Jaguar F-Type Coupe V6 S Manual
Many of us simply do not care if double clutch semi-automatics are technologically ‘better’ in terms of a car’s overall performance, we want a manual gearbox by choice!
Ian Calum is someone I am proud to have known for quite a few years now. He’s a really affable bloke, one of those ‘proper human beings’ with a sense of humour, and popular for his engaging personality. Like so many modest and likeable people, as Jaguar’s chief designer, he is a man of great talent.
He also has a passion for his work. Not that long ago, I attended a presentation he made at the Dulwich art gallery speaking on his life in design. Ian always wanted to work for Jaguar since being a boy, and at a very young age he sent a sketch to Jaguar with a suggestion as to how future Jaguars should look. Remarkably, it was as close as dammit to the XJS produced many years later.
Ian leads a team of talented and enthusiastic designers, and this Jaguar F-Type is one of their most beautiful and alluring creations to date
When the Coupe was originally launched, it was only available as a powerful V8 litre car with a semi-automatic box. That car is mean, raucous, rude, and delightfully unruly. For many of us it is one of those ‘one day’ cars, as its performance can be rarely exploited in day to day use, making it more of a special occasion tool.
Thankfully, this beautiful motor car is now available with a V6 engine and (champagne glasses at the ready please) a slick shifting 6 speed manual gearbox! For the true petrol-heads amongst us, particularly those who prefer to be in total control of what a motor car does, there couldn’t be better news. It’s a massive statement for Jaguar too, because it gives them the all-round sports car credibility we knew they had, making this car a proper all-in contender for even the purist of keen drivers. At last a manufacturer is waking up to the fact that many of us simply do not care if double clutch semi-automatics are technologically ‘better’ in terms of a car’s overall performance, we want a manual gearbox by choice! Full marks to the brains behind Jaguar model production team for recognising the fact. Even Porsche are going soft now with their manual options; the driver is being forsaken for technology.
This sweet V6 S manual F-Type Coupe is arguably the most rewarding of the range, due in the main to its great front engine/rear drive handling, usable power, and sweet gear-change. Add to that one of the sweetest exhaust notes in the business, more than enough concealed boot space for two, competitive fuel economy , drop dead gorgeous looks and this car is definitely a winner, and certainly one of Jaguar’s finest.
What makes this combination of characteristics so engaging is the level of communication over an automatic the manual car achieves with the driver. The need to change gears puts a heightened level of energy and attention into the drive. You understand and engage with the behaviour of the car in a keener way, listening to the messages of both the engine and the chassis that puts you genuinely in the driving seat. The exhaust note heightens that feeling of engagement, and then somehow, it’s the driving of the Jag that matters most; wherever you are going, business or pleasure, is secondary.
This Jag is one of those cars that can take care of the enthusiast’s need for fun along with genuine day to day practicality. It has handling flair that is imperfect (low threshold oversteer) but engaging because it is so. For many of us it is the Jag we always dreamed the company would produce. For the first time since the introduction of the legendary E-type we can now genuinely enjoy its modern day equivalent.
Engine: 3.0 litre v6 supercharged | 0-62: mph 4.9 secs | Power: 375 bhp |Top speed: 171 mph | Average fuel consumption: 31.8 mpg
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