EDITOR WES RAYNAL: Thirty-two seconds after I walked to the parking garage to drive this beaut, it started raining. Of course it did. Murphy’s law and all that. Never did put the top down on this 2014 Jaguar F-Type S convertible.
Anyway. Like the coupe I drove last week, this thing’s a hoot to drive. Also like the coupe, it will make you smile, then laugh out loud at the cracking exhaust -- I mean cracking literally. You can’t help but mention the exhaust sounds, and with a soft top they’re accentuated -- that’s a good thing. Like Morrison said about the coupe, you find yourself leaving the transmission in a gear or two lower so you can listen to the engine. How long I’d own one of these before I lost my license is a probably a short period.
I’m surprised about the chassis stiffness in a good way. It’s been a week or so since I drove the coupe, but seems to me the convertible gives up nothing in solidity. Impressive. Love the steering, too. It’s quick, accurate and spot-on in my opinion.
I also think I’ve come to some kind of conclusion on my own internal V6 versus V8 debate: I don’t think the V8 is worth the extra money, but only because this V6 is that good. I drive the six and find myself thinking “yup, this engine’s more than just fine.” There’s a lightness and a subtly to the six you don’t get with the fire-breathing V8. That said, it’s nice to know there’s a V8 available if you need (I suppose “want” is the better word there rather than “need”). In other words, if this car only came with the six, I wouldn’t whine or fault Jaguar in some way. The car’s plenty fast and fun equipped like this.
Like I said with the coupe, I think Jag’s touchscreen interface is getting a little long in the tooth, but it’s not awful, and the interior looks and feels fine in terms of comfort, build quality and such.
In my opinion, the convertible is beautiful from every angle and gets more than its share of stares and finger pointing. Then again, I’m a huge fan of Ian Callum’s work, so what would you expect me to say?
The 2014 Jaguar F-Type S Convertible is equipped with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 joined with a eight-speed automatic transmission.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: This is a great car, even with the V6. But let’s start with the complaints. The center screen and screen behind the steering wheel are hard to see when the sun is out. It’s also an older system, which could definitely use a replacement.
The blind spot indicators are also a little annoying. Sometimes it goes off around turns, and sometimes it sees a phantom car and beeps like crazy. That startles me more than a car would. Our old long-term Audi S4 was like that, too.
The door armrest is hard, and there are several more touch points that I thought should have some padding. Finally, the central vent that pops up when the climate system is on must be broken. It retracted once, and then stayed out the rest of the time. Stuff like that is super cool, but it does add a ton of complexity, all of which has a chance to break.
So, I was a little nervous about the supercharged V6, considering I liked the V8 so much. I was quite relieved when I hit the gas and this car scooted like a Jaguar should. With the traction control off, or in sport mode, it’ll easily spin the tires, and let you slide sideways a bit. Not nearly as much as the F-Type R, but plenty. I think 380 hp is right in the sweet spot, though I wouldn’t complain about 400, or 500, or 600. This car is a blast.
This S model seems a little less special than the R. The seats aren’t as good. The trim seems just a tiny bit below average for a Jag. The R is just insane, though it’s only available as a coupe. If you want more power in the convertible that means you’re getting the V8 S, which is about $11K more when comparing base prices.
The F-Type convertible looks gorgeous, no surprise there, and it’s the best sounding street-legal car on the planet. Either V8 or V6 trim. The only exhaust that gets close is the Fiat Abarth, which is also a riot, by the way.
Options: Vision pack including adaptive and intelligent front lighting, front and rear parking sensors, rear parking camera, blind spot monitor ($2,400); premium pack including 14-way power seats with memory, dual zone climate control, garage door opener, wind deflector ($2,000); extended leather pack including premium soft grain leather seats, dashboard and door panel, premium soft grain leather center console, windshield pillars, headliner, sun visors, choice of contrast stitching and dual-tone color combinations ($1,925); performance seat ($1,500); climate pack with heated seats and steering wheel ($600); cirrus carpet ($550); active sport exhaust ($220); wheel locks/LP frame package ($138)
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