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motoring o the scene ve up to E-Type’s reputation?


the standard V6 and there’s an instant feeling of ‘rightness’. The steering is quick and accurate but smooth, the ride quality is immediately impressive while remaining in firm touch with the road.


Left to its own devices, the eight-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly and you can surf along on the generous torque. It’s sporty, but it’s still a Jaguar. It won’t be long before you want to up the pace and you have a choice in how you go about this.


A simple squeeze of the accelerator releases another chunk of torque while the gearbox will shift down if required, but ideally you’ll hit the switch to put it into Dynamic mode. Depending on the model, this opens up the exhaust, sharpens throttle and gearbox response, stiffens the suspension and reduces assistance to the steering.


The most dramatic change comes in the noise from the exhaust. Squeeze the accelerator hard and you get a sophisticated but vocal rasp, and when you back off there’s half-a-dozen loud crackles too. You’ll do it on purpose just to hear it over and over.


Smooth and effortless though it is, the F-Type really shines when pressing on. The surety of its responses instils plenty of confidence, and as you start to push it harder through challenging bends, it just keeps on gripping, staying flat and controlled whatever the surface is doing. It deals with broken surfaces remarkably well, but you can tweak all the individual Dynamic settings and soften the suspension again if desired. Even if you don’t, it’s never harsh.


It’s unquestionably fast too. The F-Type starts with 335bhp, and if you’d never sampled the more powerful versions, then you would want for nothing more. With eight gears to flick through, the supercharged V6 spins up quickly and always has torque to spare. But if you can spare the extra cash, the 375bhp of the V6S is welcome and adds that extra bit of ‘zip’.


On the other hand, the V8S is a monster; the chassis is more than capable of coping with almost half as much power again as the standard F- Type at a whopping 490bhp. The resulting


acceleration, speed and noise are truly breathtaking - it’s an almost orgasmic delight, driving it feels like a guilty


pleasure.


We’ve waited patiently for the F-Type and been thoroughly primed for its arrival, but the truth is Jaguar has delivered a truly superb car. It has the looks and performance beyond what you might hope for, but better than that, it also rides superbly, is easy to use and is well thought out with some smart design too.


For sports cars at least, 2013 belongs to Jaguar. www.lifebeginsmagazine.com Life Begins 31


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