By on October 7, 2013

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As a teenager reading “Death in Venice,” I understood the world to be divided between the Aschenbachs and the Tadzios. There are those who gaze, and those who are gazed upon. – David Rakoff

I, as Rakoff would put it, am not a handsome man, though my mother would disagree. If I were to be cast in a James Bond movie, I would probably play the villain. Past lovers have often commented on my intelligence, my charm and my high earning potential as an automotive journalist, but rarely if ever on my physical appearance. I’m at peace with this, for I have discovered that the one automobile that can “increase sexual arousal, particularly in women” is not the Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible, as P.J. O’Rourke would contend, but a Jaguar convertible.

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My first realization of the aphrodisiac qualities of the Jaguar convertible was not in the F-Type, but with its older sibling, the XKR.  An affable but outdated grand tourer, the XKR was borrowed for competitive analysis against the F-Type, which consisted of numerous acceleration tests to confirm the potency of its 510 horsepower supercharged V8 (potent, indeed) as well as the efficacy of the large monobloc brake calipers to help reduce speed in the presence of local law enforcement (also excellent). The XKR’s major failing would be the uselessness of its backseat. Even the rather diminutive Jackie, who scarcely protested while sitting in the rear seat of a hardtop Shelby GT500, was forced to sit with her legs across the back seat, akin to how an XKR owner who lay his golf clubs across the rear bucket seats.

Shortly after Jackie departed, my friend Kyle and I entered ourselves in the Yorkville Grand Prix, named in honor of the tony downtown district that functions as an informal home to Toronto’s supercars. There are no winners, but entrants are required to drive in either first or second gear under significant load, while spectators jeer the participants sotto voce. As I completed lap number 3, I was taken aback by a rare phenomeon. A gorgeous young girl, barely older than 20, crossing the street as I sat waiting at a red light. As she strutted past me, her skintight white pants and skimpy halter top were only secondary considerations. She was making eye contact with me!

“There’s a nice Jewish girl for you,” remarked Kyle.

The best I could do was to flash a meek smile, more forced than the ones I pulled on antecedent elementary school picture days. To my surprise, she smiled back and blushed a little. I reflexively  drove off when the light turned green, not even thinking about trying to engage her in any way. I decided to turn back and try and find her, but it was in vain. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get to enjoy that feeling again,” I lamented, as the XKR roared down University Avenue. It turns out I was wrong.

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If you want to be the center of attention, especially among nubile women, do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not remember the XKR even exists. You want an F-Type, perhaps in Polaris White as shown above. Italian Racing Red is certainly striking but will invite too many snide quips about inadequate genitals to be beneficial. You will get so many stares from attractive women of all ages that you will begin to feel the kind of contempt for them generally known to deeply damaged people who spurn romantic advances because they feel unlovable. Oh, and you absolutely must get the car with the “Configurable Dynamic Mode”, which adds another $3,000 to the base price, but effectively gives you two cars for the price of one.

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With Dynamic Mode off, the F-Type is all show but feels like it has a lot less go. The 380 horsepower V6 is still there, but throttle response is muted, the exhaust produces a rather banal hum akin to a Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 and the steering feels a bit like the current Mazda MX-5, with lots of response but not as much feel. But it’s also not a supple grand tourer like the XKR. One would be forgiven for thinking of it as a halfway sports car for the chest-hair-and-Hublot-watch crowd.

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But with Dynamic Mode toggled to the on position, the F-Type stops being a fashion accessory. It’s difficult to think of a car that can change its character so completely with one simple action, but the transformation is remarkable. Suddenly, the V6 has found its lungs, emitting a demonic snarl that sounds more exotic than Ferrari’s most recent V8s, with all the popping and backfiring that any attention-seeker could want. The numbed throttle and steering are suddenly crisp and responsive, while the chassis becomes even more taut.If you listen closely, you can hear the faintest bit of supercharger whine, something that, in my opinion, should be more present on a car like this. Slot the 8-speed transmission into “S” and the shifts are executed with an alarming brutality, akin to the very first Lexus IS-F. You feel each gear change through your spine as the car hurtles you forward. Industry scuttlebutt claims that a manual may show up alongside a coupe version. They can keep it. Even without a clutch pedal and a gearshift, it will make your facial muscles hurt from grinning so much.

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Back on planet earth, the car is affable in everyday situations. On longer highway drives, the revs are kept below 2000 rpm thanks to the 8-speed transmission. There is a slight hint of wind noise right where the convertible top meets the A-pillar, but generally, road noise is dependent on whether the active exhaust is open or not. There are flaws too. The stop-start is a little ridiculous on a car like this. When the top is up, blind spots are massive, as one would expect with a convertible. The trunk is unable to hold even one golf bag, which will apparently put off some potential buyers.

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And so will the fact that, according to reputable sources, this car is not quite the dynamic proposition that a Porsche Boxster or 911 is on the Race tack. Frankly, I couldn’t care less, and I’m sure plenty of customers don’t either, though they won’t have the bragging rights of a Nuburgring time or some other meaningless performance benchmark. Today’s Porsche sports cars, dynamically competent as they are, don’t make you feel this special. Then again, I’m not sure any car feels this special. If you want to win an HPDE event, then a P-Car is your only choice. If you want to feel like an equine-endowed billionaire Formula 1 champion petroleum tycoon international playboy film star every single day of your life until the warranty runs out, this is your only option. At $84,000, it will make you better looking too, without you ever having to go under the knife.

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46 Comments on “Capsule Review: Jaguar F-Type V6S...”


  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    It’s the 560SL, not 380SL, that drops the panties, yo.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Old muscle car convertibles will do the same thing for much cheaper guys. A 46 year old Mustang convertible will get much positive attention although dual Flowmasters don’t hurt. Plus when you drive an “antique” convertible in nice (but not museum quality) shape, people don’t automatically think you’re a jackass.

      Although the car that most does it for my wife is the Corvette, just about any example.

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        Agreed, my friends and I have owned damn near everything and in the end women love old muscle cars like the 69 Camaro the best. My buddy has just bought a beat up old one to restore and we took it to the bar that night and it still got more attention than anything else out there from women. Women like big SUVs also, mostly I think because they want to take it from you and drive it once you start dating.

        If you want attention from lots of dudes, buy any of the cars we generally lust at on this site, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, etc etc.

        • 0 avatar
          hgrunt

          There was a Motor Trend video where they drove a rat rod and a rented Aventador around southern california and the results are basically what you’ve just described. Girls all wanted to ride in the rat rod, and only dudes were particularly interested in the Lambo.

      • 0 avatar

        My girlfriend (29) gets excited by two things: White jags (natch!) and 90′s Supras.

        She’s not a car person AT ALL.

        Different generations I suppose.

    • 0 avatar

      A cute 18 month old baby works even better, I believe.

      “Oh my! He’s just so cute and charming.”

      “Thank you. He’s a good baby.”

      “He’s just adorable.”

      “You know, if you want to get to know him better, we can go have coffee.”

  • avatar
    Monty

    Hmmmph @ Jack – my wife couldn’t, and doesn’t care to, tell the difference between the 560 and 380. However, in her words “The sound of Barry’s F-Type in Sport mode prompted Niagara Falls to start flowing, if you know what I mean.”

    Barry is her former boss, who retired a few years ago and left the company in the hand of the next generation, but he’s constantly at the dealership checking up on things, and he just sold his Panamera and bought a new F-Type. My wife is now obsessed with it.

    Her only complaint about the F-Type? No manual.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’m not sure what that activated switch in the sixth picture is supposed to indicate, but that switch’s graphic looks pretty silly in something as demure as a Jaguar…

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    I just am not drinking the Kool-Aid on this one. It looks like a slightly nicer 350Z crossed with a Miata. The best looking roadster out there now is a Maserati Granturismo and this thing is nowhere close as sexy.

    • 0 avatar
      Trauto

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      OM617

      +2 The front looks cartoonish and unsophisticated to me. On the other hand, the narrow taillights and flat roof at the rear are more compelling.

      I can think of at least a dozen roadsters, past and present, that are more attractive than this one . Good to hear that Derek had a good time with it though

    • 0 avatar
      Cubista

      I think the real result (if not actual purpose) of this article was to remind everyone just how freaking HAWT the XKR was.

      I was two-knuckle deep into an AutoTrader.com search when I remembered “Oh, yeah…there is no such thing as a cheap used JAAAAAAAG…”

      • 0 avatar
        Johnny Bouncewell

        Oh yes there is…you just don’t want to be the fool to buy one (or five). Ask me how I know.

        • 0 avatar
          johnxyz

          I thought used 2008 and newer XK’s and XJ’s were the bargains of the century due the huge depreciation absorbed by the 1st owner. Near super cars or full on luxury for cheap. Reliable Ford engines? Air suspension is fiddly (replace with regular shocks)? Beautiful aluminum bodies and wood and leather to match. Is it the subpar Ford parts bin switches and window lifts that fail? Thoughts why I should avoid a used XK-R or ’08-’09 XJ-L? Thanks

  • avatar
    slance66

    Visiting some friends with my wife three weeks ago, and as we were leaving another friend of theirs had just arrived…in one of these. So it was sitting in the driveway, top down. My wife hates convertibles, but still responded with “Oh my God, that car is GORGEOUS”. The only other two cars I know to elicit a similar response are the Aston Martin DB9 (or Vantage, which looks the same in 7/8 scale) and the Maserati GT. Oh, and thanks to Top Gear she knows them all now.

    So there’s my shopping list.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I think the important question Derek is how did the ladies at the club in the top picture feel about the Jag?

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I can’t believe no one has said this yet – “Jaguar, the car for men who want to get handjobs from women they don’t even know”. :-)

    I can report that the noted effects even work in the old XJS convertible. Just something about Jags and women. An E-type must make their panties fly off.

    • 0 avatar

      Who needs Joel Ewanick when there’s krhodes1

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        LOL – I take it you never saw the Dudley Moore movie “Crazy People”? :-)

        Another gem from that movie – “Volvo, they are boxy but good cars”.

        Possibly before your time…

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Saw a gorgeous E-type in a parking lot yesterday, every time I see one I’m still struck by how incredible they look. This is pretty nice, but I wish Jaguar would just build a modern E and call it good.

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      I can remember a certain Clarkson’s description of the Jaguar brand as cars for men who take their wives to expensive restaurants and flirt with the waitress the whole time.

      They are cars for cads. And very good at what they do. Keeping wheels attached to axles is not what they do, however…

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    It is indeed a beautiful machine.

    However, my vote for the most beautiful sports car – and female magnet – is the E-type.

    Pure sex.

  • avatar
    TCragg

    Derek, can you explain the London connection to this review? You don’t often see road tests being performed in “Canada’s London”, as our tourism people fancy us. That picture out in front of the Beef Baron is classic. I drive past that sign everyday. Between the Baron and the 5-Star variety, it looks like you hit all the sights in the Forest City!

  • avatar
    olddavid

    “Equine-endowed”? You’ve been hanging with Jack too much.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I think that the radical styling is just Jaguar trying to distinguish itself from Aston Martin, that is unless if the Rapides bizarre front end becomes standard issue. Overall its a bit Ferrari California-ish.

    I wouldn’t mind the base V6 model, just have to throw in a chip to make it on level with the V6S.

  • avatar
    Bocatrip

    There are no if ands or buts with the F Type. It is absolutely gorgeous! To go one step further, the F Type Coupe arriving next year is downright PORNOGRAPHIC!

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I just realized I was following one on the road this morning and it didn’t even register. I only recognized it as a Jag when I saw the red and green R badge. Yes it was dark outside and the car was dark colored, but still… I just don’t see the sex appeal in this. Maybe I’m just getting old. Is 29 the new 49? Oh well, if I had the $, sounds like it would be a fun way to mess with women and leave them frustrated while making my straight guy friends jealous haha

  • avatar
    ccd1

    The car looks promising, but my concern is that Jag is imitating Porsche too much. There are rumors that the coupe will be price ABOVE the convertible like the Cayman/Boxster. Whether that comes to pass or not, Jag has an a la carte option menu on this car that would make Porsche proud. In fact, I could not find ANY option packages. Even Porsche has relented and begun to offer a few packages.

    This, IMHO, is a big mistake. If you are trying to challenge the market leader, you have to be better than the market leader instead of just imitating the market leader’s mistakes. Right now, its a choice between Porsche arrogance and Jag arrogance. Might look better in the Jag and it might be a chick magnet, but my bet is that the Porsche is better engineered, more reliable and will have better (ie less) depreciation.

  • avatar

    I have to agree with women loving jags. Most of the time my girlfriend and I go out in the daily driver. When I pull in her driveway in the XK8 she instantly gets a mile wide grin on her face and least once every trip she says “You don’t know how much I love this car.” She especially likes it with the top down, I’m thinking it’s her way of saying to the other women on the road, “I’m cruising in a Jag and you aren’t.” I do find women seem to comment on the car more than men. The F-Type is a beauty and no doubt a chick magnet too.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Yay, shallow women!

  • avatar
    tonyeads

    A bit off topic, but all of you E-Type lovers should really see an older film with Julie Walters, “Car Trouble.” Plot: A shlump is finally able to buy a restored E-Type and it . . . utterly destroys his life.


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