2016 Best Drives: The Sexy Cat Jaguar F Type R

A rare combination that only happens a few times  in ones lifetime is in my driveway. A vehicle that is both memorizing to look at and a magic carpet ride to drive. A while back, I sampled the 2015 Jaguar F Type R coupe and loved every minute of my time behind the wheel. Recently, for my birthday week, I had the pleasure of sampling the updated 2016 F Type R Coupe and I am blown away.

Everywhere I went in the greater Orlando FL area, people were waving at me, blinking their headlights and giving me thumbs up. Let’s begin with the sound of its 5.0 liter supercharged 550 Horsepower V-8 engine. Switch the F Type into Dynamic mode or flip a switch on the center console and you will be rewarded with the most glorious exhaust note in the entire automotive world.

This beautiful British Royal princess burbles like a NASCAR V-8 being tuned in a Daytona garage, snorts like an exotic Ferrari on steroids and generally raises cane all over town, An automotive radio talk host colleague of mine says “Oh, its too loud”, he could not be more wrong. I feel like a 5 year old on Christmas morning when it makes this glorious “snap, crackle, Boom” sound and it’s legal straight from the factory. I had people in an auto body repair shop running outside to see the motorcycle that was revving its engine. No, that’s no Motor Cycle that’s the F Type R.

For 2016, F Type receives a number of serious updates including standard all wheel drive in the R. On the street, that translates into mash the accelerator pedal and you will launch to sixty in 3.9 seconds or less. Accelerate hard into a corner no worries the power is at all 4 wheels and a suite of electronic aids including an active rear differential and electronic-assisted power steering make it a breeze. The F Type R for 2016 makes a bad driver good and a good driver a super hero and is simply a joy to drive.

The design penned by the brilliant Ian Callum is the automotive equivalent of a super model. It is beautiful from any and all angles

The driver-orientated cockpit of the 2016 Jaguar F-Type separates the passenger and driver with a wide console, and provides a left-hand grip for the passenger. The coupe’s high roof means good headroom even for tall folks, plus adequate legroom, too. Drivers get a large, visually sharper TFT display between the two gauges, with orange paddle shifters, a start button, and Dynamic mode selector on some models.

The infotainment touch screen’s simple interface conveys what you want to know, without the “Tokyo by night” neon overkill so common in today’s vehicles. The beautifully assembled interior boasts stitched leather throughout, including the headliner in coupes. Jaguar Smart Key and a 14-way power driver’s seat are new this year, as is the panoramic glass roof on the coupes.

My test vehicle was equipped with a $12,000 carbon-ceramic matrix brake upgrade. It was my first weeklong exposure to these exotic brakes optional on Porsche and a few other brands. Now I get what the fuss is all about. The Carbon Ceramic brakes provide not only shorter stopping distances but also zero brake fade even after numerous high-speed stops. There are worth every penny. If you can afford the Jaguar F Type R Coupe what is another 12 grand on the bottom line?

The 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 that resides under its glorious hood puts out 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is rated at 15-mpg city and 23 highway. During my week I averaged low 20’s MPG remarkable for this kind of power and performance. The 8 speed automatic is lightning fast and perfectly matched to the engine.

Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls, this is one of the finest cars in the world at ANY price. Speaking of price my loaded F Type R Coupe came in at a little over $128,000. If you can afford it buy it, and if you can’t start buying a few lottery tickets and start saving up for a ride of a lifetime.

Now I can’t wait to sample the new ultimate F Type the SVR for 2017

The Long Drive Rankings

Front Engine-AWD 8 speed automatic

Highlights

Styling

Performance

Stereo System

AWD

Lowlights

Cost

The Long Drive Rankings 1 Low 10 High

Exterior Styling 10

Interior styling and quality 9

Handling 9

Braking 10
Fuel Economy 5
Stereo System 10

Performance 10
Trunk-Cargo Capacity 8

Navigation 9

2017 Jaguar XE Leaps into the Sports Sedan Marketplace

There are some brands that strike a cord deep within some ones soul and I must admit Jaguar is one of the handfuls of brands that does that for me personally. I recently had the opportunity to sample for a full week the Jaguar XE. It is newest, smallest and least expensive sedan from the British automaker. It s been a while since the X Type Jaguar which had its share of fans and foes who were just plain upset that the AWD small sedan shared underpinnings with an European Ford.  it was during this period 2000-2009 Jaguar was in Ford’s brand portfolio.

After being out of the entry-level, luxury-sedan game, the Jaguar XE arrives with the usual suspects in its sights including the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C- Class, Audi A4 and Lexus IS. The new XE Jaguar sports sedan offers a host of premium amenities, advanced safety features and a variety of engines that range from a fuel-efficient diesel to a supercharged V6. The Jag stands out with classic yet contemporary looks, an impressive warranty. The 2017 Jaguar XE is all new. Along with the F-Pace compact SUV, it represents Jaguar’s aim to attract new buyers to the famous British brand via entry-level luxury cars. In this case, the XE hits that mark with a price starting under $36,000.

Not unlike the others in entry-level sports sedan lineup. The Jag XE’s road manners vary depending what’s under the hood and even whether you opt for all-wheel drive (AWD) vs. the standard rear-wheel drive (RWD). My test vehicle had the first ever for U.S. market 2.0-liter diesel engine coupled with an impressive all wheel drive system. It shouldn’t be a surprise the compact XE sedan looks like a smaller iteration of the XF midsize sedan. This is hardly a bad thing. We appreciate the XE’s classic yet beautiful sports-sedan lines: the long hood, downward sloping roof and curtailed tail.

This is perhaps contemporary design at its best. We also applaud Jag for not foisting a gaping grille on the XE. Not seen but also appreciated is Jaguar’s broad use of light-yet-strong aluminum, which makes for a vehicle that’s literally lighter on its feet.

 

Step into the least expensive Jaguar XE compact sports sedan and standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control, rear-passenger vents, 17-inch alloy wheels and moon roof. The standard infotainment system consists of Jaguar’s In Control 8-inch touch-screen display and 6-speaker, 80-watt audio system with HD Radio, USB inputs and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Surprisingly, a rearview camera still costs extra. All new XE sedans come with a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty and complimentary maintenance/roadside assistance. My test vehicle came with the 2017 Prestige package. Models equipped with this option get navigation, leather interior with heated front seats and heated steering wheel, keyless entry and power-adjustable steering column

The compact XE sedan looks like a smaller iteration of the second generation XF midsize sedan. This is hardly a bad thing. We appreciate the XE’s classic yet beautiful sports-sedan lines: the long hood, downward sloping roof and curtailed tail.  We also applaud Jag for not sporting a gaping grille on the XE. Not seen but also appreciated is Jaguar’s broad use of light-yet-strong aluminum, which makes for a vehicle that’s literally lighter on its feet.

On the road the heavy AWD system coupled with the turbocharged inline-4 diesel feels kind of sluggish at times. Horsepower is rated a 180 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm. Like all modern diesels great torque numbers the XE 2.0d putting out  massive 318 lb-ft of torque.

The interior has cockpit like feel with the driver and front seat passenger sitting low in the vehicle. The wraparound style of the dash reminds me of the old Porsche 928 and has an inviting enveloping feel. This small Jaguar sedan uses a good mix of a touch-based screen and traditional buttons for audio and climate controls.

The new XE turned heads wherever it went and was reasonable a priced at around  $ 44,000  with some decent options including the excellent Meridian sound system.

The 2017 EX is a great new entrant in the tough entry-level marketplace but one that deserves looking at if you in the market for a cool sexy small sedan.

The Long Drive Rankings

Front Engine-AWD 8 speed automatic

Highlights

Styling

Performance

Fuel economy

Lowlights

Diesel delivers great mileage but feels sluggish at times

Snug interior for some

 

Rankings 1 Low 10 High

Exterior Styling 8
Interior styling and quality 8

Handling 8

Braking 6
Fuel Economy 9
Stereo System 6

Performance 6
Trunk-Cargo Capacity 8

Navigation 8
Audio System 8