2014 Jaguar F-Type V6 S
2014 Jaguar F-Type V6 S
2014 Jaguar F-Type V6 S
2014 Jaguar F-Type V6 S. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Brendan McAleer

First of all, yes, it broke. With an early morning appointment set in Stanley Park to meet up with a photographer to take a few more-professional shots of this bright orange beauty, I depressed the starter button, moved the gear-lever into reverse and – nothing. “Press OK to clear Gearbox Fault,” said a helpful orange script. I pressed OK. Nada.

I sat there in the darkness, trying the old IT Crowd trick of turning it off and turning it back on again. I rifled through the manual, I sifted through the Jaguar forums on my iPhone. Looks like there’s some kind of software update, but occasionally if you shift into gear too soon after starting the car, the transmission has kittens. I called the photographer to cancel the meet. The F-type sat in the driveway, all lit up but immobile: a Jag-o-lantern, if you will.

About two hours later, after alerting the fleet manager and with a flat-deck theoretically on the way to scoop up the dead kitty, I was grabbing a few last interior shots and thought, I wonder… I fired up the F-Type again. No more problem. Eight lives left.

Now, I grew up with British cars. My first conveyance, at 16, was a 1976 Land Rover Series III. Before that, my dad and I restored a cherry-red 1967 MGB. We still have both cars. I know these things. I know what they’re like.

But that’s the old Britain, surely. This thing’s supposed to be more stylish Canary Wharf than ‘cockles-and-mussels-for-sale ‘ullo guvnor ooo ‘elp me dicky ticker’s gone *fizzt* again’. For this much money, I expect a little bit less of ye olde English charm. “Charm”, of course, being the way the British enthusiast pronounces the word “inconvenience”.

Anyway, consider yourself warned, Harry Potter. Now, the question is: is it worth the bother?

Yep. Oh dearie me, yes. Cor blimey, etc.

Assuming the confounded thing doesn’t throw an electrical tantrum, Jaguar’s F-type might just be the most fun I’ve had in a car since the Boss 302. I’m not mentioning that side-piped rip-snorter idly – half the experience of both cars is in how they sound and *expletive redacted* is the F-Type loud!

But that’s in Sport mode. First, let’s pad gingerly out of the driveway in the wee hours of Sunday morning, and head up the Fraser Valley into a wall of rain and endless highway construction.

The Jag is snug, planted, not quite a grand tourer, but heavier feeling than a Porsche Boxster. That’s partially because it’s nearly four hundred pounds weightier than Porsche’s roadster, but there’s also an effortlessness to the way the supercharged V6 doles out instant thrust through the eight-speed gearbox. You don’t need to get hard on it to whisk through the spray flung by the semi-trailer you’re passing, you just lightly press the throttle and glide past.

The interior is a mix of really upscale and why’d-they-do-that. Everything’s premium grade, but the paddle shifters are covered in this rubbery-feeling plastic that’s supposed to look like copper. Infiniti makes a lot of noise about their leather-wrapped and milled-magnesium paddles, and in a sports car the things you touch often should feel solid, not plasti-dipped. Also, the way the central air vents rise slowly out of the dash isn’t so much cool, as it is worrisome. Why not simply use a fixed piece without servos to potentially go sproing?

2014 Jaguar F-Type V6 S2014 Jaguar F-Type V6 S2014 Jaguar F-Type V6 S
2014 Jaguar F-Type V6 S. Click image to enlarge

However, the seats are great, the steering feels direct, the ride is reasonably comfortable, and the noise levels – for a convertible in the rain – are entirely acceptable. The heated windshield doesn’t seem to obscure night-time vision the way it did in the XKR, and running off 200 km before breakfast is easy. By seven o’clock in the morning, I’m past Hope in a bright orange Jaguar.

You can’t really drive an orange car in the city unless it’s a taxi-cab. Another editor of mine had this car around the time of the premiere of Rush, and we got pulled over just past the Lion’s Gate Bridge, despite the fact that we were in the right lane getting passed by Corollas and Camrys. The cop let us off with a finger wag, but a car the colour of a construction cone might as well be a radar-magnet.

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