Jaguar's F-Type was just about perfect. But with the addition of a six-speed manual, it comes closer to hitting motoring nirvana.
My first, ill-fated job in the auto world was at an exotic car dealer in metro Detroit. The job itself sucked, but the cars, they were exceptional. Amidst a sea of Tiptronic Porsche Boxsters, first-gen Mercedes-Benz SLKs and abused second-generation Range Rovers, there were some real gems.
A bit of British nobility floods the senses when piloting the 2014 Jaguar XJ. It's an emotional rush, a perception based on physical surroundings that influence the mind in much the same manner that a stein of pilsner tastes best when consumed in a German beer garden and no sand is softer than that found on a warm Caribbean beach. Jaguar has been assembling cars for nearly 100 years, and few automakers are as equally adept at capturing aristocracy and timelessness within the rich cabins of their
We'd consider giving up vital organs for the opportunity to drive any number of vehicles on the Nürburgring: supercars, racecars, track cars, even hot hatches... but a station wagon? That might not seem like a top choice at first blush, but this is no ordinary wagon. This is the Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake.
This is it. This is the nasty cat we've been hankering for most. Whereas the Jaguar F-Type convertible remains the company's purest expression of lifestyle fun and expendable income, it's this coupe version that originally stole our eyeballs and never gave them back when it debuted as the C-X16 Concept way back at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. And now we've had an early turn at driving the most potent variant, the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.
Withhold judgment on the world's greatest exhaust note until after you've heard the Jaguar F-Type V8 S (scroll down now for a sneak peek). Its cackle, boom and pop under deceleration will have you rifling through its glovebox looking for a tool to remove the stereo. An in-dash audio system is trivial when four round pipes on the tail-end of a vehicle sound this good.
The Jaguar Project 7 Concept debuted at the Goodwood Festival of Speed just last month. But unlike most concepts, which serve only to collect fingerprints on a stage, the track-ready one-seater spent its days barreling past the hillclimb crowds with Mike Cross, chief engineer of vehicle integrity at Jaguar, beaming behind its right-hand-drive steering wheel. What's more, the powers that be at Jaguar even let yours truly drive the Project 7 during the Concurs d'Elegance festivities at Pebble Beac
Generally speaking, I don't get too upset about the growing need to replace displacement in modern cars. Sure, there are exceptions (don't you touch my 6.2-liter AMG V8), but honestly, the industry's new forced induction powertrains are all lovely, and their gains in fuel economy – when they actually make good on them – can make up for the ever-so-slight losses in performance or driving character.
Jaguar is moving to modernize its XF engine lineup – once the exclusive territory of V8 mills – with a range including a turbo four, a supercharged six and supercharged V8s of various potencies. Personally, I'll miss the combination of this smooth looking and driving XF sedan, and the lazy power of the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter engine, even if the super six has earned some praise in other applications.
Editor's Note: Our reporter was anxious to get some time behind the wheel of the XF Sportbrake, even though Jaguar only had a very small window available for us to drive it. As a result, we weren't able to capture our usual original images to go with the Quick Spin story. Please accept our regrets, and Jag's lovely stock photography, instead.