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June 24, 2013updated Jun 27, 2013

Holy F! The Latest Jaguar Takes on Umbria

By Chris Boyle

By Mike Espindle

The F-Type on the road.

In this all-new two-seater, Jaguar has executed a decidedly modern vision with just enough homage to British elegance to make it stand apart from its German and Italian competition. If the goal was to create something beautiful and destined to occupy as iconic a spot in automotive history as the storied E-Type of the 1960s, this car lives up to that bloodline, in spades.

Within the first three or four turns spiraling out of the medieval hillside town of Assisi, I knew I was driving something that evoked natural, and favorable, comparisons to the “P” word. Nimbleness, sputtering (thanks to a very cool active exhaust system that maximizes the redline song) well-packed corners, that “greased bobsled on rails” feeling; it was all there. 

Surprisingly, when the turns petered out, and I found myself on the autostrada, the F-Type S was eminently comfortable and cruise-y, a testament to a fine Jaguar interior that should not be overlooked. Again, modern and sporty, the cabin is decidedly driver-centric without feeling like a track car or small roadster. A single center-stack grab handle is provided for your passenger—a very smart design choice. 

I can list some specs, of course: 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, a top speed of 171 mph, a quick 8-speed paddle-shift transmission with a new and appropriate “sport shift” controller on the console. But the F-Type needs to be driven to be appreciated and understood. And at a base price of just over $80,000 for the F-Type S, I’d run, not walk, to sign up for a test drive if I were you.

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