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motoring Jaguar roars onto By Matt Joy Long awaited F Type is launched but can it liv

It’s been a long wait, but finally it’s here. Jaguar’s F-Type has had one of the longest build-ups of any car in recent years, but all the hype now has to stop and the car itself is required to do the talking.

Jaguar says the F-Type is its first ‘proper’ sports car in 52 years, and as the name suggests, F comes after E so one would assume it has to follow in the footsteps of the iconic E-Type which blazed a trail back in the early sixties.

Massive shoes to fill, of course, but view one alongside the other and you can see lineage, not pastiche. The F-Type nods to its great-grandparent in the cut-off nose and high rear deck, but it’s a thoroughly modern design.

It pulls the neat trick of looking sensational in a range of colours and the option of light or dark wheels gives extra scope for tailoring. Looks-wise, it’s a solid-gold hit. And it’s clever with it, being sculpted out of aluminium just like the bigger XJ saloon. That helps to keep the weight down while remaining as strong as a conventional steel structure, and ups the recyclability too.

It’s a convertible only, of course, but the wise decision to stick with a fabric roof means a 12-second raising or lowering routine and no unsightly design compromises. It’s a strict two-seater and the boot is modest but you could fit a generous weekend’s luggage in there without having to skimp.

Approach the door and you press a button to pop out the flush- fitting door handle - a feature that keeps the overall design slick - and drop into the driver’s seat. It’s snug but not cramped, and aside from the button-covered steering wheel, the cabin is a lesson in simplicity.

A row of straightforward switches, the familiar Jag touchscreen and neat new climate controls complete the job. The joystick-like gear lever encourages you to ‘fire’ it when selecting Drive by pushing the trigger-like button; a clever ploy to get you in the mood.

The three-model range comprises of the F-Type V6, F-Type V6S and the top V8S. But there’s no such thing as an ‘entry-level’ model here. The only thing telling them apart is a discreet badge front and rear plus quad exhaust pipes on the V8S.

Fire it up and there is a surprisingly strident crackle from the exhaust, another area where there has been effort expended to deliver the right kind of feel. Set off in

30 Life Begins

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