Interview and photos by Justin Pritchard, additional photos by Brendan McAleer
The Jaguar F-Type is like a velociraptor in a tuxedo: it’s all snarling and teeth and claws and anger, but classy and gentlemanly about it at the same time. For its blending of all things classy, powerful and fast, the F-Type is leaving test-drivers, owners, and auto writers around the globe absolutely smitten.
Then there’s the exhaust note, which is bonkers. The F-Type’s V8 engine sounds like automatic gunfire blended with fireworks. The V6 makes a smoother, more exotic sound, though equally slobber-inducing for anyone who likes combustion and has an ear or two.
2014 Jaguar F-Type, engine bay. Click image to enlarge
I figure if there’s one company that gets, like really gets, performance car exhaust notes, it’s gotta be Jaguar. So I looked up Dr. Garry Dunne, Jaguar Land Rover’s Senior Technical Specialist of Vehicle NVH and Sound Quality, for a closer look at what went into making the F-Type’s sound output such an amazing symphony of ignition.
Some notes from our chat are below, and you can take a listen to the F-Type in my video review.
How important is the exhaust noise of a car like the F-Type? Do owners ask for or demand a car that’s totally gnarly sounding, or is this something inherent of all Jaguar models?
Central to the Jaguar Sound Quality DNA is the delivery of a duality – both an exhilarating and an effortless driving experience. The cars purr at idle. They have an effortless and refined cruising character, with an underlying promise of performance. This promise is delivered through a powerful and purposeful Sound Quality character that builds to a rewarding, crisp crescendo under performance driving.
We often use the catchphrase “Effortless transition from a powerful growl to an edgy snarl” to capture the essence of the Jaguar Powertrain Sound Quality. This applies to all Jaguar models.
One of the key aims for the F-Type was to deliver the most extreme Jaguar Powertrain Sound Quality – with a more overt character more of the time. The aim was to ensure a clear and edgy promise of performance at low rpm, building to an exciting, crisp and race-car inspired crescendo at high rpm and during overrun.
[Overrun is engineer-speak for rev limiter. Badass!]
Does the exhaust sound play an important role in the shopper’s purchase decision?
The sound of the engine and exhaust has a role to play in the shopper’s purchase decision. For a sports car, this is a very significant role as it plays a major part in the overall fun-to-drive and exciting experience.