Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fear This Feline

Original source : http://penthousemagazine.com
Posted : April 2013
Author : Bill Heald

F stands for fetching - and fast.
No matter how exciting a manufacturer’s latest models may be, some marques will always be associated with a particular automobile from the past. Despite brilliant recent offerings, Aston Martin will forever be connected to the timeless silver DB5 driven by James Bond in the film Goldfinger (and recently reprised in Skyfall). Jeep and Land Rover have both expanded their lines into very luxurious, state-of-the-art SUVs, yet the first thing the names evoke is their rugged, original off-road warriors. And Jaguar, even though its uniquely styled sedans have gained considerable fame, will always be tied to its sensual E-type roadsters, especially the V-12-powered versions that were as technically fascinating as they were stunning to gaze upon. Jaguar has subtly embraced the lure of this timeless classic, blended it with the latest Jaguar concept exercises, and created the all-new F-type roadster.

This new roadster takes the latest engineering breakthroughs and wraps them in a shapely body that owes much of its visual design inspiration to the E-type. And while there are versions with an excellent supercharged V-6, to truly rock the jungle your cat should be the V-8 S version (which has the kind of teeth a true predator needs). This combination of power, comfort, and seductive styling is Jaguar at its finest, and demonstrates the company still can build a classy, iconic convertible in these tech-dominated times. “The F-type isn’t designed to be like anyone else’s sports car,” explains Jaguar’s global brand director, Adrian Hallmark. “It’s a Jaguar sports car - ultraprecise, powerful, sensual, and, most of all, it feels alive.”

The V-8 S has a big heart to keep its (and your) blood pumping: a fiveliter, 495-horsepower supercharged V-8. If you’ve never experienced a vehicle with a supercharged engine, this one is intoxicating enough to make you a slave to the sound, feel, and muscle of such a brawny power plant. The potency of the rear-drive architecture is further enhanced by a QuickShift automatic gearbox (with no fewer than eight speeds) that learns a driver’s input characteristics and optimizes shifting accordingly, based on 25 different internal programs. This transmission adapts constantly, depending on road and input parameters, and manual control is accessed via paddles on the steering wheel or by tapping the shift lever itself. 

This is but the tip of the iceberg of all the technologically advanced systems onboard, including a Dynamic Mode button that alters settings for more aggressive driving. It’s all complemented by an optional Configurable Dynamics mode selector that allows the driver to fine-tune the steering feel, throttle response, and other elements. The car’s Adaptive Dynamics suspension adjusts damping up to 500 times a second to tune response to the road and driver. The V-8 S also has the largest brake discs ever fitted to a production Jaguar, for those sad but unavoidable times when you have to rein the big cat in.

All this serious hardware is housed in a body and interior that celebrates all aspects of driving pleasure. Ian Callum, director of design, says, “To me, the definition of sportscar design is being fit for purpose, wrapping up the occupants and mechanicals in the most exciting, beautiful, and sensual package possible with no unnecessary surfaces or adornment.” The stiff body structure uses aluminum and composites extensively, right down to the huge, one-piece “clamshell” front hood, which will stir the soul of any E-type aficionado. 

The interior is designed to be a cozy, performance-oriented roadster with a nod to purists, without neglecting luxury or technology. “A sports-car cockpit should be an intimate place, and so we aimed to get a sense of the surfaces falling toward and then wrapping around the driver,” explains Callum. The glorious style and focused purpose of the E-type has been transformed into something even more dynamic for the twentyfirst century, yet the new F-type has a similar kind of timeless allure. It’s enough to make even old dogs into cat lovers.

Body style
Two-door convertible
Five-liter V-8
495 horsepower
460 foot-pounds
Eight-speed QuickShift automatic
Front tires
255/35 R20
Rear tires
295/30 R20
Curb weight
3,671 pounds

4.2 seconds
Top speed
186 mph
Fuel capacity
15.8 gallons
EPA mpg
Base price 
Base price $92,000

~Blog Admin~

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