Finally the Jaguar F-TYPE is a much more relevant-on-price sports car.
That’s thanks to Jaguar putting in a special 2-litre 300bhp (twin-turbo) petrol engine.
With lower cost and VRT, it brings the price down by the guts of €30,000.
And all of a sudden, this stunning-looking and dream-to-drive motor is a big, big rival to the Porsche Boxsters of this world (and maybe even heavily specced Audi CCs).
The point is, it has gone from being way off many people’s radar to coming centre stage.
We are still talking a lot of money (around €65,000) for a two-seater, of course, but everything is relative.
It is, in my humble opinion, one of the most enjoyable sports cars on the road at the moment.
I’ve liked the F-TYPE from the first time I drove it.
But the big-hitting 3-litre V6 petrols (340PS, 380PS, 400PS) and the scintillating 5-litre incur massive VRT, hence the deterrent levels of pricing.
We got a chance to drive it in Norway last week.
In addition to a few little facelift touches here and there (new headlights, slimmer seats), it is essentially the same car. And thank goodness for that. It is a future classic and should not be tinkered with.
Even at moderate speeds – maximum 100kmh – I got the feedback of energy and balance that you just feel the minute you sit in and start the engine (exhaust tuned to crackle on lift-off – great fun).
It has a wonderful chassis and, even though the engine is smaller and (slightly) less powerful than the others, it craves to be pushed hard. We did so but in low gears to avoid excessive speed. If I didn’t know better I’d never have guessed it was a 2-litre. Highly impressive.
I drove the Coupe version, which I much prefer to the Cabrio, not least because the latter is more expensive. And there is the matter of Irish weather threatening to spoil your hood-down drives.
Even within legal restrictions on speed, it was possible to enjoy the car’s effervescence. That’s always the sign of a good one.
Would I buy it? If I had the money, yes. It’s not going to set sales records – we’re talking handfuls of buyers – but it is an example of what real fun a car can be.