F-Type V6S First Impressions


#1

Having owned a dozen or more cars at the young age of 51.96, I never entertained a Jag. When the F-Type debuted, I was immediately attracted to the car. Recently, I found a deal I couldn’t ignore. Now I am the proud owner of a mint condition, 15k mile 2016 V6S convertible with more than 2 years of warranty remaining. Life is good. No, great.

First things first, the car has generally exceeded my expectations, which were quite high. I adore the luxury-biased sports car niche the F-Type Jaguar seems to target.

I’ve previously owned three new “luxury cars,” all BMWs, and of those my 1994 325i was probably closet to this Jag experience. That car was more luxury-oriented than today’s mass-fabricated, generally low quality 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s. The '94 I6 sounded amazing and was much better balanced than today’s BMW straight six; I never got tired of that silent motor below 5K RPM howling to life near red line, and the cars thick luxurious leather cockpit. My 2000 Z3 had shades of goodness, but its “Made in USA” DNA engulfed the car in black smoke at 3,300 miles. BMW took four months to return the car with nothing more accomplished than a $120 charge for an oil change. I sold it. My most modern BMW experience, a 2011 135i convertible which, with a JB4 and a few quality/strengthening bolt-ons, is ferociously fast and an even more ferocious maintenance nightmare. Between my own out-of-warranty repairs and the dealer’s in-warranty repairs, my otherwise sleek 135i has racked up more repair bills it than it cost brand new. Pathetic quality. On the good side, I got to drive every loaner in the dealer fleet. Currently, similar victims of “German Engineering” are experiencing around 90% depreciation at the 7 year point and my “other convertible” is right on that mark. I could sell it, but not for actual money, just to transfer title of the endless German car maintenance nightmare. I also have a Nissan I purchased new, with 208K miles of repair-free miles (minus $71 and an hour of my labor to replace the water pump). My all-steel interior and exterior Twin I-Beam 1966 Ford F-100 390 FE show quality restomod is probably the highest overall quality vehicle I own. The high compression FE howl and vertigo inducing idle rumble gives the Jag’s exhaust note a run for its money. So that’s where I’m coming from.

I have only driven the Jag a few thousand perfect miles, too early to comment on reliability. But a few observations nevertheless…

First, I love walking up to the F-Type, IMO the car is the most beautiful sports car of our time. That’s worth a lot to me. It’s no fun to own plain looking car, no matter how well it performs or costs. Otherwise, I’d own a Nissan GT-R, which has earned my business in every way except its Altima looks. It’s darn expensive to build a car with the right outer mold line.

Next, the V6S sounds better than I expected, and again I expected a lot. I drove an R for a weekend and it was similar, if a little sharper, but I slightly prefer the more melodic and voluminous V6S resonance. The interesting thing, IMO, is the F-Type has defined another league of street competition that no one expected. I had much fun demoralizing a gorgeous new Dodge Viper a few days ago. We were stuck in enough traffic to prevent building any real speed, and the poor guy was stuck with his suddenly pathetic, quiet little growl that made him look, well, let’s say, fully emissions compliant. Others might call it shrinkage. By introducing a new level of raucous ROAR followed by a maniacal crackling laughter, the F-Type immediately and unfairly embarrasses much faster cars with this new, asymmetrical street fighting weapon. Jag has created an whole new category of street cred; the F-Type currently defines it, we dominate it totally and completely, and IMO the unexpected humiliation is so compelling that it is here to stay.

Handling is far better than I expected. Flatter funner corners make the car a joy to drive compared to my 135i JB4, which is IMO the best handling BMW of all time, including the 2002. One observation, I replaced the worn OEM P-Zeros with Michelin Pilot Sport A/Ts. The P-Zeros were quieter and noticeably more precise. The Michellins soften the ride a bit at the expense of a touch of predictable but less precise sidewall roll on turn in. Tons of grip, though. Both are great tire choices.

The Jags interior is simple, tactile, beautifully lit at night, and plain comfortable. Of the all of these traits, I value simplicity the most. I love how Jaguar is ignoring the millions-of-meaningless-buttons fad. The F-Type actually has self esteem, it doesn’t care what other people think. The exterior lines are similar; simple and gorgeous speaks for itself. Compare to the insecure current “hypercar” circus.

Now for the not as fun observations…

  1. The 3.0L base lacks torque down low and feels tapped-out in the mid-range RPM band. The supercharger revives it above 5K RPM, but this is too little to late compared to less expensive, but significantly faster cars. IMO this is due to to small a base motor and the choice to supercharge. Supercharging eliminates lag, but proportional spool isn’t necessarily better than the disconnected modern turbo which can deliver full boost at or before mid 1K RPM. It seems Jag agrees, as the 2.0T has arrived with excellent per-liter output. How long til the 3.0T?

Along these same lines, I didn’t find the 2016 V8R sufficiently more powerful than the V6S to justify the cost and weight. The reason IMO is the HP/TQ relationship. Sadly every R and S dyno I’ve found so far on the internet is fake, none cross anywhere near 5252. So my impressions are all butt dyno dependent. With our linear supercharging, peak hp occurs on a pretty steep curve late in the RPM band. This makes F-Types VERY powerful just moments before red line, but relatively weak elsewhere. A modern turbo could deliver full boost resulting in peak torque, or motive force, from 1500 RPM or so. Or, in the case of the surprisingly formidable Kia Stinger, 1300 RPM, which is why it can pull a 500hp V8 Mustang by 10-15 car lengths in the first 1/8th mile; an insurmountable lead in the quarter. The difference is full accelerative force, or Torque, across the full RPM band versus a peak near the end. I think we would benefit from a modern turbo. Has anyone layered a turbo on top of the supercharger?

  1. The ZF 8-speed needs faster crisper shifts to compete in this price range. If we are going to sacrifice a MT for paddles, the automatic needs to pull the MT version of the same car by a few car lengths. Inarguable speed improvement is what sold the double clutch as the new standard for high performance. Jag is including a standard automatic at a double-clutch price. A modern transmission would shave 3 tenths IMO, which might justify the loss of a stick.

Food for thought.


#2

Update: the V8R I drove was definitely not right, possibly a flood car as the carfax says it lived in Houston during the last floods then needed repair.


(Gunnar Helliesen) #3

Oh man, I hope not. I drove the 25T (as it’s called, even though it’s a 2.0L), and it was depressing. OK, so it was an F-Pace, not an F-Type, but still. That engine is a dog.

https://www.jag-lovers.com/2018-jaguar-f-pace-impressions/

I also don’t agree that the 3.0S only comes to life near the redline. I have so much fun just putting the car in Dynamic mode, keeping the revs above 2k or so, and tossing it around corners. The way the car just leaps and jumps out of sharp corners when I push the loud pedal gives me goose bumps every time. And then, at the next corner, the snap, crackle, and pop from the exhaust when I temporarily let off the gas is pure happiness.

As for tires, I was going to go for the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S at the recommendation of a friend, but Tire Rack couldn’t deliver them in time. So I ended up going with Continental Extreme Contact Sport XL. They were a little cheaper than the Michelins and I’ve been quite happy with them. They’re quieter than the Pirellis, and have much better grip in wet conditions.

By the way, have you driven the AWD version of the 3.0S?

Regards,
Gunnar


#4

I have not driven an AWD V6, but have spent minimal time in various V8R AWD test drives. I didn’t find my V6 strong enough to justify the expense, complexity and weight of AWD. Breaking the read end loose seemed to require a track environment with high lateral G to help disconnect the rubber. My sample was not strong enough in a straight line to produce significant wheel spin.

I traded my V6 for a V8, which, at least in my mind, confirmed my feeling that the V6 is not a strong enough car for me. The V8 is a scary-ass monster, a legit super car contender, my V6 was not, though it was huge fun to drive. With the V8, every performance car under $150K or so is pretty easily outclassed unless you make a mistake, I was surprises how strong it is. I’ve left GT350s like they are standing still, proving once again that simply raising a red line to log more horsepower is a sad substitute for stronger torque. The Nissan GT-R is one exception though its usually above $150K, basically even.

I agree that turbos are often better on paper than in use. They are obviously more efficient as they extract otherwise unused energy, but before the 2.0T I think Jag stuck to their supercharger guns to preserve exhaust note. Turbos are notoriously awful sounding cars as the turbine sucks the exhaust energy content dry. Yes there is a little whine which some find interesting, but that’s a sorry substitute IMO for the F-type’s unmatched V8 roar. The V6 has an excellent exhaust note but is a mostly different sounding car, more resonant and melodic, less tear your head off viscous to the core.

As far as the 2018s, I just can’t get past the headlights, but the MSRP is so high what’s another $2500 to swap them out (if possible)?

On a somewhat different note of concern for the F-Type, I am worried that Jaguar and other European makes do not understand the underlying financial weakness of the U.S. market. Yes, in low transaction volume markets, prices are skyrocketing, but any attempt to mass market cars above $50-60K will meet crickets IMO. Luxury sports cars, and to a lesser extent exotics, being inherently impractical, are in more risky waters than recognized. US wages continue to fall, continuing a 20 year trend of increasing poverty, while compensating monetary inflation (baseless government currency printing) continues to keep prices rising, utterly ravaging what once was a broad middle class. The average annual income is down to roughly $42K, making any new car unattainable for perhaps half of Americans. There is about an 80/20 split, poverty/wealthy, with very little spanning the middle. The 15% is doing great, the 80% presents a mass poverty problem that continues to deteriorate.

I expect an unprecedented buyers market in the coming years, with luxury makes hit the hardest, like nothing our generation has experienced.


(Gunnar Helliesen) #5

The dealer gave me a 3.0S AWD as a loaner once, and I was a little disappointed. It did feel less snappy than my RWD, so I agree. But also the steering felt more ‘wooly’, for a lack of a better term, which I guess is to be expected when the front wheels drive as well as steer. All in all, I was happy to get back in my RWD car, which I didn’t expect at the outset.

Gunnar


#6

Yeah, and there are numerous accounts of the 5.0 exceeding Jag specs by about 40 hp, and the 3.0 under-performing specs by 10 or 20hp. That’s the nature of the beast, any manufacturer is going to have to push the weaker car a little more aggressively to sell it, at least in the performance class.

I’m not a fan of designing cars for some arbitrary test, I think its a big mistake. So much emphasis is placed on 0-60 that AWD and DCTs become artificially justified, even though there are substantial cost, weight, and lifecycle maintenance penalties in real world ownership. Jaguar is slowly falling into this trap, IMO, after doing a better than average job of resisting it in the past.


(Ole Würtz) #7

I am also looking into getting an F-type. If you say E, you almost have to say F, right ?
In one of the YouTube videos that I’ve been watching it was pointed out that the steering has less feel with the 2016 model and that’s because of the electric power steering as opposed to the hydraulic versions on the 2014-15 models. Supposedly not the awd is not to blame exclusively.


(Gunnar Helliesen) #8

Ah, that is interesting, thanks. And yes, you have to say “F”. :wink:

Gunnar


#9

Having traded my beloved V6S for its lack of brutality, the F-Type V8 is my all time favorite car to own and drive. Luxurious, simple, direct and powerful, it is far into a class by itself.

The glorious design bucks every thoughtless modern trend…

The cockpit is simple jewelry, no cheap plastic complexity for complexity’s sake.

It’s INCREDIBLY loud in a wonderful way, but you have to strain to hear the engine in 7th or 8th gear cruise, even in loud mode. Even with the top down, conversations are subdued.

The car gets worse mileage than an M1A1 tank when unleashed, but the V8 is 10+ mpg more fuel efficient than a Prius when cruising above 70 mph.

It snarls and snorts and pops like a big game cat tearing a wildebeest’s head off in a war zone, but is muted luxury, even quiet with the active exaust valve closed. Downshift to 4th or 5th in quiet mode, and you are treated to a distinct Sahara lion’s yawn.

Best of all, off the line and especially at speed, the V8 dispenses almost every car under $500K like they are standing still. The venerable Nissan GT-R and Z06 are two cars that offer competion, but with an easy tune and/or or pulley the Jag edges both, and outright embarrasses them in interior quality, exterior beauty, and the outright savage exaust note.

I have never said this about any car I’ve owned, but the F-Type V8 is magical and perfect in every way.


(Paul Wigton) #10

Call me from Missouri: Ive a friend with a Gen III Prius, and at 70 mph, constant, he gets 55 mpg.

Show me the data…:smile:


#11

Link below. Prius got 17 mpg at up to 70 mph peak. Thats not quite fast enough to qualify as daily driving, but its as fast as it can keep up with traffic. The V8 M3 was about 10% more fuel efficient. The Jag V8S would be around 1300 RPM in 8th at 70 mph, typically around 28-30 mpg.


(Paul Wigton) #12

I call bullshit: Clarkson is not scientist, and NO REAL world Prius I know does that badly.

Something’s rigged.


#13

The EPA rating for the Prius is 54 mpg Highway.

Highway miliage is calculated at 48.3 mph.

There is precisely 47% the air resistance at 48.3 mph as there is at 70 mph.

But thats cruising in a straight line, which is not similar to daily driving.


(Paul Wigton) #14

Dont care: I know of AT LEAST 10 Prii, from GenIs on down to GenIV, and none get 17mpUSg at 70.

The lowest is 48, the best is 57.


#15

We talking about driving, not cruising.

But cruising, my V8S is steady at 27 mpg at 85 mpg, which is the highway speed limit here.

At 85mph, there is 311% more air resistance than at a truly useless 48 mph “highway” test.


(Paul Wigton) #16

Whch IS NOT more than a Prius, and dont move the goalposts: the conversation is about 70 mph.


#17

Actually you quoted the Prius’s 48 mph straight line cruise EPA rating as 70 mph.

But why 70 highway? Most highways in the western United States have a 75-85 mph limit, you’ll get rear ended below 75. I can cruise by a cop at 90 on some highways with a friendly waive? What’s a highway for?


(Paul Wigton) #18

Prius gets 17 mpg.reported are in real-life, on-highway drives.

Your initial assertion: I still call bullshit, because the numbers I report are from real highways, in real Prii: NO decent Prius gets 17 mpg.

I stand by the bull puckey call…:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#19

Ok, but if you listen closely they do say their test was indepentently verified. Unless you can indepently verify your own beliefs, TG has more proof.

I don’t really think thats important, though. Typical western US “speed of traffic” highway cruising is 85-95 mph, or speed limit plus a few, which is really outside the envelope of a Prius.

My point was the V8 Jag silentlly turns 1900 RPM at 90 mph in the 27-28 mpg range. Thats an amazingly fuel efficient, and practical, highway machine. The V6 is better still. The Prius really isn’t capable of any practical highway scenario within 1,000 miles of me.

I’d love to see the EPA update their 1970’s 48 mph highway scenario, designed when the national speed limit was 55 mph, and the fake fuel crises was causing some to advocate driving at max range speed of roughly 48 mph.

It would completely reset what is considered an efficient car if reality was ever taken into account. The F-Type would be a real world fuel efficiency leader.


(Paul Wigton) #20

To your first point: yes, that is astonishing, and I take nothing away from the Jag.

To the second point: PURE, personal speculation. I have personally driven a Prius at 90 mph (I live in the wide open West, so I know all about open roads and fast speeds) it seemed to have gotten me to the EXACT SAME destination as my E Type did…and the Prius had AC!

It got right around 30 mpg doing it.

Over all, the driving experience of my Hyundai (33 mpg, like clockwork, at 75-85 mph, fo 210,000 miles) and the Prius was…well, let’s say I’m WAY less tired and sweaty at the end of the trip.

Now, a friend’s well-tuned (to the tune of ~410 RWHP) F Type, on a recent drive, averaged 22 mpg, with AC…nice!

I still stand by the assertion that a Prius gets MORE than 17 mpg at 70 mph, and Clarkson is about as much an authority on them as I am on weight loss plans!

He has a WHITE-HOT burning hatred of them, as many on here seem to have, too.