Days after I drove the beautiful 2014 Jaguar F-TYPE S V8 on winding desert highways under a brilliantly blue sky, my old-school version of Motor Trend magazine arrived in the mail. You know, the one that is printed on paper, and can be carried into the bathroom without fear of dropping it into the sink, the tub, or worse.
On the cover, a red Jaguar F-Type S V8 took center stage, underlined by a headline reading “2013 Best Driver’s Car.” Uh-oh, I thought. The Jag sure didn’t strike me as a best driver’s car. I mean, it was terrific, the best Jaguar I’ve ever driven, but the F-Type’s light, spooky steering caused me to characterize it as more of a cruiser than an outright sports car.
It is true that the Motor Trend team thoroughly thrashed their F-Type under conditions few, if any, F-Type owners might actually experience, while I merely drove the car on nearly deserted public roads in the middle of nowhere, and at speeds that would get me a ticket instead of a chauffeured ride to the Kern County lockup. It is also true that a sports car behaves differently when driven to the limit on a closed road course than when driven on indifferently maintained stretches of unfamiliar highway. Furthermore, when you live with a car for days or even weeks, you draw different conclusions than when you live with a car for an hour.
I won’t give away the results of Motor Trend’s “wildest performance test of the year!” But I will say that I disagree to some degree, at the same time that I think the new F-Type is an outstanding alternative to what all the other two-percenters are driving.