Is there more to life than being really, really, really, really, really, ridiculously good-looking? It’s a puzzler all right.
So let’s just run down the advantages of driving around in what is, essentially, the four-wheeled equivalent of Blue Steel. First, everybody loves this car. Everybody. Cyclists, classic-car buffs, kids, oldies, dog-walkers, Porsche drivers – you name it, the F-Type draws the accolades. “Don’t drive away!” one guy said, practically sprinting over as I repositioned the car for a photo, “Don’t go!”
Now that’s what you want in a car – although I’d rather it was Olivia Wilde hustling over rather than a slightly portly gent draggling along a corpulent, rasping, bug-eyed, moderately strangled pug. Performance is one measure of a machine, but in Vancouver’s reflection-obsessed City of Glass, you want to look draw admiring glances like an athlete, not just be able to sprint like one.
And athletic is just what the F-Type does best, with its sleek and rippling haunches, taut curves and – good heavens. This review’s about to go all 50 Shades of Grey: just look at the pictures. It’s automotive yoga pants.
Bolting on a fixed-metal roof has improved the stiffness of Jaguar’s halo sports-car, and more importantly, it’s cheaper. Porsche does the opposite with its Boxster/Cayman twins, but the Brits seem to think (correctly, I might add) that the one where the top comes off should be more expensive.
The F-Type looks expensive on the outside, and does a pretty good job of extending that premium feel to the interior as well. Handily, the narrow hatch also addresses the convertible version’s Achille’s heel. You know, that whole “what is this, a trunk for ants?” thing. It’s not like the space out back of an F-Type coupe is particularly spacious compared to sedan-based cars, but there’s now just enough to fit a suitcase for a weekend getaway.
In the cabin, some of that styling results in whacking great blind spots out back. It’s not such a big deal while on the move, but reversing into a street is a bit of a hair-raising affair, back-up camera or no. On the plus side, it gives the car a closed-in, cockpit-like feel, something emphasized by the enormous triangular grab-handle separating you from your passenger.
I picked up my wife from downtown on the first day with this car and she had a good laugh at that particular feature, chuckled a bit at the bookmark-sized sun-visors, and then mused idly on the hierarchy of the memory buttons for the passenger seat. “You’d be able to have one for each of your fancy lady friends,” she said, “Although of course, none of them are going to want to be number two. Or three.” For the record, I have no fancy lady friends. Except for you, dear.
2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe V6S, driver’s seat. Click image to enlarge
The rest of the Jaaaag’s cabin is a blend of theatrics and mild irritants. I can’t stand the rubberized paddle-shifters – come on, Jag, it’s a ninety-thousand dollar car. Gimme real metal – and wouldn’t you rather have the touchscreen navigation somewhere up where you could see it instead of a pair of vents that rise out of the dash like an emerging monolith? I mean, you can see why they did it, for the wow factor, but you also just know that it’s going to break at some point and cost a fortune to fix.
The touchscreen interface is not in and of itself particularly bad, merely a little cluttered. There are better options on the market, but it’s straightforward to use when stopped, and once you learn where they’ve tucked a few of the sub-menus, it’s relatively annoyance-free.
Not that, if we’re being entirely honest, you give a toss about any of that.