2014 Jaguar F-Type V8S Convertible Road Test And Review
Hopefully, the management team at Jaguar set aside some money for potential trademark disputes because if the people at Kellogg’s ever hear the way the V8-powered Jaguar F-Type Convertible snaps, crackles, and pops on overrun, the little Rice Krispies guys might come looking for some payback.
Possessing one of the most vociferous engines we can ever recall experiencing in a Jaguar, the V8 powered F-Type makes no secret of its prowess whatsoever. Fast, good looking, and a terrific handling sports car, the 2014 Jaguar F-TYPE may well be the most exciting mainstream automobile the company has released since the highly regarded E-Type Jaguar was brought to market back in 1961.
In fact, in many ways, the F-Type is a throwback to that beautifully drawn, and arguably most famous Jaguar sports car of all time. Designed to accommodate two very lucky people, the 2014 Jaguar F-Type Convertible has eye-catching good looks, beautiful road manners, exceptional performance potential, and that unmitigated quality we can only describe as Jaguar-ness.
One look at the F-Type, you’ll know right away it’s a Jaguar. Now, you might not know which one, but there is no questioning its heritage.
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8S Convertible Road Test And Review: Models And Pricing
For the 2014 model year, Jaguar is offering the F-Type Convertible in three states of trim; Base, S, and V8 S.
Standard features for the base Jaguar roadster include; a supercharged V6 engine, a set of eighteen-inch alloy wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights mated to LED daytime running lights, smart windshield wipers, a self-deploying rear spoiler, and heated exterior mirrors.
As luxuriously outfitted as it is exciting to drive, the basic F-Type also offers an automatic climate control system, leather and suede upholstery for the six-way power-adjustable seats, interior ambient lighting to enhance the appearance of the cabin after dark, a power actuated tilt-and-telescoping steering column, and Bluetooth audio and telephony. You’ll also find an eight-inch touchscreen interface for secondary functions including the navigation system, and a ten-speaker audio system supporting a CD player, an auxiliary audio input port, and full iPod integration.
Moving up to the F-Type S will get you more power out of the V6, a set of 19-inch wheels, power-folding exterior mirror housings, Jaguar’s adaptive suspension system, a higher performance braking system, a mechanical limited-slip differential, driver selectable driving modes to enhance throttle, steering and transmission response, an active sport exhaust system, and keyless entry and start.
All of the above, plus a supercharged V8 engine, a set of twenty-inch wheels, a rear parking sensor array, an electronic active differential, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, and full leather upholstery are included with the V8 S trim package.
The base F-Type starts at $69,000, the F-Type S starts at $81,000, and the F-Type V8 S starts at $92,000. To each of these prices, Jaguar adds $925 in destination charges.
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8S Convertible Road Test And Review: Design
While the overall look of the F-Type is unmistakably Jaguar, the model shares very little in terms of design cues with existing Jaguar models. However, similarities to the highly regarded E-Type Jaguar can be found in the shape of the grille and those curvaceous rear haunches. Otherwise, the F-Type most closely resembles the 2011 Jaguar C-X16 concept car.
In the words of Jaguar’s press team, “The front of the F-Type features a new interpretation of the bold angular Jaguar grille from which flows the muscular clamshell bonnet with its signature power bulge.
The design’s heart line begins its journey in the blade dissecting the shark-like gills on either side of the grille before leading the eye to the top of the front wing (the fender in American English), emphasized by the bi-xenon headlamp and integral LED daytime running lights. The line then runs into the door and towards the rear of the car where it gracefully disappears.
The line’s journey is taken up at this point by a second heart line which swells out to form the muscular rear haunch before sweeping dramatically around the sensual low tail which is made possible by the inclusion of an active rear spoiler which deploys at speed to reduce lift.
Full LED rear lamps create a new Jaguar sports car signature by reinterpreting classic cues from the past. Wrapping around to the trailing edge of the rear wheel arch, this emphasizes the powerful stance of the car and its rear-wheel drive sporting potential.”
After all of that, what is there left for us to say?
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8S Convertible Road Test And Review: Features And Controls
The interior layout of the F-Type leaves nothing to the imagination in terms of whom the car is intended to serve. This is one significantly driver-focused environment. The folks at Jaguar say the inspiration for the design comes from fighter jets.
The one plus one asymmetric design groups all of the controls around the driver. In fact, the passenger is told in no uncertain terms where they fall in terms of the hierarchy. The deliciously upholstered grab handle, while remarkably attractive, also serves as a delineator. The driver is very literally surrounded by everything needed to control the car—and the passenger is basically shut out
The steering wheel—nice and fat—feels very good in your hands. Finished in your choice of suede-like Alcantara or leather, it contains controls for the audio functions, cruise control, telephony, and reconfiguring the instrumentation. Paddles behind the steering wheel offer manual control over the eight-speed transmission.
Two large round dials dominate the instrument panel while the readout between them provides information regarding secondary functions. Three large round dials offer control over the climate system, while the orange start button is located just beneath them to the left.
The Jaguar’s shift lever resembles a flight control joystick, with buttons grouped around it for traction control, the active exhaust system, drive mode selection, and retracting and deploying the roof. One particularly nice touch is the way the air vents for the climate control system rise from the top of the center stack when activated.
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8S Convertible Road Test And Review: Comfort And Cargo
This is a close-coupled two-seat sports car, so cargo considerations are entirely secondary. A pair of cupholders resides in the center console behind the shift lever, there are storage pockets in the doors for smaller materials, and there is reasonably sized glovebox. Trunk space is very minimal; at 6.9 cubic feet you’ll best be taking very soft luggage with you, and frankly, not very much of it at all.
On the other hand, there is more than enough room for people in the F-Type. The sport seats are exceptionally comfortable, even over long drives. Highly supportive, nicely bolstered, and just adjustable enough to allow themselves to be tailored to most body types, they are an integral aspect of the control a driver can exert over the sports car.
The driving position is similarly well thought out. Given the driver-centric design of the cockpit, you expect all of the controls to fall easily within reach and they do. Legroom is abundant, and the relationship between the driver, the pedals, and the steering wheel are well calculated. People who really like to drive laid out the interior of the F-Type—and it shows. They were also people who appreciate a quality environment.
The convertible top is capable of being raised or lowered in approximately 12 seconds while the car is on the move at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. With its dedicated storage well, trunk space is not impacted by the top’s position—whether lowered or raised.
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8S Convertible Road Test And Review: Safety Features
With this much power and performance on hand, you’ll expect the F-Type’s safety features to be well up to the task of handling any untoward situations. To this end, Jaguar fitted the convertible with a set of highly robust antilock disc brakes (more powerful versions of the car also get a specifically configured braking system). Stability and traction control systems are fitted as well. On the airbag front, in addition to the standard steering wheel and dash-mounted bags, you’ll find a set of seat-mounted side airbags as well.
The benefit of placing bags in the seats are the conservation of space as well as making sure the bag is where the individual will be should the need for its deployment arise. We’re talking about a roadster here, so rollover protection bars are included as well.
Optional electronic safety aids include a front and rear parking sensor array. (The rear sensor array is standard with the V8 S.) The Jaguar sports car can also be had with blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, as well as adaptive headlights with automatic high beams.
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8S Convertible Road Test And Review: Engines And Fuel Economy
Three engine configurations are offered for the 2014 Jaguar F-Type Convertible. The base powerplant is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 producing 340 horsepower and 332 ft-lbs of torque. An upgraded version of the 3.0-liter V6 engine generates 380 horsepower and 339 ft-lbs of torque. The top engine offering was fitted to our test car. This is a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 capable of generating an absolutely thrilling 495 horsepower and 460 ft-lbs of torque.
With a curb weight of approximately 3,500 pounds, Jaguar says you can expect the F-Type to accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds with this engine; top speed is quoted at 186 miles per hour. The base V6 will get the car to 60 in 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 171 miles per hour, while the 380-horsepower version of the V6 will do the deed in 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 171 miles per hour.
An eight-speed automatic transmission and rear wheel drive complete the powertrain, regardless of your engine selection. Fuel economy is quoted at 20 miles per gallon in the city, 28 on the highway and 23 combined with the base V6. The V6 S model returns 19 miles per gallon in the city, 27 on the highway, and 22 combined; while the V8 will travel 16 miles per gallon in the city, 23 on the highway, and 18 combined.
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8S Convertible Road Test And Review: Driving Impressions
With the supercharged V8 our test car flaunted, acceleration was otherworldly. While zero to 60 is quoted at just over four seconds, saying it is one thing, feeling it is something else altogether. There are very few mass-produced mainstream cars capable of outrunning the Jaguar F-Type V8 S. What’s even more thrilling is the incredibly mellifluous sound the V8 makes at full cry. Sophisticated, powerful, throaty, and just loud enough to let people know it’s something special, the Jaguar V8 makes the little roadster one of the fastest cars on the road.
And, when you press the active exhaust system button—OMG—it gets even better. That’s when the aforementioned snaps, crackles, and pops are emitted. In an instant, the Jaguar goes from a fast, lithe, sophisticated European convertible, to sounding like something from the 1960s American muscle car era. It’s absolutely thrilling—yeah and potentially obnoxious too, for people on the sidewalks who don’t get cars.
But hey, their loss…
Running hard at speed with the top down it can get a bit loud in the Jaguar, but raise the windows with the wind blocker in place and things do get a bit more civilized. Overall though, you can pretty much forget about the radio and talking to whomever happens to be in the car with you if you’re using the V8 roadster for all its worth with the active exhaust system open.
And honestly, as fast as this thing is capable of going, it’s just as well, because you’ll need to focus your attention waaaaay down the road to make sure you’re seeing things before the Jaguar gets there. Not that the F-Type isn’t obedient; in fact quite the opposite. The Jaguar turns in nicely, grips with a great deal of determination, is nice and light on its feet when it comes to changes of direction, and demonstrates braking abilities bound to reassure even the most skittish of passengers.
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8S Convertible Road Test And Review: Final Thoughts
The Jaguar F-Type Convertible is an out and out driver’s car—one very rewarding to drive hard and fast. Delivering both cerebral and visceral pleasures, the F-Type Convertible V8 S is easily one of the most desirable sports cars available today. That it sprung from the factory fully formed, and this good right off the bat, is a testament to the people behind these wonderful automobiles.
Fit and finish, style, performance, and overall desirability of this car are outstanding. We want one, badly. We really do. That said, when you stop and look at the price of all of this wonderfulness, you might be given a moment of pause. After all, as configured, our F-Type Convertible V8 S came in very close to the $100,000 mark.
Which, if you’re peeling off that kinda scratch, probably ain’t really much of a big deal for you. However, there are a lot of really terrific cars can be had in that price range. Many of which come from marques with stronger reputations for reliability than Jaguar. The good news is Jaguar’s models are considerably more reliable now than they were in the past. It’s fair to say the majority of their demons have been exorcised in that regard.
However, the marketplace still looks at Jaguar’s cars with a bit of suspicion, and consequently resale values are rather soft for the cars from Coventry. Of course, if you really like the Jaguar, and you aren’t worried about what it will bring on the secondary market—you’ll find yourself very satisfied behind the wheel of the 2014 Jaguar F-Type Convertible V8 S.
By the way, if you really like the V8, the Convertible is currently your only choice. While Jaguar recently introduced a Coupe version of the F-Type, the V8 engine is being reserved for the Convertible—for now.
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8S Convertible Road Test And Review: Pros And Cons
Beautiful design, high quality interior, outstanding performance…
Limited cargo capacity, questionable resale value…