Full 2014 Jaguar F-Type Review
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Jaguar F-Type is an all-new model.
Movie remakes and cover songs are tricky business, especially if the original is an iconic and beloved cultural symbol that has stood the test of time. The all-new 2014 Jaguar F-Type faces just such a challenge: This convertible represents the first all-new Jaguar sports car since the legendary E-Type that debuted in 1961 and ceased production in 1974.
Forty years of progress and innovation ensure that the E- and F-Types are worlds apart in performance and technology, but comparisons can't be avoided. Jaguar refuses to call the F-Type a tribute, but there are subtle styling nods to the original, including the rounded side body panels and the circular taillight accents. That said, the E-Type was both a convertible roadster and coupe, but for now the new F-Type is just a convertible.
Naturally, the Jaguar F-Type is faster and takes corners with an aggression that would cripple its ancestor, but like the E-Type, this latest Jaguar drop top is all about the emotional side of driving. The F-Type will be an absolute joy for pilots who crave performance, yet the car is elegantly civilized when driven conservatively. Get deeper into the gas pedal and the rush of acceleration is accompanied by a glorious exhaust note that rivals anything from Italy. This is especially true for the F-Type S models.
Given its asking price, the 2014 Jaguar F-Type is in the same league as convertibles like the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG. When it comes to measuring performance, this Jaguar can challenge the likes of the Audi R8 and Porsche 911. Although the F-Type might not match the Porsche in every conceivable test, it's equally thrilling to drive, downright gorgeous and a bit less expensive than a comparable 911. And not only is it a worthy sequel to the E-Type, the Jaguar F-Type ranks among our favorite drop-top sports cars for 2014.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Jaguar F-Type is a two-seat fabric-top roadster that is available in base, S and V8 S trims. Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, headlight washers, rain-sensing wipers, a deployable rear spoiler and heated side mirrors. Also standard are full power accessories, cruise control, automatic climate control, leather and suede upholstery, six-way power-adjustable seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, interior ambient lighting, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, Bluetooth, an 8-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system, and a 10-speaker audio system with CD player, auxiliary audio jack and iPod integration.
Upgrading to the F-Type S will get you a more powerful V6 engine, 19-inch wheels, power-folding mirrors, gloss black exterior accents, an adaptive suspension system, larger performance brakes, a mechanical limited-slip differential, selectable dynamic driving modes (controls throttle, steering and transmission responses), an active sport exhaust, keyless ignition/entry and color-configurable ambient lighting.
The range-topping F-Type V8 S adds a powerful V8 engine, 20-inch wheels, auto-dimming mirrors, rear parking sensors, high-performance brakes, an electronic active differential, dual-zone automatic climate control, full leather upholstery, 12-way adjustable power seats (with power lumbar) and driver-seat memory functions.
Bundled options include the Premium 1 and 2 packages for the base and F-Type S, which add the auto-dimming mirrors, 12-way power seats, dual-zone climate control, a wind deflector, heated seats and a heated steering wheel. The Premium 3 package for the V8 S adds the above features that aren't already standard. The Vision pack can be added to the Premium packages and includes adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic detection.
The Performance packages for the S and V8 S add sport seats, customizable dynamic modes, high-performance brakes, a sport steering wheel and unique interior treatments. Besides the numerous wheel and body color choices, stand-alone options include a heated windshield, active exhaust control, illuminated door sills, satellite and HD radio, and a premium 14-speaker Meridian audio system.
Powertrains and Performance
The base 2014 Jaguar F-Type is powered by a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine that produces 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic with manual shift control sends that power to the rear wheels and is standard across the F-Type lineup. Jaguar estimates the base F-Type will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds.
Choose the F-Type S and the V6 engine's power output increases to 380 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque. This model is expected to reach 60 mph in 4.8 seconds.
The 2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S receives a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that cranks out an impressive 495 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Its 0-60 time is estimated to be an impressively quick 4.2 seconds.
Safety features for all 2014 Jaguar F-Types include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, seat-mounted side airbags and rollover protection bars. Rear parking sensors are standard on the V8 S model and available on supporting trims. Optionally, front parking sensors, a blind-spot monitor, a rear cross-traffic warning system, adaptive headlights and automatic high beams can also be added to all trims.
Interior Design and Special Features
Step into the F-Type's cockpit and there's no mistaking it for anything but a sports car. Even in base trim there are plenty of cues telling you that this car means business, with racy stitching, well-bolstered seats and a hearty passenger "oh shoot" handle flanking the center stack. Yet it's also a Jaguar, which means top-notch materials, comfort and high-tech features. Such finishing touches as central air vents that rise from the dash and an Ignis orange start button and shift paddles (for S models) further increase the cool factor.
At highway speeds, top-down motoring is calm, with buffeting kept to acceptable levels, and if the weather takes a turn, the top can be deployed in only 12 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. Whether the top is up or down, trunk size is notably limited at 6.9 cubic feet. Medium-size suitcases might be a tight squeeze, and the oddly shaped space and awkward liftover further complicates loading.
The 2014 Jaguar F-Type delivers on a number of fronts, whether you're looking for stunning acceleration, luxury-car comforts or a high-end convertible that simply looks good and makes you feel special. All models in the range perform on very high levels, though the V6 models are marginally more responsive in the handling department compared with the heavier V8 model.
Obviously, drivers with a penchant for speed will gravitate toward the S models and they'll be generously rewarded. Both the V6- and V8-powered S trims feature a slick active exhaust system, which produces a symphony that honors the best that internal combustion engines have to offer. Yet, when you're driving with restraint in traffic, the mechanical soundtrack quiets to levels that you'd expect from other drop-top luxury cars. Although serious enthusiasts might be put off by the fact that the F-Type only comes with an automatic transmission, this eight-speed is impressive nonetheless. It shifts as quickly as many of the automated manual transmissions in competitors, yet it's still capable of executing smooth gearchanges in everyday driving situations.
On the whole, the F-Type is every bit as satisfying to drive as its evocative styling suggests. It might not measure up to the venerable Porsche 911 in every test of performance, but when it comes to the emotional side of driving, the 2014 Jaguar F-Type ranks among the best open-top sports cars.