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.
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.
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.
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.