As a single fella’ who often partakes in the recreational consumption of barbecued beasts, Costco is my favorite store in the universe. Aside from fantastic meats, and great deals on cases of things like batteries, floor cleaner and luxury mayonnaises, it turns out that Costco sells a highly affordable bulk-pack of pre-moistened handy-wipes, which have proven handy for this test drive period.
The Jaguar F-Type wears its sheet metal skin more tightly than Kim Kardashian’s yoga pants. It’s one of the sexiest things on four wheels: oozing, dripping and gushing with sumptuousness so strongly you’d nearly wonder how it doesn’t leave a puddle wherever it stops. Just a peek gets the salivaries of nearby car buffs pumping away on overtime.
“Bro, what is that? An Aston Martin? God, it’s sexy. Is that a V12?” Asked almost all of the Bro-dudes at the gym.
Then, the scooter kids.
My office overlooks my driveway, which is bisected by a public trail frequented by pre-teens on scooters. With the window opened and the F-Type R Coupe parked just below, I took in the numerous subtleties of nine-year-olds cussing, frequently and often, every day.
F-Type R has some serious, serious effect on everybody in its vicinity. The tight skin and tidy size nearly make it a wonder that the engineers found space to stuff an all-wheel drive system underneath. Turns out, the popular two-seater, which is gaining traction (literally), was designed as an AWD car from the get-go.
Why the extra-traction option? Giving this kitty more claws moves the F-Type another step closer to offering truly world-class levels of selection on a truly world-class sports and performance car. The F-Type will be a model range, not a car, just like the Porsche 911.
Selection sells cars in this segment, ensuring shoppers can devise the perfect setup for their needs, tastes and budgets. The classy F-Type launched with numerous supercharged engine options in six or eight cylinders, and with a drop-top roadster configuration followed shortly by a coupe, adding a gorgeously swoopy fixed-lid alternative.
The Coupe Slideshow: 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe in the Spanish Pyrenees Slideshow
For 2016, further selection has been slathered upon the F-Type range. Now, AWD is available on the mid-line 380-horsepower V6 S model, and standard on the 550-horsepower F-Type R, helping it more strongly target shoppers planning to enjoy their investment all year round, and in inclement weather. Or those that don’t like replacing the fat rear tires every week.
A manual transmission is available now too – in six-cylinder, rear-drive models. So – coupe or convertible, supercharged six or supercharged eight, manual or automatic, and rear- or all-wheel drive. That’s a covetable list of choices to have to make in a two-seat posh-rocket.
The new AWD system was developed with serious steps taken to leave the F-Type’s underlying rear-drive hot-rod character intact. Mainly, this is an AWD system that, most of the time, doesn’t make its presence apparent.
In the dry, prioritizing the F-Type’s rear-drive feel and friskiness sees the AWD system only sending power up front as an absolute last resort after first using Torque Vectoring by Braking, and the Limited Slip Differential to turn up rear-wheel grip when drivers push it. Only once these two options have been exhausted will the AWD system start clamping its electromagnetic clutches together to send power forward. This all happens in milliseconds, and the system can even anticipate the need for front-wheel power in some instances. Translation? Extra traction is only activated when needed, but it’s activated right-frickin-now.