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Saturday, November 15, 2014

2015 Jaguar F-Type S Coupe review: When a V-6 is more desirable than a V-8

 

Yahoo Autos 
                   
           

2015 Jaguar F-Type S
                         2015 Jaguar F-Type S
Usually it’s unthinkable to spring for a V-6 over a V-8, like preferring the Jar-Jar-infested Star Wars prequels to the original trilogy. In the pon- car world, you’re driving grandma’s Mustang if you settle for anything less than a 302.

 I can’t remember the last time I preferred six cylinders over eight with any car — that is, until Jaguar dropped off a V6 supercharged Jaguar F-Type S Coupe at Yahoo’s doorstep.

That’s not dismissing the superlative V-8 version; the supercharged 5.0 burbles, howls, and pops with unbridled aggression, and hits 60 mph from a stop in a scant 4 seconds.


 Yet the V-6 feels more balanced weight-wise, with a power band that’s more reasonable for driving without brazenly breaking the law at the touch of the throttle — and yet is only 0.8 seconds slower to 60 mph.
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 Although it “only” makes 380 horses in S trim, it’s lively yet composed at the same time, with the same snappy eight-speed ZF transmission as its burlier counterpart.
 
 The 19 city / 27 highway mpg is roughly 20 percent more fuel efficient than the R trim, making it a more practical option. Plus, there’s a nostalgic throwback with the exhaust; like the E-Type, the exhaust tips poke out of the center, and it even has a raspy buzz that evokes the old XK inline-six. It’s a retro touch fitting for a successor to one of the most iconic sports cars of all time.



 

Dropping two cylinders also makes that seductive shape somewhat more affordable. The sheet metal is massaged to perfection especially from the C-pillar and back, and the profile looks like a six-figure ride, not something that starts at $77,000. The interior doesn’t have the sublime fit and finish of a Porsche, yet still looks decadent, with handsomely stitched leather touches and LED-lit HVAC knobs that strike a rich balance between the classic and modern.
 
 Some occasional cheaper bits are thrown into the mix though, such as the plastic paddle shifters and start button, as well as the flimsy fender vents on the exterior. But that’s true across other trim levels.

The V-6 is nonetheless a car that’d fit in perfectly on Rodeo Drive or in the Hamptons, especially with a less murderous exhaust note. While stiffer than the XKR, the damping is smooth enough to be enjoyable cruising down your favorite country road. Yet a sports coupe to its core, the power builds predictably, with a rear end that gently wags should you get heavy-footed with the gas pedal in a corner.


There may be no replacement for displacement, but with the V-6 F-Type many would never miss it.