Summer drive in a Jaguar F-Type Convertible.
Out and about on a glorious sunny day in Vancouver in a Jaguar F-Type convertible.
With the end of summer on the horizon I eagerly jumped at the opportunity to spend time with a 2020 Jaguar F-Type convertible. Jaguar introduced the F-Type in 2013 as a spiritual successor to the icon E Type Jaguar of the 1960’s. To my mind the F-Type styling captures the elegant essence of the E Type. I was quite taken with the styling of the convertible and coupe. Looks are a very subjective thing when it comes to cars and many journalists refrain from expressing a personal opinion about the styling of car, however I feel it is critical to take a stand on the styling of car because it is so personal and I want my readers to come on a very personal journey of discovery with the cars that I am fortunate to test drive. The first F-Type I saw in person was gorgeous metallic black convertible and as luck would have it this was the F-Type I got to test drive.
Six years on from my last encounter with a Jaguar F-Type I was curious how this elegant grand tourer had evolved since it was introduced and thanks to Dan Satchell at Jaguar Vancouver I got the opportunity to sample a 2020 Jaguar F-Type convertible P380 R Dynamic AWD. The most recognizable change from the original car is a subtle re-profiling of the front nose and the headlights. The two air intakes on the side of the nose of the f-Type have lost the divider that split them in two and have become large single intakes. Otherwise the flowing lines of the F-Type remain much the same. My test vehicle came in Fuji white with gloss black rims. Ordinarily I am not a fan of black rims, however these glossy rims accented the F-Type. Standing back and looking at the f-Type before I set off for my drive I could not help notice what a striking vehicle the Jaguar F-Type still is and in this particular livery.
Once ensconced in the driver’s leather seat I felt the pleasant sensation of returning to a familiar place. The biggest upgrade to the cockpit is the 10.0 inch touchscreen infotainment system which comes with all the usual systems. I found the touchscreen responses to be quick while manipulation of the menu was most intuitive. Save for the steering wheel which is festooned with buttons the rest of cabin controls are well placed, easy to reach and easy to control. A pet peeve of mine is a fussy cockpit with numerous dials, buttons and exaggerated number of settings and options. The F-Type cockpit is an extremely comfortable and welcoming environment. I have two favorite switches. One changes the driving mode to dynamic mode. You pull down a small lever marked with a checkered flag located in the central control panel and the instrument cluster illuminates in red which is a nice peace of theater. This mode sharpens up the ride and turns the 3.0L supercharged V6 into angry animal mode which helps you use all 380 horsepower. The other switch changes the timbre of the exhausts, appropriately the button has 2 exhausts as its symbols. The rasp of the exhaust adds to the thrill factor of driving a convertible.
The Sea to Sky highway is more often than not my road of choice for test drives as it offers easy access w in combination with stunning scenery. Along the Sea to Sky I engaged Dynamic mode and put the handling and fun factor of the F-Type to the test and the F-Type passed with flying colors. The F-Type is not a ridiculously fast car, but its then again its not meant to be, at its heart the F-Type is a grand tourer even in dynamic mode. I thoroughly enjoyed simply driving this car, I did not have to work at it, I just let the car flow. The steering is predictable which contributes to the ease of driving this car.
I pulled into Porteau Cove Provincial park which a popular destination in the summer for campers, boaters and scuba divers. The lookout is a spectacular setting to take pictures of a curvaceous Jaguar. One of the fun things about posing a car like the Jaguar in this location is the opportunity to talk to car lovers who materialized almost immediately to ask me questions about the car and take their own pictures. Sharing these types of cars with people who otherwise might not have the opportunity to interact with them is one of the most enjoyable moments of being a freelance supercar writer. Often people will point a feature of design element that I had not considered. With the Jaguar it was the forward facing single piece clam shell engine cover. I had forgotten about this design feature so it a pleasant surprise to see this elegant feature once again. On a glorious sunny day the last thing you think about is putting up the roof, however I was obliged to test the roof and it was only for static purposes. The canvas roof is the one area of the F-Type which I would change if I could. I would give the F-Type a hard top folding roof. The roof goes up or down in 12 seconds and can be raised or lowered while driving at speeds off up to 48km.
Driving back to Vancouver I found myself on the look out for more photographic opportunities so I decided to pull of the highway and explore the meandering back roads. Puttering around narrow back roads was idyllic. Such is the versatility of the modern sports car that you can enjoy being a speed king or you can sit back and enjoy the tranquility of a Sunday drive on twisty narrow roads and appreciate the luxury of having no particular place to be whilst cocooned within the comfort of a Jaguar. It was simply a delightful place to be on a sunny day in September. I would like to thank Dan Satchell of Vancouver Jaguar for arranging my drive in the Jaguar F-Type. I cannot wait to try out the 2021 Jaguar F-Type coupe.
English Bay and Vancouver in the background.