The Truth About Cars » Jaguar http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 31 Aug 2015 20:30:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Jaguar http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/reviews/jaguar/ Slow Drive: Jaguar F-TYPE V6 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/slow-drive-jaguar-f-type-v6/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/slow-drive-jaguar-f-type-v6/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2015 13:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1151377 Earlier this year, I got a weekend job doing what I always thought was a dream job — driving brand new cars around; almost all makes and models. It turns out that even a “dream job” can quickly turn into “Oh great, I have to go to work again”. But forget that. The cool part […]

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Earlier this year, I got a weekend job doing what I always thought was a dream job — driving brand new cars around; almost all makes and models.

It turns out that even a “dream job” can quickly turn into “Oh great, I have to go to work again”. But forget that. The cool part is still cool and I still get to drive brand new VWs, Audis, BMW’s, Porsches, Hondas, everything. Everything except Cadillacs. I don’t think I’ve driven a new Caddy yet. That part is great!

There’s one catch to this job of mine. I have to stick to a speed limit. “Who doesn’t?” you may ask. Well, this speed limit is a little lower than most. I’m stuck doing 15 miles per hour. 15 mph. Oh, and no radio and rarely A/C.

Here’s what I’ve noticed: Driving slowly gives you a chance to learn the vehicle more. How’s the ride? How’s the interior? When you’re in traffic or on a back road, you’re busy worrying about deer, the guy on his cell phone, and what the road is doing ahead of you. I’m not worried about those things. It’s just me and the car. So what I’m trying out here is a unique spin on the car review. You’re not going to get handling at the limit. You’re not going to get maximum acceleration. You’re going to get what I notice while driving 2-5 miles at 15 miles per hour — a Slo-Mo Review.

Let’s start with a good one. The Jaguar F-TYPE V6.

I’m getting in the F-TYPE because the guy in front of me couldn’t get the door open. It’s simple. You push on the dimple, the handle pops out, you open the door, and get in. Move the seat all the way back, all the way down. The seat controls are on the door. I always like that because I can move the seat without getting in or bending over.

I can fit in this car. It’s low and I’m tall so sometimes it’s a bit of a squeeze. Nice inside; leather everywhere. Everything seems bolted together tightly. The door panel doesn’t move when I rest my knee on it. That’s surprisingly rare.

Ok, push the start button. Whoa! The supercharged V-6 sounds amazing, and it blips the throttle when you start it. Sounds amazing — enough to get a stare from the boss every single time. Sorry boss, it’s not me, it’s the car! Ok, the revs settle down — and what the hell is that? The vents are RISING UP OUT OF THE DASH! SWEET! You know what? That’s fascinating. I’m gonna turn it off and back on just to hear the engine and watch the vents. Did I do that four times? Maybe. What are you going to do about it? You’d do the same. Vents go up! Vents go down.

Pull away and everything feels good. No twitchy throttle. No grabby brakes. This is a bumpy lot, but the car’s not rattling or squeaking. Sure, it’s brand new, but that doesn’t mean anything. The Jag rides well for a sports car. It’s understeering at a snail’s pace, but suspension blocks will do that. Don’t worry, they take those out. I’m just gonna keep blipping the throttle and listening to the engine. I’ve heard the F-TYPE is one of the loudest new cars. Based on 1/8th throttle and 2000 rpm, I believe it.

The Jaguar F-TYPE is great in a parking lot. Great for a while anyway. Wonder how long before those pop-up vents start to act like pop-up headlights? It’s a Jag. I’m sure it’ll be fine — right? Yeah, the Jag is great, but lots of cars are terrible.

Stay tuned and you’ll get more greats, and more monstrosities. Like how 1 in 4 A3’s I’ve driven had the steering wheel offset about 1 inch to the left. How does that even happen?

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Oh, Hello There Previously Unseen Jaguar F-Pace http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/oh-hello-previously-unseen-jaguar-f-pace/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/oh-hello-previously-unseen-jaguar-f-pace/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:00:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1127873 Jaguar’s coming crossover, dubbed F-Pace, was sent all over the world to test in various climates, and the automaker is sharing its photo album from the trip. The F-Pace pictured here is only slightly camouflaged ahead of its official unveiling in Frankfurt later this year. The pictures show a crossover that’s expected to take on […]

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Jag_FPACE_Cold_Test_Image_290715_02_LowRes

Jaguar’s coming crossover, dubbed F-Pace, was sent all over the world to test in various climates, and the automaker is sharing its photo album from the trip.

The F-Pace pictured here is only slightly camouflaged ahead of its official unveiling in Frankfurt later this year. The pictures show a crossover that’s expected to take on the likes of the BMW X4 and Porsche Macan when it goes on sale next year — if the automaker is to be taken seriously.

The body in the photos closely resembles the C-X17 concept that Jaguar showed off a couple years ago, and spy shots that have been circulating for a while.

While it appears that the rear tail lamps will likely be different on the production version, the concept’s aggressive hood lines and sloping roof line have remained the same. Even from the front, the Jaguar looks, well, almost Jaguar-ish.

The statement from the automaker didn’t reveal any details about what could be stuffed under the hood. Everything from a six- to eight-cylinder engine could make its way in there, forced induction or not. We’ll learn more when the crossover concept becomes a reality in Frankfurt.

The Frankfurt Motor Show begins Sept. 15.

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Jaguar Needs to Get It Together http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/jaguar-needs-to-get-it-together/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/jaguar-needs-to-get-it-together/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 16:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1112881 So I’m reading through Autoblog (Motto: All the recall stories that are fit to print!), and I come across an article about how Jaguar is now developing an even higher performance version of the F-Type sports car. That’s right, folks: soon, Jaguar dealers across the country will be graced with yet another six-figure car that […]

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Jaguar F-Type S AWD

So I’m reading through Autoblog (Motto: All the recall stories that are fit to print!), and I come across an article about how Jaguar is now developing an even higher performance version of the F-Type sports car.

That’s right, folks: soon, Jaguar dealers across the country will be graced with yet another six-figure car that nobody wants to buy.

If you’re an F-Type fan (who isn’t?), then you might be surprised to hear me say this — but it’s true. Cars.com does a monthly list of the slowest selling cars on the market — not by sales volume, but by actual days each car spends on the lot — and some version the F-Type is always near the top. It’s often stopped from being the true number one vehicle by only more overpriced cars, like the BMW 6 Series and the Kia K900.

So why are they developing a high-performance version? Because Jaguar remains convinced that this is the way to attract younger, hipper car shoppers: by offering the same old thing with more power at an even higher price tag. The main problem with the F-Type, Jaguar apparently believes, is that it isn’t expensive enough.

Of course, Jaguar is terribly wrong in this assessment. Not only is the main problem with the F-Type that it’s far too expensive, but its other issue is that it’s the latest entrant in a dying segment. Remember the late 1990s, when the BMW Z3 and the Mercedes SLK were everywhere? That world is gone now; dead and buried. Young people aren’t buying two-seat roadsters anymore.

Young people also aren’t buying full-size luxury sedans, which constitutes the entirety of Jaguar’s remaining lineup. There’s the large XJ — ultra-cool when it first came out, but quickly fading into obscurity as used models now trade in the low- to mid-$30,000 range — and the XF, which is among the oldest luxury sedans on the market. When the XF went on sale, people had never heard of Sarah Palin.

And young people certainly aren’t buying larger two-door cars, like the brand’s recently cancelled XK convertible. Yes, it’s true: the XK has finally left market after nearly a decade, largely unchanged, using the same general styling as it did when it rolled off the lot just after I gradated from high school. When the XK first went on sale, people had never heard of Katy Perry.

So what are young people buying? Well, SUVs mostly. That’s been clear since the early 2000s, when we had Tahoes and Explorers and Cherokees and Navigators and Escalades flying off dealer lots at the same rate as promotional brochures. Everybody wanted a piece of the SUV action, and everybody got some of it: there were Hondas and Isuzus and Fords and Suzukis and Land Rovers and Mazdas. Everyone was in.

Except Jaguar.

Fifteen years later, Jaguar still doesn’t have an SUV. They keep telling us they will soon, but we’ve seen no real evidence of it aside from the occasional concept car and a test mule running around every now and again. They have, however, given us a name: The “F Pace,” which kind of sums up Jaguar’s feelings on creating an SUV in a timely manner like everyone else.

Instead, they’re creating a more expensive version of the F-Type. They’re also creating a small sedan called the XE, which seems doomed from the start. I say this because it’s virtually identical in styling to the XF, which is one of the oldest luxury cars on the market. I also say this because Jaguar’s previous small car attempt, the X-Type, did little aside from make sure that every Craigslist used car lot will always have at least one Jag on hand.

So here’s the question: are the XE and the F-Pace signs of a revitalized Jaguar? Right now, my instinctive reaction is that I’ll believe it when I see it. Jaguar always seems to be in the middle of some grand scheme that’s going to completely turn them around — like the 1997 XK8, and the aluminum 2004 XJ, and the X-Type. And frankly, it never really seems to work. What seems to happen instead is Jaguar releases the car, the market loves it for a year, and then everyone goes back to buying Mercedes. Meanwhile, Jaguar lets the design last for another decade.

So my message to Jaguar is this: the time has come to decide whether or not you’re serious. If you are, the time has come to act like it. Start redesigning your cars more often. Bring us new features. Get the XE and the F-Pace on the market. And then, someday, people might bring up Jaguar to discuss something other than the fact that used models cost the same as a dining room set.

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2016 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Review – Bringing the Kitty into Shape http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/2016-jaguar-f-type-r-awd-bringing-kitty-shape/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/2016-jaguar-f-type-r-awd-bringing-kitty-shape/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 14:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1112713 I know the experience is inauthentic. I know the sounds are manufactured somewhat. I know the marketing telling me about this car’s “soul” and “passion” is wholly disingenuous. I don’t particularly care. The 2016 Jaguar F-Type R AWD is one of those genetically engineered chocolate-flavored bananas. It’s a trick; I get it. I just don’t […]

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2015 Jaguar F-Type R AWD

I know the experience is inauthentic. I know the sounds are manufactured somewhat. I know the marketing telling me about this car’s “soul” and “passion” is wholly disingenuous.

I don’t particularly care.

The 2016 Jaguar F-Type R AWD is one of those genetically engineered chocolate-flavored bananas. It’s a trick; I get it. I just don’t care. Perhaps the Jaguar’s greatest trick is reminding you that your experience in the car is less organic than a Twinkie, then making you completely forget it.


The Tester

2016 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Convertible

Engine: 5.0-liter, supercharged V8 (550 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm; 502 pound-feet @ 2,500-5,000 rpm)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Fuel Economy (Rating, MPG): 15 city/23 highway/18 combined
Fuel Economy (Observed, MPG): 19.9 mpg in 50/50 city/highway — liberal helpings of “Dynamic Mode”

Options: 20-inch Gyrodyne Wheels, Performance Red Leather Seats, Red Leather Headliners, Redzone Seatbelts, Vision Pack, Extended Leather Pack-Upper Environment, Illuminated Tread Plate, Black Pack “R”

Price as tested: $121,575


The F-Type is easily one of the best-looking sportscars built for two. Alongside the Mercedes-AMG GT, Dodge Viper, Audi R8 and Porsche 911, the Jaguar is an expensive toy for most people — perhaps a fourth or fifth car. It’s easy to get carried away on the car’s impracticality: the trunk space is comically small, the ingress/egress isn’t ideal and outward visibility with the roof up for someone as tall as I am (6-foot-3) is incredibly limited.

I could have told you all that before I stepped foot into the car.

Rather, my interest in this car was whether AWD somehow spoiled the fun of the last RWD F-Type, and if I believed the inclusion of a manual — which I haven’t driven — could somehow connect people to a car many people say is too fake. Is any car natural anymore?

2015 Jaguar F-Type R AWD

Exterior
Despite the F-Type Convertible’s brash approach to transporting you and one of your passengers in a loud, shouting roadster — very little of the car’s exterior is polarizing.

The hood’s nostrils and creases are visible without dominating the entire front end, and the functional cooling ducts in the nose aren’t over-engineered a la BMW’s M4. I appreciate that. The black bar running across the grille spoils an otherwise very good nose, and the Jag’s black honeycomb nose does what it should: feed the neutron bomb under the hood without drawing attention to itself.

The Reader’s Digest version: The F-Type’s front is tasteful but aggressive without spoiling or over-promising what’s coming out of the back.

The rear boasts the same aggressive, squinty lamps and raised hips to curve and accentuate the F-Type’s wide 295mm-wide aftward. A body-colored diffuser splits the wide difference between two sets of two tailpipes, presumably to visually fill space between the high-sitting exhausts, but the effect is lost. I almost prefer Arden’s approach with a black diffuser accented by a thin pipe of color. But I digress.

From the side, Jaguar design is tough to beat in profiles. The F-Type’s high belt and level nose and tail are classic roadster look, while the low creases below the doors help ground an already low coupe. There’s almost too much space between the wheel arches and the thin, 3.5-inch sidewall tires, but if the F-Type were any lower it wouldn’t be a Jaguar — it’d be a damn snake.

The worst part of the F-Type Convertible’s look is that the F-Type Coupe exists. That’s really it.

2015 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Seats

Interior
If our tester’s red leather seats with embossed R logos in the headrests don’t scream bombastic, then the red seatbelts will. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea (and probably not mine for $2,500 extra dollars), but it is fairly attractive when paired with the right exterior color.

Our white, black convertible with red leather was high contrast and good looking in classical terms — it’d be hard to imagine red leather looking the same with an orange exterior, however.

2015 Jaguar F-Type R AWD InteriorThe F-Type’s cockpit is appealing in its focus on the driver, and that’s it. The passenger hand grab on the left, near the center display screams: “Keep hands and arms away.” It’s a wonderful idea.

Jaguar’s new navigation is slightly easier to use than last generation’s, which is to say, it’s passable. It’s not one of the larger automaker’s systems — Uconnect, Sync, etc. — so it lacks the fit and polish one of those systems can offer. The 770-watt Meridian sound system is sublime, and it’s a damn shame it has to be bolted to a car with no top and four tailpipes.

Although the display is bright, crisp and easily readable, there’s not a lot of information on the 8-inch touchscreen. Similarly, our F-Type’s rear backup camera (which seems a little unnecessary for such a short rear end) didn’t have the cleanest resolution. Also, the round climate control dials were attractive but difficult to understand. For example, the heated seats are controlled via pushing the temperature dial, something you’d only find out by staring at the dial and noticing a small red outline of a chair, roughly 1/4-inch tall. Meh.

Given all that, I found myself looking out more than I was looking in, listening to the car more than I was listening to the radio, and gripping the thick, leather-wrapped wheel more than the suede upper surfaces our Red Leather Package offered.

The driver controls and information are clean and sharp. Jaguar’s beefy three-spoke steering wheel is comfortable to grip and the tilt/telescopic wheel helps to find an ideal position for driving. A large, bright speedo that runs up to 210 mph (even though top speed is electronically limited to 186 mph) and expressive tachometer are classic needles and numbers, which fit the Jaguar.

The pistol-gripped shifter and dynamic control aren’t necessarily classical Jaguar features, if we’re being honest with each other. It takes a good 30 solid minutes with the shifter to discern how to get what gear and when (park is a button on top) and how to avoid shifting into neutral when you’re looking for drive. The dynamic control slider feels like a missile switch — which is awesome — but doesn’t necessarily fit the feel for the rest of the car.

2015 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Tailpipes

Drivetrain
An extraordinary body deserves an extraordinary engine, in my opinion. In that event, the supercharged V8 has a lot to live up to. The throbbing, grunting, spitting V8 has been compared to a lot of God-related events, and here’s mine: The engine sounds like a symphonic arrangement of guns, testosterone, God’s pleasure and winning every pissing contest all at the same time.

It doesn’t matter that the cackle and runoff is manufactured. I’m not particularly concerned with the active exhaust button that quiets the F-Type when it needs to slink around a neighborhood corner at 5 a.m. I think everyone should be awake to see this car, no matter how many computers are controlling what sounds and feels so organic.

That was one of my biggest questions for the AWD Jaguar F-Type R, which is the only powertrain available for the top-of-the-line model: Do you need something to swing its ass out to help you forget that it’s a series of computers and sophisticated electronics, and not a wild animal?

Well, no. Jaguar’s Magna all-wheel drive system operates mostly in the background without much intrusion to the driver. One hundred percent of the Jag’s power is sent to the rear wheels in normal driving, but if the system detects slip in the rear wheels, up to 50 percent of the power can be pushed up front. For decidedly un-hero drivers like me, that’s helpful to bring a rear end into shape around a corner, or mitigate understeer in a car with a 53/47 weight-distribution split. In short, with 550 horsepower, you can get the back around all you like, but for drivers without their Super License like me, the machine is best helping us along to faster lap times.

Aside from Jaguar’s move to AWD in the F-Type R, the inclusion of a manual option in V6 models with RWD is the other big news this year. I haven’t driven that box, so it wouldn’t be prudent to speculate, but I do know the automatic 8-speed with paddle shifters is smooth and responsive. When pressed into dynamic mode, the gearbox responds with rapid upshifts and holds gears around corners incredibly well. It may not be amazing like the Corvette’s automatic, but it’s better than slipping a shift around a canyon corner.

2015 Jaguar F-Type R AWD

Drive
Now that I’ve buried the lede, the F-Type is glorious fun to drive. I don’t imagine it’ll be the quickest lap compared to its competition, but it may be the most entertaining.

There’s a prevailing feeling that the Jaguar is doing its best to convince you that you’re part of an organic experience — your right foot commands all the horses all the time, your hands can pummel corners into shape, and your eyes can look through and save a snap oversteer.

In reality, none of those things exist. It’s possible to manipulate the amount of spit the pipes cackle with light throttle applications and holding gears, the Jaguar’s electric assist rack is disconnected despite feeling taut and ready, and the computers can command all 550 horses to four wheels better than I ever could.

I still know all that and I still don’t care.

With the top down and the exhaust fired up, the F-Type AWD R still made me feel special every time I drove it. I care about that.

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This Is the New 2016 Jaguar XJ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/this-is-the-new-2016-jaguar-xj/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/this-is-the-new-2016-jaguar-xj/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 14:02:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092681 Jaguar has revealed the refreshed XJ for 2016 equipped with a new InControl Touch Pro touch-screen infotainment system. It also has a slightly revised front fascia. Actually, the new car is so slightly revised that the above image is of the 2014 XJ and you probably didn’t know the difference. Here’s the new one: We will give […]

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2014 Jaguar XJ

Jaguar has revealed the refreshed XJ for 2016 equipped with a new InControl Touch Pro touch-screen infotainment system. It also has a slightly revised front fascia.

Actually, the new car is so slightly revised that the above image is of the 2014 XJ and you probably didn’t know the difference. Here’s the new one:

2016 Jaguar XJ Autobiography

We will give it to Jaguar: they themselves call the front fascia updates “subtle”. While the XJ does receive a wide assortment of exterior upgrades, including a “more upright grille with a new mesh pattern” and new R-Sport base model exterior look package, the changes inside are of more importance.

2016 Jaguar XJ Portfolio Interior

Sitting front and center in the Anglo-Indian dash is a new, in-house developed InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, now featuring a quad-core CPU to keep up with the increased software load. A 60GB solid-state hard drive is used for the quick retrieval of map data. The new hardware does its digital dance with a multi-touch 8-inch screen and “pinch to zoom” and “swipe” gesture capability.

The Jaguar XJ will continue to be offered in standard and long wheelbase configurations. Updated units will start arriving at dealer lots this fall.

 

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2015 Jaguar XJL AWD Portfolio Review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/review-2015-jaguar-xjl-awd-portfolio/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/review-2015-jaguar-xjl-awd-portfolio/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 11:45:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1038649 In February of 2013, when speaking to the opening breakfast of the Chicago Auto Show, Andy Goss, the head of Jaguar Land Rover of North America, made a couple of comments about the luxury market in the United States. He said that 90 percent of vehicles with luxury nameplates are sold with V6 engines and […]

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2015 Jaguar XJL AWD

In February of 2013, when speaking to the opening breakfast of the Chicago Auto Show, Andy Goss, the head of Jaguar Land Rover of North America, made a couple of comments about the luxury market in the United States. He said that 90 percent of vehicles with luxury nameplates are sold with V6 engines and  you can’t sell a luxury car north of the Mason-Dixon line if you don’t at least offer all-wheel drive. The 2015 Jaguar XJL AWD Portfolio is the result of Goss’ perception of the lay of the luxury land.


Start the YouTube video player. Click on the settings icon in the menu bar to select 2D or your choice of stereo 3D formats

There are those who believe true luxury starts at eight cylinders but the simple truth is most Jaguars ever made, including most of the cars that have carried the XJ nameplate, were powered by six cylinder engines, specifically the classic DOHC inline six in 3.8 and 4.2 liter versions. I’ve owned one of those XJs so the idea of driving Jaguar’s biggest, most luxurious sedan with ‘only’ a six doesn’t bother me. Besides, Jaguar’s current supercharged V6 is tuned to provide 340 horsepower. While that’s 10-15% less power than Jaguar’s naturally aspirated V8 puts out, by my standards it was quick enough. A friend and customer of mine has been driving leased Jaguar XJs for more than a decade and he told me that he didn’t like the performance of the XJ with the six. Another XJ owner, whose car does have a six, told me she loved it. Jaguar quotes a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds. Whether that’s quick enough for you, well, that’s up to you.

 

The pewter colored paint looked great when clean, but got pretty dirty in winter driving. Full gallery here.

The pewter colored paint looked great when clean, but got pretty dirty in winter driving.

As I said, it’s quick enough for me. Over the past few years I’ve reviewed a variety of Jaguar XF and XJ models. At the 2015 New York Auto Show, Jaguar had the formal introduction of their new XF, which is now based on Jaguar’s aluminum architecture and hundreds of pounds lighter than the XFs I’ve driven in the past. The reason for that change is the bigger XJ was actually lighter and had better performance and handling than the previous XF when equipped with the same powertrains. Jaguar’s head of design Ian Callum acknowledged that at the NY show. Though the XJ is big, and the longer wheelbase XJL even bigger, it’s relatively light and nimble, and I don’t think many people will find the lack of an eight cylinder engine to be a significant performance detriment.

When the current body style XJ was introduced, Callum’s use of black trim blending in with the rear window to visually isolate the roof panel was criticized by many. It seems as if Callum is being validated by other designers, as the new Nissan Maxima and Lexus RX, introduced earlier this month at the New York Auto Show, both feature somewhat similar black panels.

In one area, handling, the smaller and lighter six may help offset the additional weight of the components needed to drive the front wheels as well as the back. Of course, without driving them back to back I can’t say for sure, but based on memory the AWD XJL feels just as balanced and handles just as well as the V8 powered rear-wheel drive versions I’ve driven. As mentioned, the XJL feels nimble. You don’t get the feeling you’re driving one of the largest cars on the road. It’s the automotive equivalent to a gentleman or lady’s well fitted suit. While the XJ’s flanks are substantial, visibility is outstanding thanks to a third side light of glass at the C pillar.

If the 340 horsepower V6 seems up to the task of powering a full scale luxury sedan, what about all-wheel drive, Andy Goss’ other benchmark for selling luxury cars in this market? Jaguar’s all-wheel drive system is now available in all of their cars – XJ, XE and the new XF introduced earlier this month at the New York show. The AWD unit, developed with the expertise of the Land Rover side of the company, worked very well. I specifically asked Jaguar if they had an AWD car for me to test out this winter and, fortunately for this review, the Detroit area got about two inches of snow the morning the XJL was dropped off. Ideal conditions to see how the all-wheel drive performed in poor traction conditions. Well, almost ideal conditions. The test car came equipped with all-season tires.

As it turned out, though, the lack of true winter tires ended up demonstrating just how well Jaguar’s AWD works. While the XJL has aluminum construction, it’s still a big car and the AWD version tips the scale at over two tons. There’s some mass to contend with and 340 hp is more than enough to spin tires in bad traction conditions. I was deliberately being ham fisted with the car, trying to make it slide and get out of shape on turns. Because of the all-season tires’ lack of grip in the snow, it was indeed sliding, and it would start to get out of shape, but the AWD, traction control and stability control would step in and keep the car traveling in my intended direction. It wasn’t particularly subtle, and there were some odd sounds going on, but the systems did get the car under control. If you do get an AWD Jaguar, you can afford a set of proper winter tires. Throw on some Blizzaks and your Quattro equipped Audi driving neighbors won’t have anything on you.

The rest of the car was as expected from Jaguar. Space, pace and grace. The cabin was first rate; the seats very comfortable and everything within easy reach. With the L designation in the model name comes substantial rear seat room. Six footers should easily be able to sit behind people just as tall.

While it isn’t world class, the infotainment system is a huge improvement over the clunky Jaguar interface most reviewers dinged a few years ago. I’d say it was competitive with other systems if not at the head of the class. My Samsung Android phone worked seamlessly via Bluetooth. While the light brown leather interior at first looked a bit visually jarring, that was only because I’ve gotten so used to black and grey interiors. Over the week the aesthetics of the brown leather grew on me.

What is world class, I think, is the Meridian branded audio system – a truly audiophile quality set of components. Car sound systems are getting very, very good. One mark of a good sound system is resolution and transparency, allowing you to hear individual instruments instead of a blurry mess. You gain a new appreciation for what you thought were familiar recordings. With this system, you can count just how many acoustic guitars Jimmy Page multi-tracked on Over The Hills And Far Away.

I’m cynical about the business of car audio system branding. The Panasonic-made audio systems in Volkswagen cars carry the Fender brand because those three companies believe American consumers are likely to associate the name Fender more generally with music and rock ‘n’ roll than as a company noted for the distinctive distortion of its guitar pickups and amplifiers. The audio system in the XJL was so good I’d have a hard time believing the audio experts at Meridian, an elite UK audio brand, were not involved in its application.

Also first rate is the way Jaguar engineers have calibrated the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. Upshifts are so smooth as to be almost imperceptible, and the way the transmission and ECU work together to slow the car when coasting down to a stop was very impressive. I don’t think I could use engine braking and downshifting as effectively myself with a clutch and manual gearbox.

Besides yielding more than adequate performance, one result of the 8-speed transmission and six cylinder engine is rather impressive fuel economy. The XJL is about as big a car as you’ll find on the American road and in about 600 miles of mixed driving, half urban/suburban and the other half on interstate highways, I saw 24.7 mpg. If I recall correctly, my old mid 1980s Jaguar XJ with the 4.2 liter inline six got 14 mpg.

Speaking of fuel, why do cars that require premium fuel typically call for 91 octane, whereas the vast majority of gasoline stations only offer 87, 89, and 93 octane? There’s no point in paying for more octane than you need so I typically blend 89 and 93 half and half to save money.

Rear passengers in the long wheelbase XJL get their own climate controls. Full gallery here

Rear passengers in the long wheelbase XJL get their own climate controls, with heated and cooled seats, which I’m sure will be appreciated when Shanghai gets hot and humid.

 

Not liking to be a cheerleader, I wish I could find things to criticize about the XJL AWD Portfolio, but everything worked flawlessly, even down to the automatically adjusting windshield wipers. While it’s cliche to say there aren’t any bad cars sold today, it’s not cliche to say there are a lot of great cars you can buy at just about every price point. I don’t have a problem saying the XJL AWD is a great car. When I’m reduced to complaining the automatic climate control seemed to be calibrated a couple of degrees off from what I’m used to, how could I say otherwise?


Start the YouTube video player. Click on the settings icon in the menu bar to select 2D or your choice of stereo 3D formats

Jaguar Land Rover of North America provided the car, insurance and a tank of premium gasoline.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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NYIAS 2015: 2016 Jaguar XF Bowing Over London Prior To Show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/nyias-2015-2016-jaguar-xf-bowing-london-prior-show/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/nyias-2015-2016-jaguar-xf-bowing-london-prior-show/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:00:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1024889 Prior to its North American debut in New York, the 2016 Jaguar XF will make its world debut next week over the waterways of London. The second-gen premium sedan will be driven by British stuntman Jim Dowdall over a pair of wires 1.3 inches in diameter in a high-water crossing stunt meant to demonstrate “the […]

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Prior to its North American debut in New York, the 2016 Jaguar XF will make its world debut next week over the waterways of London.

The second-gen premium sedan will be driven by British stuntman Jim Dowdall over a pair of wires 1.3 inches in diameter in a high-water crossing stunt meant to demonstrate “the lightweight and agile credentials” of the second Jaguar model to use the automaker’s aluminum-intensive structure.

For those interested in watching this stunt, Jaguar will stream the event online March 24 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on its XF microsite. More details about the XF, meanwhile, will come when it bows at the 2015 New York International Auto Show April 1.

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Review: Jaguar XF 3.0 Sport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/review-jaguar-xf-3-0-sport/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/review-jaguar-xf-3-0-sport/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 13:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1019082 It seems that whenever you read a review of a Jaguar, it’s never of a model that most people buy. It generally has a supercharged V-8 which is powerful enough for law enforcement to be on a first name basis with the driver. Its exhaust is loud enough to force the homeowners’ association to call […]

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It seems that whenever you read a review of a Jaguar, it’s never of a model that most people buy. It generally has a supercharged V-8 which is powerful enough for law enforcement to be on a first name basis with the driver. Its exhaust is loud enough to force the homeowners’ association to call an emergency meeting. The price tag is enough to send someone to a private college for a year and a half. It would be lucky to make less trips to the gas station than Nordstrom. The maintenance costs will come to rival its owner’s property taxes. Jaguar will probably make less than 10,000 units of that model during its lifespan for the entire world.

This review of a Jaguar will be very different from one you typically read in other automotive publications. This Jaguar has a supercharged V-6 (though law enforcement may still get to know you). The price tag is enough for only one year at a private college. The neighbors will be fine with the sound it makes. The owner can afford to shop at Neiman Marcus rather than Nordstrom. Maintenance costs will probably rival its owner’s mobile phone bill. And Jaguar will sell way more than 10,000 of it around the world this year.

Such was the case when I had a Jaguar XF 3.0 Sport for a week. Rather than assuming the persona of a successful business executive who could waltz into Bloomingdale’s like it was his second home, I ended up chauffeuring my friends to their different engagements throughout Northern California. It turned out to be good for reviewing the car, but it resulted in having no time to visit any upscale shopping centers.

In other to get some scenic photos during my time with the XF, in one day I drove from San Jose to San Francisco to Stinson Beach (it’s beautiful) to Petaluma (I got sick of seeing Tomales Bay for miles) to Sonoma (racetrack turned out to be closed) to Calistoga (the speedway there turned into a construction site and was repurposed into a baseball field) to Napa (where there’s really good food) and then back to San Francisco. In the process, I put at least 250 miles in one day on the car. During that trip, I learned many things about the car, both good and bad.

The powertrain, with its 3-liter supercharged V-6 which makes 340 horsepower with the ZF 8-speed gearbox, was excellent. Jaguar advertises that the car can go from 0-60 miles per hour in under six seconds and I believe them. When I needed to pass some slow-moving trucks on a two-lane road, the powertrain had no trouble dropping down a few gears and delivering the necessary power to get past quickly. Personally, getting an XF with the 5-liter V-8 is unnecessary in my opinion. As for handling, during the jaunt from San Francisco to Stinson Beach, there were plenty of winding roads. So I put the XF in dynamic mode, put the transmission in sport mode, and the Jaguar promptly made its point about why there are W-rated tires fitted to it. In other words, it’s very good. During my time with the car, the XF returned an average of 23 mpg, which came right in line with the EPA estimates. There’s also a start-stop system on it which perhaps helped that number.

People loved the looks of the XF, especially the white with black wheels color combination of my test car. Ever since the XF’s facelift for the 2012 model year, the design has become totally timeless. When driving it through San Francisco and Berkeley, people on the sidewalk felt the need to look at the car. Moreover, in a totally unscientific experiment, I parked it in my driveway (in place of my E39 530i) and observed how many people looked the car as they drove by. Almost every time, the driver always felt the need to get a better look at the car. When the car went away, most of my neighbors did a double take at the press vehicle that replaced the Jaguar. (I’m pretty sure my neighbors are thinking the XF is in the shop at the moment.) Furthermore, other drivers tended to move over for the Jag when I was driving up Highway 1.

However, I came across some parts of the car I didn’t like. There’s no way I can sugarcoat this, but the user interface is awful. It’s the only aspect of the car which gives you an inkling that the XF dates back from 2008. I like to make fun of the difficulty of using BMW’s iDrive, but after using iDrive in my dad’s X3, it’s become surprisingly intuitive. Meanwhile, the touchscreen system in the XF’s dashboard is slow, and it takes an eternity to scan through different radio stations. The navigation system doesn’t have the level of sophistication as systems from other manufacturers, giving me a fairly roundabout way to get from San Francisco to Berkeley. The same touchscreen system has to be used to work the climate control. To switch on the seat heaters, you have to press the seat button on the dashboard, and then select the level of heat you want on the dashboard. On the bright side, streaming music from an iPhone 6 using Bluetooth worked out well, while the base Meridian sound system sounds good too.

Since I was driving multiple people when I had the car, I got plenty of feedback regarding the interior. The at-least 12-way front sport seats weren’t liked by everyone, especially since you can’t simply slide into them due to the bolstering. (I wouldn’t recommend them if you’re over 200 pounds.) No one complained about rear seat comfort; I heard no complaints after sitting there for two hours. Folding down the rear seats to fit more cargo is another unorthodox process. You have to open the trunk, pull a lever located on the trunk’s ceiling, and then pull the rear seats down. The opening created isn’t large; it’s best for objects such as skis and narrow suitcases. But most potential XF owners won’t care about that as they’ll probably have another car for that job.

While driving the car, I was constantly on edge that the poor condition of some Northern California roads and highways would put too much strain on the Jaguar’s W-rated tires on 20-inch wheels. Thankfully, a spare tire is included with the XF 3.0 Sport, though it isn’t full-size. Additionally, when fueling the car (with premium, of course), the gas pump tends to shut off after ten seconds, though the fuel tank is nowhere near full. This was a problem at the two gas stations I filled up at. I ended up researching the problem and it’s fairly common. The suggested solution was to not push the nozzle all the way in, but I didn’t have an opportunity to attempt that particular solution.

The XF 3.0 Sport is perfect for the person who always wanted an XFR, but didn’t want to deal with its cost of ownership. After all, the fuel, maintenance, depreciation, and insurance costs seriously add up. The V-6 has three-quarters of the performance of the 5-liter V-8 while getting reasonable gas mileage. Additionally, when I had the XF 3.0 Sport, most people mistook it for the XFR largely due to the body kit, the standard Black Pack with its black grille and other exterior trim bits, and the dark grey 20-inch wheels that were at one point an option on the XFR.

On the other hand, if I were to get an XF, since I’m not one for getting the sport package, I would take the XF 3.0 Portfolio at the same price, as it’s the better choice for both long distance cruising and idling in traffic, with its 19-inch wheels, has the better Meridian sound system standard (825 watts vs. the 380 in my Sport test car), and has more comfortable active heated and cooled seats included. However, other people won’t give the Portfolio without the black and dark grey trim bits the same looks as the Sport, but eventually it comes down to personal preference.

At an MSRP of $58,100, the XF 3.0 Sport is squarely in the price range of the BMW 535i, Mercedes E350, Audi A6 3.0T (which also has a supercharged V-6), and Lexus GS350. However, you can typically negotiate $3,000 to $4,000 off MSRP (sometimes even $5,000 if Jaguar USA is providing incentives too) on the XF 3.0 Sport or Portfolio, which sweetens the case for an XF. All told, you can get an XF out of the dealership’s doors for under $60,000, while having more features than a similarly priced Mercedes or Audi.

In the end, the XF 3.0 is an excellent choice if you’ve always wanted the Jaguar experience but were afraid of the ownership costs. It’s very fast while returning well over 20 miles per gallon. Onlookers will think your XF is vastly more expensive than it really is. Homeowners’ associations across the country won’t give you a hard time if you own one. And most importantly, in a neighborhood of Mercedes E-Classes and BMW 5-Series cars, people take notice of the person with an XF in the driveway. Just be aware your conversations will be longer than before. Some people can go on and on about Nordstrom.

Satish Kondapavulur is a writer for Clunkerture, where about a fifth of the articles are about old cars and where his one-time LeMons racing dreams came to an end, once he realized it was impossible to run a Ferrari Mondial. His past weekend involved seven different conversations with his neighbors about why the XF was gone.

 

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Jaguar Land Rover Considering Turkey, Austria For New Factory http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/jaguar-land-rover-considering-turkey-austria-new-factory/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/jaguar-land-rover-considering-turkey-austria-new-factory/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1006298 Amid a pay dispute between itself and the U.K. trade unions, Jaguar Land Rover is considering Turkey and Austria over North America for a new factory. The Birmingham Post reports plans to locate a factory in North America, and particularly in the United States, were switched to the aforementioned countries due to the negotiations between […]

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Amid a pay dispute between itself and the U.K. trade unions, Jaguar Land Rover is considering Turkey and Austria over North America for a new factory.

The Birmingham Post reports plans to locate a factory in North America, and particularly in the United States, were switched to the aforementioned countries due to the negotiations between the automaker and JLR Unite over the autumn of 2014. The talks led to a two-year pay deal, but not before workers threatened industrial action amid accusations by the union of JLR planning to cut £240 million ($370 million USD) from pensions to pay for the deal.

Per a inside source, the automaker is looking at locales where costs are much lower than in the United Kingdom, “and where there is not the same union influence” on the factory floor compared to that in its British factories. The insider adds that Continental Europe is more likely at this point in time, but that nothing was in place thus far.

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Land Rovers, Jaguars Et Al Leave Höegh Osaka After Month At Sea http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/land-rovers-jaguars-et-al-leave-hoegh-osaka-month-sea/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/land-rovers-jaguars-et-al-leave-hoegh-osaka-month-sea/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=991122 Having spent most of January on its side, the Höegh Osaka returned to Southampton, England Tuesday to unload 1,400 premium vehicles bound for Germany. According to The Daily Mail, the car carrier was intentionally run aground in the Solent off the Isle of Wight January 3 when it began to list at 52 degrees shortly […]

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Land Rover Hoegh Osaka

Having spent most of January on its side, the Höegh Osaka returned to Southampton, England Tuesday to unload 1,400 premium vehicles bound for Germany.

According to The Daily Mail, the car carrier was intentionally run aground in the Solent off the Isle of Wight January 3 when it began to list at 52 degrees shortly after departing for Germany through the English Channel. Around 1,400 premium vehicles were onboard, including Land Rover Defenders, Jaguar XFs, MINIs, a Rolls-Royce Wraith, and a Porsche Boxster.

Presently, each of the 1,400 vehicles aboard are being inspected for any damage, especially the type that would mean a final ride to the crusher. The final total won’t come until early next week at the latest, though a decision to follow in Mazda’s footsteps — the automaker scrapped 4,700 units aboard the Cougar Ace in 2006 — would prove costly; the total value of Höegh Osaka’s cargo stands at £30 million ($45 million USD).

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NAIAS 2015: Jaguar Land Rover Bringing Diesel Power To US Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-jaguar-land-rover-bringing-diesel-power-us-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-jaguar-land-rover-bringing-diesel-power-us-market/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 00:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=976193 Want a diesel in your Land Rover or Jaguar XE, yet live in the United States? Jaguar Land Rover has heard you loud and clear. Land Rover is bringing over its Td6 3-liter turbodiesel V6 from Europe into the U.S. market this year, delivering 254 horsepower, 440 lb-ft of torque, and a combined 25 mpg […]

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Want a diesel in your Land Rover or Jaguar XE, yet live in the United States? Jaguar Land Rover has heard you loud and clear.

Land Rover is bringing over its Td6 3-liter turbodiesel V6 from Europe into the U.S. market this year, delivering 254 horsepower, 440 lb-ft of torque, and a combined 25 mpg to those who desire to burn oil in their Land Rover or Land Rover Sport. Diesel-powered versions of the SUVs will be on display at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show during press days.

Meanwhile, AutoGuide says JLR will install diesels in all future Land Rover and Jaguar models save one: The F-Type. The first Jaguar diesel will be the XE, whose mill a 2-liter four-pot the automaker is confident will deliver 40 mpg on the highway.

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Jaguar Teases 2016 F-Pace Crossover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/jaguar-teases-2016-f-pace-crossover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/jaguar-teases-2016-f-pace-crossover/#comments Sun, 11 Jan 2015 17:30:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=975673 After three concept crossovers, Jaguar is ready to go all in for 2016 with the F-Pace. Just Auto reports production of the premium crossover will begin in late 2015 at Jaguar Land Rover’s plant in Solihull, England, with a Land Rover-based variant — codenamed L560 — to follow later. Both models will be underpinned by […]

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After three concept crossovers, Jaguar is ready to go all in for 2016 with the F-Pace.

Just Auto reports production of the premium crossover will begin in late 2015 at Jaguar Land Rover’s plant in Solihull, England, with a Land Rover-based variant — codenamed L560 — to follow later. Both models will be underpinned by JLR’s PLA aluminum platform, currently in use by the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.

The F-Pace follows three concept crossovers, all named C-X17. The first concept bowed at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, the second version arrived at both Guangzhou and Dubai auto shows later that year, and the final C-X17 debuted at last year’s Brussels Auto Show.

Per Director of Jaguar Design Ian Callum, the overwhelming response to all three concepts prompted the decision to go forward with building the F-Pace:

We just had to make it a reality. The Jaguar F-PACE, inspired by the F-TYPE, represents a perfectly judged balance of style, performance and practicality. It offers a unique combination of Jaguar sports car inspired exterior design, fused beautifully with a thoroughly practical and spacious luxury interior. The F-PACE is our family sports car.

The crossover is set to go on sale in Europe in 2016, where it will do battle against the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and X4, Volvo XC60, and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. JLR expects to produce 50,000 F-Paces annually.

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Jaguar Launches New Historic Racing Series For 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/jaguar-launches-new-historic-racing-series-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/jaguar-launches-new-historic-racing-series-2015/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=946170 Own a particular, race-ready Jaguar from the mid-1960s or earlier? The English brand is preparing a racing series just for you. Dubbed the Jaguar Heritage Challenge, the five-race historic series will begin its first season next year, and is open to XK, C-Type, D-Type, pre-1966 E-Type, MK I and MK II models. Per Jaguar Land […]

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Jaguar Heritage Challenge

Own a particular, race-ready Jaguar from the mid-1960s or earlier? The English brand is preparing a racing series just for you.

Dubbed the Jaguar Heritage Challenge, the five-race historic series will begin its first season next year, and is open to XK, C-Type, D-Type, pre-1966 E-Type, MK I and MK II models. Per Jaguar Land Rover Heritage Business Director Derek Weale, the race series further boosts Jaguar’s presence on the heritage racing scene, which includes famed events like the Mille Miglia and Goodwood Revival.

Operated by the Silverstone, England-based Historic Sports Car Club, the Jaguar Heritage Classic will hold four of its five races in the U.K. in 2015, with the remaining race held somewhere in Continental Europe. Dates, classes and venues are expected to come in the near future.

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Los Angeles 2014: Jaguar F-Type Coupe R AWD Unveiled In South Africa http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-jaguar-f-type-coupe-r-awd-unveiled-south-africa/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-jaguar-f-type-coupe-r-awd-unveiled-south-africa/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 14:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=943489 Deciding two wheels weren’t enough, Jaguar unveiled its 2016 F-Type Coupe R in South Africa, which puts all four on the floor instead of just the two in the back. AutoGuide reports the sports car is able to charge from the starting grid to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, hitting the speed wall at […]

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Deciding two wheels weren’t enough, Jaguar unveiled its 2016 F-Type Coupe R in South Africa, which puts all four on the floor instead of just the two in the back.

AutoGuide reports the sports car is able to charge from the starting grid to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, hitting the speed wall at 186 mph. The AWD R will be just one of 12 options available to F-Type shoppers by 2016, expanding from just six at present. The expansion is due to the introduction of AWD.

The F-Type Coupe R was also used to help establish communications protocol between the pilot behind the Bloodhound SSC — who will break the sound barrier on the ground on its way to over 1,000 mph — and the vehicle’s team, radioing a jet flying 50 feet above the ground at 500 mph over the Hakskeen Pan.

More details and photos will come next week, when the AWD F-Type Coupe R rolls down the ramp at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.

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Jaguar Land Rover Evaluating Locales For North American Plant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/jaguar-land-rover-evaluating-locales-north-american-plant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/jaguar-land-rover-evaluating-locales-north-american-plant/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=934122 The United Auto Workers may soon need to add another transplant to convert as part of its Southern strategy: Jaguar Land Rover is considering setting up shop in the Southeastern United States as part of its global expansion plans. Autoblog reports the automaker is looking over potential real estate for a new North American factory, […]

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The United Auto Workers may soon need to add another transplant to convert as part of its Southern strategy: Jaguar Land Rover is considering setting up shop in the Southeastern United States as part of its global expansion plans.

Autoblog reports the automaker is looking over potential real estate for a new North American factory, honing in upon right-to-work states in the South such as South Carolina, where BMW already has a presence in Spartanburg assembling the X Series. The future plant would have a total capacity of 200,000 units produced per year.

Elsewhere, JLR welcomed all to its new factory in Changsu, China, where the real Evoque — as opposed to the “If you like Mrs. Beckham’s crossover, you’ll love ours” Landwind E32 — will roll off the line, with the new Discovery Sport to follow. Brazil will join the party with its own factory in 2016.

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McCullough: Diesel Evoque Under Consideration For US Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/mccullough-diesel-evoque-consideration-us-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/mccullough-diesel-evoque-consideration-us-market/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 13:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=927682 Mrs. Beckham’s contribution to the automotive world, the Land Rover Evoque, may gain diesel power in the United States sometime soon. AutoGuide reports the plan to place a diesel engine under the bonnet of the crossover is “being considered,” according to Jaguar Land Rover North America marketing vice president Kim McCullough. At present, only the […]

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Mrs. Beckham’s contribution to the automotive world, the Land Rover Evoque, may gain diesel power in the United States sometime soon.

AutoGuide reports the plan to place a diesel engine under the bonnet of the crossover is “being considered,” according to Jaguar Land Rover North America marketing vice president Kim McCullough. At present, only the 2-liter EcoBoost powers the U.S. market model, as the 2.2-liter diesel sold elsewhere cannot meet emissions here.

JLR’s £500 million ($804 million USD) engine production plant will begin production early in 2015 of a 2-liter Ingenium diesel, which will first find a home in the U.S. under the bonnet of the new Jaguar XE. The Ingenium turbo-four gasoline engine will also likely replace the EcoBoost sometime in the future, though McCullough declined to confirm anything more.

As for the diesel Evoque, she believes greater acceptance of diesels overall in the U.S. market could help Land Rover navigate its way through increasing fuel-efficiency targets, with Ingenium diesels landing in U.S. market Jaguar and Land Rover models as the product cycle moves forward.

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Capsule Review: 2014 Jaguar F-Type V6S Convertible http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/capsule-review-2014-jaguar-f-type-v6s-convertible/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/capsule-review-2014-jaguar-f-type-v6s-convertible/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=918066 I felt very conflicted following a quick nighttime Boston-to-New York City drive in this new Jag. It just did not meet my expectations. The car drove nice on the twisty and hilly Merritt Parkway but it was neither the sports car I desired, nor the grand tourer that the XKR was. Something was clearly wrong. […]

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2014 Jaguar F-type convertible rear left

I felt very conflicted following a quick nighttime Boston-to-New York City drive in this new Jag. It just did not meet my expectations. The car drove nice on the twisty and hilly Merritt Parkway but it was neither the sports car I desired, nor the grand tourer that the XKR was. Something was clearly wrong. Upon reaching my destination I carefully re-read Derek’s reviews and quickly realized that I am an idiot and that this F-Type has failed me in another way altogether.

2014 Jaguar F-type convertible top up top down

Like any proper modern sports car, the F-Type has a number of settings and adjustments available to its driver; suspension, transmission, steering, stability control, and even exhaust. I fiddled with the transmission and the exhaust because those settings were convenient, but I did not know that the others even existed. In my re-reading of Derek’s F-Type V6S review I came upon these words:

“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.”

Son of a gun. My car had that option but I just dismissed it as a stability control setting that allows you to wag the rear-end like a pro, which I had no desire to do. Selecting it changes suspension, steering, transmission, and exhaust settings to ‘dynamic’. Like in many other sports cars, notably BMW’s M cars, this button transforms a smooth and quiet roadster that my mother would love, into a loud and quick sports car that I want. I am not exactly sure what the checkered flag button physically does, but all that a potential buyer needs to know is that it takes a vehicle that feels like an entry-level Mercedes SL and turns it into a Porsche Boxster.

2014 Jaguar F-type convertible dash

But I had another issue with this Jag, and here is where this Jag has clearly failed me. In his review, Derek was going on all about how every woman in the world loved this car and its driver. Reading deeper into his writing, women were literally throwing themselves at Derek just to be chauffeured around in the slick new roadster for a bit. The car has transformed him from being a humble but righteous autoscribe into a playboy that surpasses the likes of Lapo Elkann.

That did not happen to me. Not a single woman has expressed any interest what so ever in this car. I even made a point of dressing a little better when driving it and ensuring that my pricey mechanical timepiece was visible to all passer-bys. Not one woman even looked at me. Not even my wife. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Point. Zero. Now I’m no Jack Baruth, I got zero game, but c’mon, I did not even get a gander from the ladies.

2014 Jaguar F-type convertible exterior details 2

But the car did attract a lot attention, except that it was from every single balding middle-aged man in vicinity. They inquired about the British Racing Green paint and how it glistened in the sun. They needed to know the engine specs. One asked if it was a V12. They needed to hear it. I was tailgated by a young guy in a 3-series and challenged to a drag race by a Cayman owner. Even a homeless man yelled at me from across the sidewalk “how about five bucks for a bottle wine, stylin’ man!?” Five bucks!

I understand that attention as the F-Type is a gorgeous car. From bonnet to boot, there is not a wrong line on this car. There are however some questionable details and cost-cutting, such as the sculpted bolts on the rims of the wheels or plastic roll-bar covers which should really be aluminum. Open the huge front-hinged bonnet and you’ll see a plastic engine cover and not hand-polished aluminum velocity stacks. No complaints about the interior, other than outside visibility with the top up and the outdated infotainment system. The seats are adjustable in umpteen ways and wrapped in soft leather that has an intoxicating smell.  Only the British can do leather like this.

2014 Jaguar F-type convertible interior details

While fun in the corners and highway ramps, the ride is bouncy when the road gets bumpy. There was also surprisingly more wind noise with the top up than one would expect, and the Meridian audio system did not sound nearly as good as the one in the Range Rover. The best solution to those problems is lowering the top and pressing the active exhaust system button.

In alfresco cruising wind buffing is kept to a minimum, with only a slight breeze over the top of the driver’s head. The heater vents are positioned so that hot air blows directly over the 2/3 and 9/10 hand positions on the steering wheel, which itself is heated. The top setting for the heated seats is akin to sitting on hot lava rocks, which makes me believe this car could be fun with the top down over three seasons.

2014 Jaguar F-type convertible front left top

The 2015 Jaguar F-Type convertible starts at $69,000. The more powerful F-Type S, such as the one pictured here starts at $81,000. The test vehicle was splashed in $1500 British Racing Green paint, stanced with 20” $1500 Tornado wheels, outfitted with a $2000 Premium Pack 2, $2400 Vision Pack 2, $3400 Performance Package, heated seats and steering wheel for $600, Meridian audio for $1200, Ivory headliner (not made of real ivory) $500, HD and Sirius radio $450, and extended leather package for $1925. The total price of the test car, with delivery, came to $97,400. Those wanting more power can opt for the $92,000 F-Type V8 S. All trims are available in a coupe version for about $4000 less each. Additionally, the coupe is available in the even more powerful $99,000 550hp F-Type R trim.

Currently there are surprisingly many premium sports cars and roadsters on the market. Their abilities surpass those of supercars of only few years ago and are only limited by the driver’s skills, and even that is vastly supplemented by modern electronics. The question of which to buy is no longer answered by buff-book performance numbers, but rather by finding one that best matches your desires – there are no bad choices.

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Kamil Kaluski is the East Coast Editor for Hooniverse.com. His ramblings on Eastern European cars, $500 racers, and other miscellaneous automotive stuff can be found there. 

Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC provided the vehicle for this review.

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Potential Second-Gen Jaguar XF Caught Testing In The Wild http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/potential-second-gen-jaguar-xf-caught-testing-wild/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/potential-second-gen-jaguar-xf-caught-testing-wild/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=916794 Now that Jaguar bestowed the XE upon the world, the automaker’s engineers and designers are turning toward updating the XF as the first generation draws closer to the end. Autoblog reports the second-gen XF will likely be based upon the same iQ A1 platform used for the XE, along with losing a few pounds and […]

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Now that Jaguar bestowed the XE upon the world, the automaker’s engineers and designers are turning toward updating the XF as the first generation draws closer to the end.

Autoblog reports the second-gen XF will likely be based upon the same iQ A1 platform used for the XE, along with losing a few pounds and gaining some new tech.

Under the bonnet, firepower will mostly remain the same, from four-pot diesels to supercharged V8, as well as the introduction of a PHEV variant. Rear- and all-wheel drive should still be around, as well as the choice between sedan and wagon.

Whatever happens, the new XF has some stiff competition waiting outside the assembly line, including the Audi A6, Infiniti Q70 and Volvo S90. Until that day, however, a few spy photos shall suffice.

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Study: Nine Brands Suffer Loyalty Issues Among Their Customers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/study-nine-brands-suffer-loyalty-issues-among-customers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/study-nine-brands-suffer-loyalty-issues-among-customers/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=896834 Honda, Ford and Toyota all have one thing in common as far as Kelley Blue Book knows: All three inspire brand loyalty among over half of its customer base. Alas, nine other brands wish they could be just as inspirational. In its study of KBB data from 33 brands regarding customer loyalty, 24/7 Wall St. […]

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2014 Scion tC Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Honda, Ford and Toyota all have one thing in common as far as Kelley Blue Book knows: All three inspire brand loyalty among over half of its customer base. Alas, nine other brands wish they could be just as inspirational.

In its study of KBB data from 33 brands regarding customer loyalty, 24/7 Wall St. says the following nine brands are likely to see their customers jump ship to another brand come trade-in or lease time:

  • Mitsubishi: 21.77 percent average
  • Chrysler: 22.72 percent average
  • Dodge: 22.88 percent average
  • Jaguar: 25.45 percent average
  • Scion: 25.79 percent average
  • Lincoln: 27.49 percent average
  • Infiniti: 28.25 percent average
  • Volvo: 29.41 percent average
  • Buick: 29.45 percent average

The study notes the brands with the highest loyalty averages also move the most units off the lot, while low-loyalty brands have sales to match; six of the nine listed sold less than 100,000 units during H1 2014.

As for what inspires loyalty in the first place, KBB senior manager of marketing intelligence Arthur Henry says price and reliability play the most important roles in whether a customer will stick with a brand. However, luxury makes like Jaguar, Infiniti and Buick suffer not from perceptions of poor reliability, but fierce competition from within the U.S. luxury market.

That said, Arthur notes customers can switch loyalties no matter how a brand is perceived, citing economic conditions and changing consumer preferences as factors in switching.

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US-Spec Jaguar F-Type Project 7 Unveiled At Pebble Beach http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/us-spec-jaguar-f-type-project-7-unveiled-pebble-beach/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/us-spec-jaguar-f-type-project-7-unveiled-pebble-beach/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=894002 Unveiled at this weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the U.S.-spec Jaguar F-Type Project 7 will make its home in a few garages beginning next spring. Autoblog reports the limited edition roadster — developed by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations — will leave showrooms in 2015 for a base price of $165,000. A tribute to […]

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Unveiled at this weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the U.S.-spec Jaguar F-Type Project 7 will make its home in a few garages beginning next spring.

Autoblog reports the limited edition roadster — developed by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations — will leave showrooms in 2015 for a base price of $165,000. A tribute to the D-Type, the Project 7 will have a 5-liter supercharged V8 delivering 575 horsepower to the back, pushing the cat to a limited peak of 186 mph with a nil-to-60 charge out of the gate in 3.8 seconds.

As for what color to paint your roadster, the Project 7 can be had in either Glacier White or Ultra Blue, with British Racing Green, Ultimate Black and Caldera Red as optional colors.

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Jaguar Lightweight E-Type Prototype To Bow At 2014 Pebble Beach Concours http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/jaguar-lightweight-e-type-prototype-bow-2014-pebble-beach-concours/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/jaguar-lightweight-e-type-prototype-bow-2014-pebble-beach-concours/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=889217 Should you find yourself at Pebble Beach this weekend for the golf course’s famed Concours d’Elegance, you’ll be able to gaze upon the prototype for Jaguar’s newest skunk works project, the Lightweight E-Type. Autoblog reports the prototype, known as “Car Zero,” will join Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations’ Pebble Beach lineup, posing for all the photos […]

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Should you find yourself at Pebble Beach this weekend for the golf course’s famed Concours d’Elegance, you’ll be able to gaze upon the prototype for Jaguar’s newest skunk works project, the Lightweight E-Type.

Autoblog reports the prototype, known as “Car Zero,” will join Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations’ Pebble Beach lineup, posing for all the photos alongside the Range Rover Sport SVR and F-Type Project 7 during the Concours’ opening reception August 14. Once its promotional activities and testing are complete, the prototype will become a permanent part of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust’s collection.

As reported earlier, the final six Lightweight E-Types are picking up where the series left off in 1964, following the production of the 12th vehicle in the limited edition series. Each of the six will be built-to-order at JLR Special Operations’ Jaguar Heritage workshop, and all will be FIA-certified for historic racing.

The all-aluminum E-Type is driven to anger through a 3.8-liter I6 pushing 300 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque to the rear 15-inch wheels through a four-speed manual. Each owner will also be presented with a bespoke matching watch from the Bremont Watch Company, just so they can always know when tea (or tee) time is.

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Jaguar Reveals Face Of 2016 XE-S Ahead Of September Official Unveiling http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-reveals-face-2016-xe-s-ahead-september-official-unveiling/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-reveals-face-2016-xe-s-ahead-september-official-unveiling/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=876897 Behold the face of the 2016 Jaguar XE-S. Also: Scottish recording artist Emeli Sandé. Autoblog reports the sports sedan will be launched in early September through a sound + vision extravaganza called FEEL XE. Sandé will be kicking off the festivities in a secret location near the Thames, with influence from social media from now […]

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Behold the face of the 2016 Jaguar XE-S. Also: Scottish recording artist Emeli Sandé.

Autoblog reports the sports sedan will be launched in early September through a sound + vision extravaganza called FEEL XE. Sandé will be kicking off the festivities in a secret location near the Thames, with influence from social media from now until September 8 deciding the direction of the extravaganza. Fashion designer Stella McCartney and actor Idris Elba will also be a part of the promotion through separate projects.

As for the XE-S itself, it may possess under the bonnet either a turbocharged variant of the new Ingenium 2-liter four-cylinder engines, or the 3-liter supercharged V6 from the F-Type S. The XE range as a whole will feature aluminum throughout 75 percent of its architecture, and may be the most fuel-efficient Jaguar ever built to date once official numbers are revealed.

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Tata To Enter Global Passenger Market With Help Of Jaguar Land Rover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/tata-to-enter-global-passenger-market-with-help-of-jaguar-land-rover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/tata-to-enter-global-passenger-market-with-help-of-jaguar-land-rover/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=871890 Having done well with Jaguar Land Rover in its portfolio, Tata Motors is now turning to its premium subsidiary for its own foray into passenger cars and SUVs. Drive.com.au reports the parent company is using the technical and design know-how JLR to begin growing its passenger vehicle line in Australia and beyond, though Darren Bowler, […]

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Having done well with Jaguar Land Rover in its portfolio, Tata Motors is now turning to its premium subsidiary for its own foray into passenger cars and SUVs.

Drive.com.au reports the parent company is using the technical and design know-how JLR to begin growing its passenger vehicle line in Australia and beyond, though Darren Bowler, managing director of importer Fusion Automotive, assures that no badge engineering would occur between the two brands.

What would be shared, according to Bowler, would be platforms and engines, such as the global platform underpinning the upcoming Nexon SUV that could “be used as an Evoque… a Tata, [or] a Jaguar,” as well as the Ingenium family of four-cylinder engines that will soon turn up under the bonnet of many a JLR product.

In the meantime, Tata Australia plans to tackle the medium- and heavy-duty markets with the Ultra and Prima, both joining the light-duty Xenon.

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Jaguar Land Rover Experiment With Augmented-Reality HUDs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-land-rover-experiment-with-augmented-reality-huds/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-land-rover-experiment-with-augmented-reality-huds/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 10:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=863225 Jaguar Land Rover is bringing a duo of augmented-reality HUDs to its respective brands, each with a different take on the technology. Autoblog reports the Land Rover’s setup will have what they dub a Smart Assistant handling nearly every function and task so as to allow the driver to focus on driving to their destinations. […]

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Jaguar Land Rover is bringing a duo of augmented-reality HUDs to its respective brands, each with a different take on the technology.

Autoblog reports the Land Rover’s setup will have what they dub a Smart Assistant handling nearly every function and task so as to allow the driver to focus on driving to their destinations. The assistant connects with a driver’s smartphone to do everything from reminding you to drop off the children at school, to playing those morning jams Jalopnik likes to recommend. Meanwhile, the technology is also at work on-board, noting how many passengers are with the driver, knowing how the driver drives, even adjusting the air suspension to make exiting the vehicle easier.

Jaguar, on the other hand, is taking the video game approach with the Jaguar Virtual Windscreen, turning a day at the track into a scene from Forza or Gran Turismo. The race-oriented HUD offers lap times, virtual racing lines and ghost competitors among other data selections. There will also be gesture controls and configuration options, as well.

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Capsule Review: Jaguar F-Type – Base Is Best http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/capsule-review-jaguar-f-type-base-is-best/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/capsule-review-jaguar-f-type-base-is-best/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 15:30:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=834465 How much power is enough? 300 horsepower? 400? 500? Let’s put it another way? How much is enough to impress people you don’t even like? The vehicle above is identical to the Jaguar F-Type V8S I drove: Sandfire Metallic, Dynamic Mode, cheesy gold-painted plastic paddles (ugh) and an exhaust note that sounds like a 1200cc […]

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How much power is enough? 300 horsepower? 400? 500? Let’s put it another way? How much is enough to impress people you don’t even like?

The vehicle above is identical to the Jaguar F-Type V8S I drove: Sandfire Metallic, Dynamic Mode, cheesy gold-painted plastic paddles (ugh) and an exhaust note that sounds like a 1200cc Harley with the mufflers cut off – with some added popping-and-farting noises programmed in for good measure.

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This is a car that impresses other people. It looks like a sports car, or even a junior exotic. It certainly sounds like one. As I recounted in my last review of the F-Type V6S, it is one automobile that really does make you more attractive to the opposite sex. It’s also the worst F-Type variant on the market.

Ok, the soundtrack is intoxicating – to a point. The only way you can enjoy that mechanical orchestra is to accelerate really quickly and then let off the gas, to decelerate to the point where you might get a hefty speeding ticket, but not a roadside impound. Forget flying under the radar (literally) –  it’s so bloody loud that every highway patrolman or concerned citizen within a 25 mile radius can hear what you’re doing. The Group B rally-car noises plumbed in to the V8 exhaust note is like spiking Chateauneuf-du-Pape with Grape Kool-Aid.

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While you’re doing busy making a scene, you are probably negotiating some bends, and the V8S, with its extra two-cylinders, supercharger and associated plumbing and massive wheels, feels substantially heavier than the other models. The difference coming out of the two cars is drastic, like you’ve just removed a rucksack full of dumbbells from its back…err, front.

The best comparison that can be made is between the various last-gen Mustangs. As you go from a Shelby GT500 to a V8 to a V6, you feel the nose get lighter and lighter progressively. Which shouldn’t matter on a less track-focused car that’s all about excitement and getting attention to make up for a lack of parental love. But it does, especially when you’re getting an indicated 11 mpg, while trying to use the F-Type’s quad pipes to recreate the sounds of the Battle of Britain.

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When it was time to return the V8S, I felt satisfied that I had been sufficiently validated by anonymous motorists and pedestrians. It was time for the V6S – or so I thought. Horror of horrors, it turned out that I was incorrect. It was a V6. The base V6. Oh, the indignity of having to drive a base model F-Type, with just 340 horsepower (rather than the 380 ponies of the V6S), a (slightly) quieter exhaust, and smaller wheels without faux-Brembo red calipers.

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Well, it turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. As good as the V6S I raved about last fall? No. But there would be no shame in driving one of these every day, because if nothing else, it’s more exciting than a base Boxster. For starters, the aforementioned front-end liposuction works wonders in everyday situations. The base F-Type actually feels nimble and easy to toss around, to say nothing of maneuvering through traffic. There’s still Dynamic Mode, the active exhaust and a Sport Mode for the transmission, which makes things a fair bit louder and a bit more raw, without sacrificing everyday comfort or drawing the ire of your neighbors when coming home late at night.

Despite being down 40 horsepower compared to the V6S, the base car is still reasonably quick, but adds another level of engagement to the experience. You have to work the car a bit harder to access the still-plentiful power reserves, and in the real word, that’s often more rewarding – meanwhile, fuel economy was an observed 23 mpg, or about double what I recorded during the V8S’ totally unscientific acceleration/efficiency testing. At a base price of $69,000, it’s also about $23,000 less than the V8S.

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Ask yourself, can you live with an extra $23,000, while also having to tell people that yes, the V6 models are actually the superior choice? I tried, and my explanations about less weight over the nose, a more exotic soundtrack (the V8 sounds like a cross between a Spitfire aircraft and a Pontiac GTO – the V6 sounds like a cross between a Lancia Stratos and Hendrix’s version of Voodoo Chile ) and, worst of all, less horsepower

Personally, I gave up, exasperated, but I didn’t care. A lot of people do. They have to be able to tell people that they bought the best, the most powerful, the most expensive, even if its capabilities are so beyond them, it would be like giving a .500 S&W Magnum to somebody who doesn’t know how to fire a .38. It’s all that most F-Type buyers really need, but when does logic ever pop into the sports car purchase decision?

I know this because I’m the kind of person that felt exactly the same way about the V6 Mustang – it’s more nimble and agile, it’s got plenty of power and it’s the better choice for most daily driving situations. But I’m vain, and I’d never buy a V6 Mustang because then, you won’t be impressing strangers and people you don’t actually like. But I’m human, and prone to inconsistencies bordering on the hypocritical. And with the F-Type, I’m making a deviation from my usual logic.

I wish I could close out the article by saying that my girlfriend agrees that the V6 is her choice too, but she just dumped me.  All I can think about is how even though the Porsche Boxster is a sharper machine, I’d really like to go for a drive in the F-Type right now. Given the chance, I would take the V6, not the V8, to help me clear my head and get over the fact that my passenger seat is going to be empty for the next little while.

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The post Capsule Review: Jaguar F-Type – Base Is Best appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

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