by Kimatni D. Rawlins
At first glance Jaguar’s latest sports car resembles a vehicle from Speed Racer, something Speed or his infamous brother Racer-X would drive. With its aerodynamic blueprint, chiseled fascia, aluminum monocoque construction, low center of gravity and powerful V8, the all-new 2014 F-Type is enthusiastically ready for either the streets or the circuit. During a preview on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show Jaguar allowed media to encounter the convertible for a brief but thrilling 20-minute moment around Lake Geneva.
Here is what we know thus far. The soft-top goes on sale this spring as a 2014 model and will be presented in three fashions: F-Type, F-Type S, and the F-Type V8 S. We were afforded the $92,000 F-Type V8 S which is backed by a 5-liter supercharged V8 delivering 495-horsepower and hitting 60 mph from 0 mph in 4.2 seconds. The V8 S also has a top speed of 186 mph. Fortunately it was too early for the police because we were flying and actually scared a few runners when accelerating, consequently opening the Active Exhaust for one of most exotic motorsports notes in the industry (it can be deactivated when cruising through quiet towns). The $69,000 F-Type is equipped with Jaguar’s new 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with 340-horsepower while the $81,000 F-Type S receives 380-horsepower in its 3.0-liter supercharged V6. Each engine is mated to an 8-speed Quickshift transmission with dark orange paddle shifters mounted on the electric steering wheel. Additionally, the S models are engineered with limited-slip differentials for optimal traction.
After letting the top down in just 10 seconds we began tooling with the Configurable Dynamics package operated through the central touchscreen. The driver is granted liberty to customize the characteristics of Dynamic Mode however he or she sees fit. For example, you can adjust the engine, steering, or suspension for comfort or as its name implies, dynamic driving. There is also a virtual lap timer and stopwatch and an accelerator and braking barometer.
Lastly, the F-Type is designed with a manually operated rear spoiler. The choice is yours to leave it up or down. And like your favorite actor who decides to sport a beard or remain shaved, the F-Type will always be typecast because it is so dynamically versatile.