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First Look: 2014 Jaguar F-Type
Calendar: Events Calendar
slowjoe24
Huntsville Car Scene Staff Writer
 
June 20th 05:30 PM to 07:30 PM
*The times shown may change, depending on DST settings
Where: Jaguar Huntsville, 3800 University Dr, Huntsville, AL
Contact: Jaguar Huntsville, 3800 University Dr, Huntsville, AL

I had an opportunity to attend the Huntsville launch party and unveiling of the all-new 2014 Jaguar F-TYPE at Century (Jaguar Huntsville). You might ask why this is so special, well; this 2014 F-TYPE is the first new roadster from Jaguar in 40 years. The historical E-Type debuted in 1961 and ended in 1974, so the gap will finally be bridged, and I can assure you that there are some major advances in style, technology, and performance. I will get back to the features of the car shortly, but let me set the stage for this very special event first.


(The V8 S model shown here with the Performance Pack)

Upon entering the dealership the lobby was flanked by two of the all new F-TYPE convertibles and also a 1970 E-Type 2+2 Coupe. All guests were treated to food/drinks/music, and a wonderful atmosphere where you were encouraged to check out all the features of this new vehicle. Entering the showroom guests were asked to sign up for a door prize where one winner would win an exclusive weekend in the new F-TYPE roadster. Along with sales personnel from the dealership guests were welcomed by General Manger/President-Century Automotive Group, George and Tracy Jones with smiles and warm friendly conversation about what else…….our passion and appreciation for the Jaguar.

The showroom was filled with approximately 60-70 guests including several members from the North Alabama British Motoring Society. Many of these car enthusiasts had driven their own classic/vintage British motorcars to the event. One very special club member’s car was featured inside, a 1970 E-Type 2+2 coupe with a 4.2liter straight 6-cylinder.

Okay……now for the scoop on the new car that Jaguar is not referring to as a tribute, but flows with the classic E-Type’s DNA. The 2014 Jaguar F-Type is available in three models; Base, S, and the V8 S. This two seat fabric top roadster sets itself apart as totally different looking from anything in Jaguars’ current family, and is described on the brochure as “Pure Driving Pleasure”. Each model is equipped with a Roots-type twin vortex supercharger under the one piece stamped aluminum hood. The Base has a 3.0 liter V6 engine with 340 HP, the S model has a 3.0 liter V6 with 380 HP, and the mighty V8 S has a 5.0 liter V8 with an incredible 495HP. The supercharger is mounted in the “V” of the engine to keep the profile of the hood more compact which maintains the sleek look to the hood line.



As I reflect for a moment, one of the more exciting thrills of the evening was when the sales manager Jimmy Bryant unexpectedly fired the engine on the V8 S and blipped the throttle a few times……..I can assure you that the guests were awake and eager to hear more from the beast growling under the hood! That leads me to tell you about the Active Sport Exhaust system Jaguar has made standard on the S and the V8 S models. It features active bypass valves which open during more spirited driving, allowing exhaust to exhale a bit more freely. The result is quite frankly unlike anything I’ve heard before……..the best way I know to describe it was a deep American V8 rumble mixed with a healthy dose of Ferrari. By the way, this system does has a manual switch so that you can take control of when and where you want to make a little music of your own. When you decide to take part in a little of the spirited driving that I mentioned you can do so at a pace that will impress even the tougher car magazine editors.


(The front of the V8 S looks ready to pounce on anything in its path)

The new F-Type’s V8 S will take you on a major head rush as it reaches the 60mph standard in a mere 4.2 seconds, and is reported to have a 186 mph top speed. (I hope I’m invited back for one of those “spirited” test drives I keep referring to) In case you are curious how that stacks up against some stiff competition, in a recent Automobile Magazine test drive the Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet was only able to reach 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and the “as tested” cost was $18,855 more than the Jaguar. You can actually test this for yourself as the Century Porsche is right next door to Century Jaguar. I almost forgot to mention that it delivers a whopping 460 lb. ft. of torque through the 8-speed automatic dual-clutch gearbox. If you are feeling the need for speed and decide to flip the switch on the dynamic mode to the left of the joystick looking shift lever, the F-Type will reward the driver with a host of race inspired goodies--quicker throttle response, quicker steering, and the adjustable shocks become more firm to plant this roaster into the turns with a more race inspired feel. The action heats up even more if you decide to take measures literally into your own hands by switching to sport mode on the shifter knob--you can change gears when you want to and then if that wasn’t enough go for it by flipping the paddle shifters from behind the wheel and never take your hands from the wheel.


(Notice the paddle shifter behind the wheel, the joystick like shifter, and 8 inch touch screen)

If this type of driving excites you then choose the Performance Pack option and enjoy the 8inch touch screen in the dash as it displays the G-Force meter, lap times, and other “go fast” info you race junkies are looking for from a rear wheel drive sports car.
I must say that my favorite part of the car was the sexy hips that the roadster was sporting in the rear--the side profile of the car rolled over and into a point near the back of this car reminded me of the classic look of its older brother in the showroom…..the E-Type but with a more refined and glamorous look.



It’s hard to imagine using the two terms racy and glamorous in the description of this car, but trust me that’s how I felt about it. I overheard one guest say that the car “looks fast even when parked”. And even though I’ve heard that term used before, it certainly rings true with this ride.


(The Salsa Red Base model was parked behind the ropes like a celebrity on the red carpet)

There are so many more features of this all new car that I don’t have time to cover, I could go on for hours. But the best thing you can do is get to Century Jaguar and take a look for yourself. See if this sleek new roadster is just what you have been missing in your garage!


(The stance of this new "Cat" in town will turns some heads for sure)

The new 2014 Jaguar F-Type is most defiantly my “Type”, and I enjoyed the opportunity to spend an evening with other car enthusiasts as we were treated to a first look at a great car that will be coveted for many years. The hardest part of your visit to the showroom will be……what color do you want?

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Old June 26th   #2
SkinnyPete
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I'm very jealous, I would love to have an opportunity to shoot an F-Type. It's a gorgeous car for sure and the first non disappointing Jag in a while.
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Old June 26th   #3
Samir
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It's a very impressive car. I really wish I could have seen it in person. I can't wait for a test-drive invite.
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Old June 26th   #4
slowjoe24
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I'm in LOVE for sure!!
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Old June 27th   #5
Wendell
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I get a test drive for 24 hours next week.

Missed the party, had to babysit my grandson so my daughter Donna that works for Century got me one for 24 hours to make up for it.

Last edited by Wendell; June 27th at 08:26 PM.
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Old June 27th   #6
slowjoe24
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Awesome......please update us with your thoughts!!
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Old July 4th   #7
slowjoe24
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Wendell.....did you get to drive it yet???
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Old July 7th   #8
Wendell
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F-type drive

Yeah, had it for 24 hours this week. They gave me an "S" with the supercharged V6. Anthracite grey with brown leather package and the optional sport suspension. Was great fun while it lasted. Was smaller than I expected a Jaguar to be. A bit wider and shorter than my RX8. Parked it next to my bosses Cayman and it is only a couple inches larger. Very roomy inside, especially for a 2-seater. Makes all the right noises, especially when you click the button on the center console that makes it have a deeper rumble. The Eco took some getting used too, turns the engine off when you stop for more than 2 seconds. I've driven rental cars that do that (eg: Prius) but this version will re-start the engine before you move your foot to the go-pedal. Learned that if you ease up on the brake pedal but not enough to start moving it will re-start and idle. This can also be turned off but default on. None of my cars I drive have completely stock suspension/brakes. My RX8 has MazdaSpeed performance springs, Hawk HPS brake pads and Hankook R-S3 tires and my Miata has Bilstien shocks, larger sway-bars, CarboTech brake pads and a custom 4-wheel alignment but the Jag with the active dynamic suspension will easily match both the cars in turning and braking. But I guess that should be expected with how much this car costs. The trunk was very shallow so won't hold much. Didn't play with the rear spoiler but you can open & close it with a touch of a button. The only disappointment was the manual shift mode but found out I didn't have it set right. Found out too late that the shifter should have been in "S" mode along with flipping the switch to manual shift mode. I flipped the switch to manual shift mode but left it in drive, didn't shift when I wanted it too and still shifted automatically. Not supposed to do that if it's set right so I didn't have it set right. So I didn't really get to play with that but in full automatic mode it worked very well and always seemed to be in the right gear at the right time. I found that the supercharged V6 with 380hp is more than adequate, would be interesting to see how the V8 compares. I'm adding it to the list of what I want when I win the lottery. It's now between this or one of the P-cars, 911 or Cayman.
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Old July 8th   #9
slowjoe24
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Wow..............thanks for such an awesome discription of your opportunity. Thanks for sharing it with us I can't wait to get a test drive myself soon!!
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