintwork to have one parked in my garage permanently. And I haven’t even driven the coupe version yet, which is no doubt going to be even better. At last, some serious competition for the Porsche 911…
I keep wondering what it must have been like for those first motoring journalists who tested the Jaguar E-Type when it was launched back in the early 60s. The car arrived with such hype that it could have taken a very large fall.
Of course, it didn’t and the cigar-like shape of the convertible became a symbol of the sixties – one of the most recognisable cars of all time.
So creating a successor some 50 years on, Jaguar was very careful not to make too many comparisons. They talked about the heritage and DNA of the E-Type but didn’t risk pushing it too far.
The F-Type has arrived to critical acclaim, a British sports car that could compete with the best, take them on, and win. Hopefully, after six days of testing, we’ll have a better idea of what the fuss is all about…
Jaguar F-Type R-Dynamic Convertible 380PS
As pretty convertibles go, the F-Type has to be one of the best. Slick as a Ferrari, or even an Aston Martin whichever way you look at it. The F-Type hasn’t quite lived up to expection since it was launched five years ago – so how does the 380PS V6 fare? The V8 models are faster but you can actually afford to run the £71,725 R-Dynamic, with rear-wheel drive. It returns 32.9mpg combined and holds its value well. Join us for the last rays of the summer in a sexy Jaguar…