Jaguar F-Type, the successor to the iconic E-Type, keeps up the family name with its fantastic design and performance

Jaguar recently launched the successor to its legendary E type — the iconic car first unveiled at the 1961 Geneva motor show — judged by many as the most beautiful sportscar ever made. The design was like sculpture on wheels and was so well appreciated that it found a place in the Museum of Modern Art. Around four decades later, Jaguar has finally come up with a successor — the F type, showcased first at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. But will the F type be able to match up to the E-type’s persona? Command the same respect?

The roadster is attractive no doubt, you notice the power bulge on the hood — the headlights look pretty sharp and the distinctively designed grille is a first on a Jaguar. However, it all seems too generic and the ‘shark gill’ slats looks a bit overdone. But it’s the rear that takes your heart away. Those wide haunches and the sensuous curves of the gently sloping tail are mesmerising. It’s reminiscent of the bold E-type back in the day. The slim tail-lights and the round cut-outs in the bodywork are a lovely piece of detail to add! You can instantly recognise the range-topping V8 S by the quartet of exhaust pipes (the V6 versions have two mounted in the centre). When seen from the side, the long bonnet and the short overhangs point to its front-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout. The side profile also tells you how compact the Jag actually is.

On the inside, the F-type’s cabin isn’t big by supercar standards, but it’s a great place to be in, although mostly for the driver. The cockpit’s layout is divided in two, according to what Jaguar calls a 1+1 design.

Of course, this car can’t be expected to stick to practical guidelines as such. The cabin isn’t exactly big enough to keep many things and the boot won’t hold much more than a couple of soft, small bags. The interiors though, feel truly premium and there are lots of quality bits. The chunky air-con knobs with a knurled finish feel particularly nice to hold, as does the flat-bottomed steering wheel, which has a heated leather rim. It takes around 12 seconds to raise or lower the hood.

The top-of-the-line V8 S is powered by Jaguar’s V8 that’s supercharged to develop 488bhp. The exhaust note is simply glorious and you can change it with the press of a button. At low engine speeds, there’s a thick, deep growl which turns into a raspy snarl when you near the redline and the best bit about this car is when you get off the throttle, the engine burbles, pops and crackles on the overrun.

The V8 S’s performance is fantastic. Tap the throttle pedal and the F-type lunges forward. Acceleration is phenomenal and relentless. The Quickshift ZF eight-speed torque-converter auto gearbox, moved to dynamic mode, is super quick and responsive, and there’s no let-up in thrust when you get to the higher gears. Jaguar claims a 0-100kph time of 4.3 seconds.

It may not be as precise as a Porsche, but with a great engine and a gearbox combination, the Jag handles brilliantly well. Corners are a delight in this car. And for day-to-day driving, the F-type is quite user-friendly as well. The ride is quite pliant in Comfort mode and the compact dimensions make it easy to drive in city traffic and park. The F-type will be available with the 375bhp V6 S and the 488bhp V8 S engine options in India. Both variants will get the same levels of equipment.

Expect the F-Type V8 S Price Rs 1.9 crore (est. ex-showroom) to arrive here in July.

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