Contrary to Popular Belief, We Don’t Just Test Drive Beaters
A Good Car—For Bad People
It always took me by surprise that the bad guys in James Bond movies drove Jaguars; that is until I got behind the wheel of one. They always seemed more King Joffrey than Weeping Angels. They never inspired fear, just a sort of “I have too much money and know nothing about cars” response. However, through a very fortuitous turn of events, I got a short test drive with one of these supercharged V-8 coupes, and much like a wild one night stand, the only thing I regret is not enjoying it more.
The fastest cars in the world are always a hired car, a race car driver said this a long time ago and clearly he is now deceased. Because if I were to drive this car as hard as I possibly could, it would have killed me as well as the owner of this vehicle. Twice. And we would have looked good doing it.
Taking on the looks, this F-Type picks up where the 1960’s E-Type left off, being some of the best looking things on four wheels. This one was white, which looked incredible with lines of the coupe. If I were to buy one, I would want it in proper British Racing Green. This might sound insane because I hate green, but when it comes to something like this, it really has to be green for heritage’s sake. It hearkens back to the days when cars were just as much fun as you could have in them. The interior was luxurious but not overdone, reminding you that this is very much a sports car, with the just perfect amount of Jag prominence that you would expect from the brand.
From Swallow Sidecar to TATA Motors
This brings up an interesting issue, the brand Jaguar. Originally known as the Swallow Sidecar company, they had to rebrand in the immediate post-World War II because their emblem bore a remarkable resemblance to the logo of another group of people who went by the initials “SS”. In the fifties and sixties, they made some of the most stunningly beautiful vehicles the world has ever seen while Britain was clawing out of the devastation of The Blitz. However, these cars were known for their lack of reliability, as most notably recounted in the episode of AMC’s Mad Men where a protagonist tries killing himself by suffocation in his E-Type Coupe, only to be foiled by the car not starting. However, the brand went through a virtual dark age when they were owned by Ford. They were basically overpriced Contours and Mustangs, and the brand was hurting. Now they are owned by Indian car manufacturer TaTa, and seem to be going through a renaissance–the likes of which have never been seen before in this industry. They had to basically kill the brand to bring it back, and just about everyone with a pulse is glad they did.
Now back to the matter at hand. Yes it looks gorgeous, yes it has an interesting bit of history behind it, but does it do what a proper roadster should? The short answer: Yes. The long answer, this is one of the baddest cars I have ever driven. It sounds like a chorus of hungry tigers, and better yet, it makes the jump to hyperspace when you put your foot into it. On the top secret Surfwrench Proving Grounds, just North of Rte. 18 at the end of I-390 North, we got this kitty up to a whopping 150 mph before the owner of the car shrieked like a little girl.
Here Kitty, Kitty!
The sounds, the feels, and the way this car hugs the apex of a corner gives it what can only be described as life. With the dynamic exhaust turned on, the F-Type simply screams through the lower gears, the back end wanting to step out and pounce on whatever is in front of you. It can, and it does. The power is utterly intoxicating, but the best part, is when you get out of it and look at it. The lines are simple, clean, and have a very real world sex appeal. The convertible is good, but the coupe is drop dead gorgeous. Our encounter on this occasion was brief, but I have little doubt that we shall meet again.
To be fair, if I handed the keys of my almost 100k roadster to a 24 year old wheelman, I probably wouldn’t have let him leave the grounds of the country club. But this guy trusted me—note the past tense. That’s the biggest problem with these things. They are way too expensive to be commonplace. I am one that feels that art should be appreciated. And that is what this is, a work of art. The sounds, the feels, the looks: it builds into a crescendo of gorgeousness and gorgeousity not seen often enough, oh my brothers. Yes, I just quoted A Clockwork Orange, and that leads me to the final point: This car is ultraviolence. Yes it wears a badge of luxury but beneath that badge lies something incredible, a soul. Jag is back, and long live the queen.
Surfwrench is an automotive repair app based in Rochester, NY. Since 2014, our independent team of technicians have helped save customers, time, money and hassle on their car repairs.