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 Peter Bleakney

A few moments into attacking my favourite B-road in the 380-hp 2014 Jaguar F-Type V6 S, two things popped to the forefront of my admittedly overstimulated cranium:

“Whoever tuned this ‘sport’ exhaust system deserves knighthood.” and “Mother of God, it’s loud! This is legal?”

The twin central exhaust trumpets sprouting from beneath the Jag’s fetching derriere certainly live up to their visual promise. With Sport mode selected, bypass valves allow them to broadcast a most unholy V6 racket. They wail, cackle, blat flatulently on upshifts, and while coasting you could be tricked into thinking the Wicked Witch of the West was sitting on the boot lid gargling with Cuervo Gold.

Visceral. Maniacal. Fantastic. If the rest of the F-Type was so-so I’d still embrace this little Brit just for its aural histrionics.

But it is so much more than so-so. It’s a bloody cracking good sports car.

Good thing, because the expectations for the F-Type – the spiritual successor to the iconic E-Type and 40 years in the waiting – are higher than a Beatle in a Yellow Submarine. There is a lot resting on these shapely shoulders.

Shapely indeed. Jaguar design chief Ian Callum has penned a stunner that looks more to the future than cloying to the past. The taillights are a clever nod to the E-Type, but that’s about it. Yet the F sensuously flows from its upright corporate grill to the truncated tail in a way only a Jaguar can. Muscular rear haunches are a hallmark of Callum’s sports cars design – an element he says is essential to the Jaguar aesthetic.

Speaking with Callum at the F-Type’s 2012 Paris Motor Show unveiling, he noted, “The project landed running. We developed only one design model, which is unusual for a new car, but if you’re focused it is all you need. We did five or six XF’s and that was too much.

The Jaguar F-Type roadster comes in three flavours: the base 340-hp V6 ($76,900), the 380-hp V6 S ($88,900) and the 495-hp V8 starting at $100,900. The 3.0L V6 engines and 5.0L V8 share the same architecture and feature direct-injection, Eaton supercharging and air-to-liquid intake-charge cooling. The 40 hp difference in the V6 models comes solely from engine management software. All are equipped with an excellent ZF-sourced eight-speed auto, although a manual transmission is said to be in the pipeline. A coupe is coming too.

I have not driven the V8 model, and from all accounts it is a ferocious beast. That said, Jag suspension guru Mike Cross likes this V6 S model for its superior 50/50 weight balance. The aforementioned 380 ponies ride along with 339 lb-ft of torque, available from 3,500-5,000 rpm.

Despite being pressurized, this V6 exhibits the characteristics of a good naturally aspirated unit – power escalates as the tach needle swings right, and it happily charges to the redline.

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

You may be wondering what that $22,000 bump from the V6 to V6 S nets you besides 40 hp and 7 lb-ft of torque. Quite a bit. Wheel size goes from 18 to 19 inches, and the High Performance Braking System sees front discs increase from 355 to 380 mm. Factor in the limited slip differential, active sports exhaust, adaptive damping, copper coloured shift paddles (still plastic though), and you have a meaningful dynamic upgrade.

This tester did not stop there. You will want the $650 Climate Pack (heated seats and steering wheel). The Premium Pack at $2,800 offers a suite of luxury items including 14-way power seats (driver’s memory), powered steering column, wind deflector, dual zone climate control, garage door opener, valet mode… all stuff one could consider essential in this class of car.

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