Gorgeous endangered cat that’s beautiful but wild and menacing
Among the world’s list of endangered creatures is this chest-thumping beast.
Don’t be fooled by the gorgeous design. The Jaguar F-Type is pure beast — but the future is bleak.
With the UK on track to an electric future, Jaguar says it will have phased out its petrol-powered cars by 2025.
While there may be some hope for the sultry external lines depending on the development of a slimline battery and architectural changes, days of the supercharged V8 are limited.
Jag released the two-seater sports cars in 2013, in somewhat of a modern tribute to the E-Type which is regarded as a timeless beauty around the world.
Available with a turbocharged four-cylinder or a supercharged V6, those who want the ultimate F-Type R Coupe with a thumping bent eight must part with more than $265,000 to secure a piece of automotive history.
Radiating class inside and out, you’d rightfully expect the best in every facet for the outlay.
Beautifully soft Windsor leather trim, a 10-speaker Meridian sound system (an upgraded one is an extra $7260), 10-inch touchscreen, electric adjustable seats with 12-way functionality, graphite vent surrounds and metal pedals are among the complimentary equipment list.
On the outside it has a body kit, 10-spoke alloys, a switchable exhaust for more V8 aural delights and a spoiler that pops up automatically above 97km/h for extra downforce.
Extra luxuries and features do require some additional investment. Our test machine had a leather upgrade ($2110), panoramic sunroof ($2110) as well as a special black external design pack ($1820).
Heated and cooled front seats are $1150, while two-zone climate control is $1040 — features found standard on mainstream cars worth less than $35k.
White and red are standard colours, while silver, a more intense red, black, green, white, two shades of blue and grey are metallic and cost $2950. Premium metallic options of grey and silver are an extra $5910. Then there’s the 14 different SVO palette options which are $11,050. Not enough? Well, a special ‘icy white’ special effect can be selected for $14,600.
One thing you don’t have to pay for is servicing for the first five years or 130,000km. It’s free during that timeframe on all F-Types.
Warranty coverage has just been boosted to five years and unlimited kilometres (from three years/100,000km) as well as roadside assist for the same period — which matches Mercedes-Benz as the best for prestige coverage.
Given the low sales numbers, there isn’t an official score from Australia’s safety authority.
Among the technological repertoire is emergency braking which can lend assistance or help avoid a frontal accident if the driver fails to act fast enough, along with lane assist to help keep the F-Type between lines.
Eyebrow raising is the absence of radar cruise control to maintain set distances from other vehicles in traffic, while a $900 pack is required for blind spot assist and rear traffic monitoring.
Jaguars have a persona built over decades. Decadent and with a hefty dose of pomp, think back to those spectacular saloons with the leaper protruding from the bonnet.
The F-Type doesn’t strictly adhere to those traditions.
Like any sports car, some dexterity is required to climb inside. Handles fan from the doors when unlocked and once aboard the effort is worthwhile within a sumptuous cabin which has lashings of double-stitched leather, graphite and central air vents which rise from the dash with a sense of enchantment.
Only a large steering wheel with flimsy gear-changing paddles feel out of place in an otherwise cohesive environment.
Smartphone mirroring applications Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available within a relatively straightforward infotainment system. Aircon controls and basic functions are easily navigated and there is also an interactive driver’s display.
Tuned for performance, the F-Type R has a firm and at times unforgiving ride. The sumptuous chairs manage to provide ample relief from anything too nasty and its ultimately a welcoming and plush place to spend time — even on longer journeys.
Boot space is limited with a long and thin cargo area, although good enough for a couple of carry-on size suitcases … but that dissipates with the space-saver spare in place.
Climb high into the rev range and there’s a guttural roar.
Forget the traditional Jag driver tweed jacket and bowler hat. This is more likely to inspire the cashed-up bogans of the flat-brimmed energy drink cap variety.
Distinctive personalities depend on the mode. Feeling like a grand tourer in basic guise, the big cat can slink around town with ease and panache and doesn’t feel particularly outrageous.
Engage dynamic and the F-Type puts raucous in R. Astonishing power is produced by the V8 donk and it delivers a 0-100km/h sprint in a supercar rivalling 3.7 seconds.
All-paw grip maintains prowess in the bends. Corners are sliced and diced with raw muscle combined with finesse.
The acceleration can be blunt and intense. Also having pulling power is the servo … it sips premium unleaded at rate in excess of 11 litres for every 100km.
Everyone seems to have a Porsche, the Jag is pure personality.
This is the last of the Mohicans and a piece of automotive history we’ll never see again. The bottom line is hefty, but that rear end is priceless.
Porsche 911 Turbo $427,332
The benchmark for sports cars. Astonishingly quick, able to reach 100km/h from standstill in less than three seconds, courtesy of a 427kW/750Nm turbocharged six-cylinder.
Lexus LC 500 $210,500 D/A
Lexus’s spectacular LC is a supercar without the hardcore performance drawbacks. Easy to drive and even easier on the eye. Old school muscle with a 351kW/540Nm 5.0-litre V8 sending power to the rear wheels.
Breathtakingly beautiful, the F-Type boasts a modern classic design. The outlandish V8 has the ability to feel subdued or brutishly raw.