Images: Hanoz Patel
A shark doesn’t present itself for amusement like a trick-happy dolphin. It hounds for the vaguest traces of blood in the deepest, darkest corners of the bottomless abysses. A shark lives to kill. A shark can’t be tamed.
Marv, the unstoppable brute from Frank Miller’s Sin City doesn’t care if he’s slaying a hound or a human when he’s on a pursuit. Cuts and gashes don’t count, blood’s meant to be expended, limbs are meant to be lost. Ferocious, ruthless, and unimpeachable for his unwavering brutality – Marv is Rambo’s wet dream.
Amanda Knox. Murdered her roommate, allegedly. Went through trial, won public sympathy and was declared innocent in the US. Re-trial in Italy convicted her, sentencing her for twenty eight and a half years. Her extradition from the US to Italy hangs in the balance as she leads a perfectly normal social life. Beautiful, unassuming, beguiling – Amanda brutally killed her room-mate. Probably she didn’t. Either way, one wouldn’t ever get fresh with her. One dare won’t.
Angel faced dame, redolent of innocence, gazing you with her gooey, heart-rending eyes, possessed by paranormal powers, scheming to chew on your jugular, feast on your blood as you approach – wild, vicious, enduring, gorgeous, desirable, all at the same time. The F-type is that sort of a thing.
As she rests
There’s chaos on my building’s stilt level today. It’s as if a UFO has landed in the parking lot. Kids, grown men, pretty young ladies, even middle aged Tambrahm ladies with their salt and pepper braids and silk sarees are flocking the white sports car that rests smugly in parking slot no. 17. Two watchmen have been deputed to keep the people at a distance – people who’re shoving each other aside for a clear selfie with the exotic metal. One may tend to feel for the watchmen at first, but going by their gleeful faces it’s probably the high point of their career. Life, for all we know.
It doesn’t take more than a few moments for the F-Type to gather attention. And a crowd. Anywhere
The word seems to have spread wide and far, and I curiously observe a multitude of mortals from various blocks of our huge housing society visit and appreciate this splendid exponent of automotive art. It’s the sheer power of the white convertible’s visual magnetism, its consummate charisma which is pulling those curious eyes in throngs. Those parking slots have been home to much more expensive metal, I can tell you that. And yet, never have I seen anyone as much as twist a neck for a second glance. As I look down at the commotion, amused, from my balcony, I say to myself – there’s got to be something extraordinary about this one.
As she moves
The F-Type doesn’t as much grab attention on the road as it changes the dynamics of the traffic around you. It’s a dodgy, dodgy car to drive on the oomph deprived, pothole ridden Indian tar commuted upon by some very invidious mortals at times. The envious bloke in the Mercedes ML-Class following you unabashedly insists you race him. Since you don’t give a tinker’s damn, he day-flashes incessantly and brings his car’s monstrous snout as close as he could to the F-type’s sensuous rear to instigate you. It’s only after receiving the most deprecating glare does he swerve out and disappear.
In the meantime, you have been hounded by half a dozen cars of all makes, models, shapes and sizes. For a moment, you’d imagine it’s a heist. It’s just the metal you’re in. The shirtless bhaiyya in the Tata Sumo to your right is lewdly gesturing from the other end of the car as if you’re the leading lady from the latest Bhojpuri film. You’re tempted to run your fingers on your beard, just to be sure. The young lady on the left, in the backseat of the Ertiga has clambered over her mom to extend her hands out and get a closer shot with her Lumia. Mom doesn’t mind. The bald fellow leading you has his neck twisted at an anatomically disturbing angle, and he doesn’t care about the profanities showered upon him from the adjacent vehicles he’s swerving onto.
Windows of all the cars around you, even the ones overtaking the chaos from a distance have a cellphone camera plastered on the inside. You’re conceited, embarrassed and amused – it’s a complex emotion you rarely ever experience. Adulation and envy abounds. This is how SRK gets treated when he’s spotted in Mumbai. The F-Type can elevate you from being a non-entity to a real Rockstar. And we haven’t yet spelled a word about the music it makes. The F-Type convertible is that sort of a thing
The way she looks
A stroll through the streets of Downtown Tokyo would make you realize how influenced the youth of Japan is with the Western world. More than anything, in the way they dress. A slender Japanese lady dressed in a Kimono, taking those quick, tiny strides with her timid gaze fixated to the pavement has for ages been an expression of feminine grace. Young Japanese girls dressed in spunky, skimpy skirts with those knee-high boots, is the order of the day, though. Graceful Kimonos are nice, but the hipster chick in a mini is the more natural longing of a playful, boisterous heart. It’s good to be bad.
The F-type is a supermodel of sorts – a global diva, with just a hint of some odd vagary. Put a mildly oriental face to a leggy western siren, if you will, for an analogy. And we’ll tell you why.
The F-Type is laced with seduction at its rear. In isolation, those slim tail-lamps are akin to a pair of splintery slashes in the skin by a honed razor. They ooze unsullied lust. The squat, aggressive theme has been executed in a beguilingly simplistic way. It’s like Coldplay’s music, bewitchingly easy and accessible, yet incredibly complex and masterful. That rump is a sheer visual festivity. And simple and uncluttered as it may look, only the designers at Jaguar would know the exact volume of the midnight oil they burnt before attaining that superlative expression. The sensually shaped haunches, along with those quad exhausts make the F-type’s derriere automotive porn for the connoisseurs of cultivated car design. Oozing oomph with inconspicuous simplicity, the F-type’s rear tells you how to achieve an orgasm while practicing Zen meditation.
In side profile, the alluring simplicity continues to dazzle. The clean, uncluttered surfaces with the mildest of creases endow the F-type a tightly curvaceous waist. It’s not the shape you achieve by feasting on steroids while having dedicated your life to pumping iron. The F-Type’s shapeliness is more akin to that of a ballerina or an acro-dancer – athletic and firm, yet virile and sensuous. You’d hardly ever notice the waist and shoulder lines on those metallic sheets until you pay attention, and yet, they add enormously to the taut, tight appearance. The crease above the door sills adds enormously to the dynamic stance of the F-type ever so inconspicuously. Those wheel spokes – are they made of metal, or have Jaguar found a way to make silk take a tougher form and then twisted it ever so gently? Those elements are a purists’ delight. For once, there’s a genuine sports car that could well afford itself as a trophy for the English, corroborating their greatness in the industrialized world.
So while we are left enraptured with the F-type’s enamouring form as we look at it sideways or from the rear, the somewhat dissonant visage manages to put a break in our hypnotized state. The immaculate harmony and cohesive design veers off a bit from its otherwise consummate form towards the front.
To start with, we must admit, we love that Maserti-sque snout, hosting the legendary Jaguar face. Those swept back lamps lined with boomerang shaped DRL’s, however, aren’t quite in line with the horizontally themed, razor sharp virtuosity we witnessed at the rear. That bulge over the bonnet exudes muscle and character, and we cannot help but steal another glance. It isn’t, however, quite the transcendental sublimity we had the rare pleasure to witness astern.
There isn’t taking an ounce away from the overall appeal of the F-Type though. It’s epic. British items aren’t of the sterling quality they once used to be, and the F-Type is a rare exception. They should put this one in a museum. It’s going down in history as an all time great.
The Jaguar F-Type, thus, is a leggy, pouty, desire invoking supermodel – revered and lusted for by one and all. And then there are those vertical shark fins flanking the snout – adding some oddity, an oriental garnish, if you will, to a thoroughbred western beauty. She’s a sin-inducing siren which still somehow has an ethereal aura around her. The F-Type is that sort of a thing.
The way she croons
A near-vertical fall from the 456 feet tall Kingda Ka roller coaster can be quite a gut-wrenching experience for some, but it’s not even in the same zip code as skydiving when it comes to nerve tingling thrills. It’s just not dangerous enough. The floral, citrus, light notes of a Speyside malt may get a scotch beginner completely smitten. For a seasoned, manned-up connoisseur, however, nothing less than a heavily peated single malt from the Islay region would work. The Speyside whiskeys are just not smoky enough. The Japanese pugilists may often be known for their hand-speed and agility, but they have never created a name for themselves in professional boxing. They’re just not big, strong and powerful enough.
As journalists, we often try to eulogize modern sports cars for the aural pleasures they afford. And we increasingly struggle with every word we write. Modern sports cars are just not loud enough. The F-type, and thank god for it, is!
Let us, then, credit, congratulate and felicitate the sound engineers at Jaguar for creating the acoustic enchantment the F-Type is. For the gagged world of sports cars we live in, the F-Type is an automotive equivalent of Mozart’s no. 31 in D major. The F-type’s exhaust would take you back to the 70’s, to a world where Freddie Mercury was alive and kicking some competent behinds. The F-Type is Black Sabbath’s heavy metal, turned up to full volume in a packed live concert.
The V8 S, the most fire-spewing, incensed, rambunctious variety of the F-Type variant troika that Jaguar has to offer was sampled by us. And should you listen to it as it spits the fire out! As all of those eight massive cylinders, displacing 5 big liters of volume make a deluge of burnt and unburnt vapours gush out, a quartet of big, round, chrome tipped exhausts pulsates and felicitates the phenomenon with a thunderous applause.
The sound of the F-type V8 S, as you listen to it from the outside is the sound of cataclysm. Picture a glum, ominous day with dark clouds looming large. Eerie, muggy, airless, quiet – the scene from out of your window stifles you in the soul. And then you hear a loud, startling, almost deafening thunder. Deep, booming, menacing – it’s the kind of sound that puts the fear of god in the minds and hearts of mortals. The F-Type’s exhaust is a miniaturized form of that shuddersome sound.
And then, just the way you have a lasting rumble following a big thunder, you get to hear the burnt and unburnt gases break out in desperation with a snap, crackle and pop. It’s like a bunch of crackers bursting every time you lift off after a thrust, to celebrate the delights you just treated your every sense with.
The exhaust sounds raucous, dry and snarly when you turn the revs up on a standstill. The real delight of the F-Type’s auditory intoxication is on the move. With part throttle, and part lift-off, the distinct sports-car burble can be heard loud and clear.
In a world where doctored engine sounds are relayed to the occupants via electronic means, the F-Type is a militant relief. It thumbs all those who think that someone ever could get perturbed by the divine sound of a big V8’s exhaust in their nose. When it croons, the F-Type reminds us about all that’s good and desirable about a sports car’s sound. It reinstates our belief that the quintessential sports car isn’t dead, yet. The F-type is all muscle, all manhood when it comes to its deep baritone. It thumps its bare, hairy chest and dares the legislators to sue it, much to the classicist’s delight. Remember one King-Kong challenging the might of the civilized world from atop an American skyscraper? The F-Type is that sort of a thing.
Her heart and soul
That V8 engine we just talked about is a feral being. For today’s paranoia driven automotive world, obsessively curated by electronic minions, the F-Type is akin to a heroic warrior fable from the medieval times. Sure, it’s got its own safety net with a very functional electronic limited slip differential and all sorts of control obsessed paraphernalia. None of that, however, matters, with near 500 of those British Bloodhorses rearing up in unison to snap apart any shackles that even those wide 295 / 30 Pirelli P Zeros, shod on monstrous 20 inch wheels may try to tie it down with. Limited or liberated, differential or calculus, Dynamic or God mode – the F-type snorts and roars and leaps and growls and refuses to act docile. Sharks don’t do dolphin shows. Marv doesn’t die even when you subject him to an electric chair. Not to mention, Amanda Fox is still out of penitentiary bounds.
Even with those beastly traits, its baffling how those Jimmy Choo shoes, used to walking the red carpet handle the Martian Indian surfaces. To our bafflement, the F-Type V8 S handled some of the most punishing Indian speed breakers with nonchalance. We have seen pretenders costing a quarter of the F-type’s price getting their privates caressed and humped. Like that didn’t astonish us enough, the ride quality is phenomenal for a hardcore sports car. Sure it does feel a bit jarring over the interlocking paver blocks in Mumbai, but it’s nothing that you can’t live with. Hit the wider roads and the experience gets even better. The F-Type, even with all its barbarian traits, hugs you with gentleness and care in its arms. It isn’t your everyday sedan, but it isn’t the typical sportscar rudeness which endorses making your spine pierce through the back of your neck while passing over a pothole.
The top speed, unlike the more civilized counterparts, can hit a triple ton without much ado. Thanks to the 495 PS and 625 Nm of supercharged madness, ton comes up in a lightening quick 4.1 seconds. The F-type is a startlingly fast car for those not used to this kind of performance, for it not just goes fast, it feels fast, too. Sitting amid that monstrous power monger and the driven wheels, you get a front row ticket to its theatrics. It’s an involving, immersive, captivating experience. Unlike the clinically effective and emotionally dysfunctional cars which would take you around a circuit in a blink without letting your pupils dilate by a nanometer, the F-Type is a passionate, emotive being. It talks with you every moment it spends with you. It entertains you, titillates you, makes you feel good, it tickles you to bring that wide smile on your face, and it demonstrates what made our forebears get so obsessed about these metallic contraptions. Motoring is a therapy, and the F-Type is proof. And just when you think she’s your bum-chum, your go-to buddy in distress, the one you can discuss your secrets with, she’ll terrify you with a spooky face and a piercing shriek. And then it’ll smile wickedly. The F-Type isn’t the sort of a thing you cross the lines with.
Little imperfections are the most vital constituents of what we humans think of as perfection. It’s the raspiness of Bob Dylan’s voice, it’s the unwholesomeness of the Lucknowi cuisine and it’s the lack of an O in Muhammad Ali’s record. Clinical is boring, functional is drab, assurance amounts to boredom. Doubt, by all means is the very essence of adventure, of all the unsullied pleasures a man ever desires. The F-Type is that sort of an imperfect thing.
Talking of imperfections, I would have that lovely steering wheel a tad lower for my liking, though I wouldn’t change a thing about its chunkiness. I do wish those big knobs on the central console were finished in a heavy, shiny metal, though, and I would have loved to see some red contrast in the all-black cabin. Oh, and I so want those plasticky shifter pedals to be replaced with something more appropriate in this grand setting. On second thoughts, I don’t give a damn, as long as I don’t have to impress a pretty lady sitting in the passenger’s seat. The F-type’s influential character would insulate you from all that shallowness for the majority of the time.
Push the start button and the F-Type snarls to life. It’s a rumbling, angry note that makes onlookers aware of its evil intents instantly. And yet, the F-Type is a perfectly driveable car for the city. It will gracefully pull up its designer gown to tiptoe over the atrocities hurled at it by the Indian tar. It’s a high maintenance girlfriend, though, and you’ll have to live with a fuel efficiency of less than 4 kmpl. The F-type spews unburnt fuel even in the ECO mode. This girl loves throwing wads of crisp notes to the beggars while on a shopping trip.
Dab the right pedal with some disdain, and the F-Type warns you with a growl, a scowl and a jiggle. The F-Type loves to shake its booty. Thanks to the big, bad supercharger, breathing through its gigantic snout from under the hood, all of those 650 pails of torque can be fetched from as low as 2500 rpm, all the way to 5500 revs. So even at slow speeds, a slipshod movement of the right foot would have this baby wiggle her shapely rear with a flourish.
Build speed, and the connected hydraulic steering does its bit to keep the experience as genuinely authentic as possible. The force inducted motor isn’t specifically as keen to spin as a naturally aspirated engine would, though the acceleration across the entire rev-range is of manic proportions. The F-Type, even with its aluminium construction is a relatively heavy car, and yet, it charges forward violently irrespective of where the needle rests on the tacho. The acceleration is overwhelming and impressively emphatic across the range.
And that’s where the raunchy character of the F-Type comes to the fore. The F-Type presents itself as an incredibly easy machine to break traction with. Into the corner, a flick of the wheel, a dab on the throttle, and the F-Type would start swinging her tush. Rear wheels spinning with abandon, you just need to apply the opposing lock to be going sideways. The stiff, balanced chassis, the chatty steering and the well honed suspension come together to create a thrilling amusement park on four wheels for you.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the wide open racetracks that present themselves ever so often to one Chris Harris. But if you are lucky enough to find the width and isolation, the F-Type would make you forget your hunger, thirst and all other sensual hankerings for as long as you hold that meaty wheel with both your hands. The new ZF 8-speed automatic transmission plays the perfect foil to that delightful engine, allowing lightening fast kickdowns and equally swift upshifts. A lazy transmission would have been a big downer on this sort of a setup, and the 8 speed auto astonishes with its alacrity.
It’s not a precision tool, the F-Type. It just doesn’t have the unrelenting grip or the single minded ‘go-faster’ focus of one BMW M5 we once tested. It’s quirky, temperamental, and headstrong. It’s not meant to create the fastest lap record on a trick circuit. It invites you to wrangle with its fat steering wheel as it slides sideways and manufactures the rare scent made of spent rubber. It’s a real man’s machine.
The F-type isn’t the luxury yacht you park in the bay on a sunny day and have a drink with your playthings in. It’s the expedition liner which would take you into roughest deeps, and let you know what the salt in the seawater tastes like when the waves hit you in the face. A Hitchcock thriller, an anomaly in the Matrix, Fight Club’s Tyler Durden, Dylan’s rasp – an imperfect perfection.
The F-Type is that sort of a thing.
Price: Rs 1.75 Crore ex-showroom
Engine Type V8
Displacement 5000 cc
Fuel Type Petrol
Max Power 488 bhp @ 6500 RPM
Max Torque 625 Nm @ 2500 RPM
Bootspace 200 litres
Fuel Tank Capacity 72 litres
Front Tyres 255 / 35 R20
Rear Tyres 295 / 30 R20
Transmission Type Automatic
No of gears 8 Gears
Kerb Weight 1665 kg