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Roadshow Video Reviews
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 SThis is the nearest thing to the old E Type Jag has produced.
Well, it's no E-Type but then again what is. This at least comes rather close to the original while also stealing a page or two from the 911. Let's drive Jaguar's latest and definitely most interesting, the 2014 F-Type V8 S and check the tech. Now I tell you my experience with this car driving at the real world for a few days is that people fall in love with it. A lot of good things about the lines especially up here in the front where I see definitely an echo of the original E-Type grill, a little different shape but you get the idea. You've also got a little bit of Honda S2000 and a little bit of Miata up here and I don't mean those as insults, although I guess at this price they kind of are. Now parked next to an original E-Type this F would like a moving van, but don't blame Jaguar. Blame 50 some odd years of regulations to tell you where the headlights have to be, where the bumpers have to be, how many airbags you need, how you have to handle pedestrian impacts, side impact, roll over. That said this on the original E-Type are within about an inch of each other nose to tail. After that they begin to diverge quite dramatically. At the rear, something of a horizontally pinched rump also echoes the E-Type as do the similar horizontal slit tail lamps. Now Jag loves to motorize things so the rear spoiler is indeed, the flush door handles extend when the car is unlocked and even the center air vent powers up when the vehicle is powered up just because it can. The next thing you see is the extreme driver centrism of this cabin. You've got an incredible number of displays, interfaces, interfaces with displays in them until you get to the east side of the Jesus handle then nothing. This car tells the passenger sit down, shut up, and don't touch anything. Now operating this car's head unit is a relatively limited experience. You're not gonna get on a controller. There isn't one. It's all touchscreen and quite responsive and interestingly no voice command, but I can't say I missed it because most voice command systems in cars are crap and notice what they've done to economize real estate around the climate system which always takes up a lot more real estate than it does need to spend time with it. So Jag has embedded displays inside the knob. As you turn this knob for driver's side tap, it shows it inside the knob face. Press it and it turns into the seat heating or cooling control with similar display. It's a nice way to clear things up. Now let's talk about the drive train and power train controls. Easy to spot because they're all in a copper tone color. Paddle shifters, down shift left, up shift right mounted to the wheel, not my favorite but they're nice and tall so you can get to them pretty easily from anywhere. Start/stop button of course. Over here is a very simple vehicle dynamics control. Push it up once to get your snow, mud, ice slippery condition. Push it down and it's in the middle now for normal driving. Pull it down to this checkered flag and now you're in dynamics mode, and it tells you that with one icon on the center LCD. This is nice and simple and easy to use. Your shifter here that goes to your 8-speed quick shift automatic, no manual, no DCT in this car, controversial. We'll check it out on the road here in a minute. You've got a power button for your spoiler if you like playing with that thing or washing the car. And then you've got your sport exhaust on/off button here. Now related to our drive systems here is another menu. Up on the home menu you go into extra features and then you get to this stuff called Dynamic Eye. This is an optional set of technologies on this car. When you hit that you're going to be given an area for custom setup of just about everything in the power train. You can decide how you want the gear shifts to behave, dynamic or normal; suspension which is adaptive in these cars, dynamic or normal; steering, same thing. Engine, throttle response and power delivery similar. Push this and you get a track timer because you're gonna be tracking your 90,000-dollar 3600-pound convertible all the time. Over here is your G force sensor, you know, kind of fun to watch and here is some pedal display like I don't know what I'm doing. That's kind of superfluous but they had room for a button so why not. Now in terms of media you've got basically one set of inputs and 2 choices on the output. You've got radio with HD and satellite optional that's not included base. Under here my music you're gonna find a whole variety of sources which include the USB and the aux jack here in the center console. You've also got Bluetooth streaming, standard on this vehicle, CD slot is down in here which plays DVDs as well when you're parked. The base audio system is 10 speakers, 380 watts, ample for a small cabin or go to 12 speakers, 770 watts, is that right? Yes. The base audio rig is 10 speakers in this little cabin, 380 watts. You can also up it to 12 speakers, 770 watts and both are Meridian-branded stuff. You're either gonna have lots of sound or lots of lots of sound. One thing I have a gripe about are these visors. They only come down. They do not sit here at the eyebrow and flip up. So all those times when you're driving along and the sun is right there, can't do anything about it except put your hand up here and look like a dork. Now as you can see Jag went with a conventional soft top, not a retractable hard top, though they did insulate this one really well. So it's pretty quiet on the road and it goes quick, 12 seconds from one end to the other whichever direction you're going and as you can see it does not go into the trunk which is a good thing. It doesn't take up any trunk space. The downside is there isn't much trunk space no matter what position it's in. Now the hood opens as it should on this car, forward and giving you a look at the 5-liter supercharged V8. These cars are rear-wheel drive and there's one choice only between here and there and that is an 8-speed automatic transmission called a quickshift gearbox. That raised a lot of eyebrows, no manual gearbox, no dual clutch gearbox. Just an automatic which we're gonna check out on the road and I think you're going to be impressed. The numbers on this mill are 495 horsepower, 460 foot-pounds of torque. This car weighs around 3700 pounds but gets up to 60 in 4.2 seconds. No kidding. Your mileage is fine, 1623. I'm averaging 16 mixed all the way. Okay. The first thing I do with our little friend is defeat the auto start-stop because as in any non-electrified car I find it to be pudgy. The next thing I noticed hard off the bat is wow, that is one crisp transmission and it's an automatic. As I mentioned not a DCT. Obviously not a manual but it is superfast, super tight. I have no gripes about it. This has to be the best automatic transmission I have ever driven. Next thing you notice is the exhaust. It's actually obnoxious. It's really fun for a few minutes and then you feel like an idiot because everybody is looking at you. There is so much power here. It's almost a bit much. This is a showy car in this configuration. I'd go for the V6 almost certainly. Now the F-Type is a flagship car so they don't come cheap. Even the base vehicle is like 69 grand. This guy the V8 S base is at $92,000 then you gotta add some things to get it CNET style. Let's start off with about 1200 bucks for the big Meridian audio system. Why not? It's a small cabin but nothing succeeds like excess. The steal on this car is 220 measly bucks for the sport exhaust system. Even if you'll only use it once in a while to scare the neighbors it's worth the money. Now the big ticket stuff, $2730 to add the fully addressable dynamics package, it lets you really shape all the vehicles on the road systems and set your own profile and about $2100 gets you what they call the Vision Pack which is the intelligent high beams, steerable front headlights, passive blind spot technology, rear camera, and front sensors. Now my philosophy on the F-Type if it's possible to have one after just 3 days is I would look down market. Consider also the V6 supercharged base car. It's gonna save you 23 grand, gets you substantially better miles per gallon and still do a nice 5.1 to 60 miles an hour, but it's going to I think allow you to be much more engaged in the driving process. This car has an awful lot on tap. You spend a lot of time controlling it keeping it from leaving earth's orbit and not as much driving it as I'd like.