Jaguar F-Type, a roadster, known as spiritual successor to the E-Type, was recently test-driven in Lagos, Nigeria, by FEMI OWOEYE, Motoring World’s Editor. Though a mini test, he found out the high and down side of the sports machine. Welcome on board.
A bright Saturday it was. Venue was Tafawa Balewa Square(TBS), Lagos, Nigeria. Amidst its other aristocratic siblings, Sporty Jaguar F-Type stood out like a star. Its fire red colour dazzled under the tropical sun. Its alertness could be likened to a cat set to pounce on a rat or even its shadow.
At once, I had a flashback – an experience I once had while driving along the London M25. Then a Jaguar F-Type overtook me. As it roared past and rocketed away, my jaw dropped. That was my closest to it on the road. The only car that ever gave me such a feel was a Veyron.
So, penultimate Saturday, on invitation, I was at TBS in Lagos, where Coscharis Motors, Nigeria’s Jaguar-Landrover representative, displayed various versions of Jaguar and Landrover cars for daring drivers to have a cruising feel. I opted for that same car, same colour as the one that once dropped my jaw along London M25. Jaguar F-Type Convertible it is.
Opportune to have a closer look this time, from whichever angle it is viewed, the V6 F-Type Convertible looks stunning. But I am more fascinated by its catlike face and its imposing rear with one pair of twin exhausts in the middle. F-Type’s side view shows beautiful lines, as drawn and fashioned by Jaguar’s chief designer Ian Callum and his team. At Lagos TBS, I was not surprised that the machine drew more test-drivers than its siblings. It drew me too.
At last, I popped in, sat behind the driving wheel, put the F-Type to test, hoping there would be no need to use an “F” word. Aside its cosseting cockpit-style interior, its headroom, legroom and shoulder room felt generous for twin occupants, who also have reasonable amount of cubby holes to store bits and bobs.
Ride and Handling
Cruising slowly to a take-off point, I faced a track guided on each side with cones. In manner of an Aircraft set for take-off on a drive way, I pressed the gas pedal and F-Type responded like a fired arrow, hitting a speed of almost 100 km/hour in less than five seconds. Its soothing, roaring sound is as fascinating as its head-turning looks, reaching a crescendo in seconds. I slammed the brake and, with a howling noise, it exhibited great stopping power from its braking system. I continued with speed, taking the red cat through tight bends created with cones. Despite the sharp turning through the bends, its bevy of safety features helped to keep the car glued to the cone-guided track. It was then I understood what a Europe-based motoring media colleague meant, when he said “driving an F-Type makes you feel a better driver than you really are.”
Rather than following the cones strictly as arranged, I tried overdoing it, pushing the F-Type through a tighter bend, an action which could make a car not so capable go off the road. It simply obeyed my command with no sign of reluctance.
One more thing: I imagined a speedy driver almost head-to-head with a Dangote truck broken down along a sharp bend. Imaginatively, I made a sharp swerve rightward. The F-Type maintained its grip with no understeer. I felt like James Bond in an Aston Martin.
But then, according to the maker, the official average fuel economy of the car, which is powered by a 3.0-litre, 375 bhp, V6 supercharged, rear-wheel drive engine, is about 56.7 kilometre on a gallon, which is a bit profligate. F-Type is so scintillating to drive that a petrol head would be tempted to push right foot harder on the gas pedal, which might result in higher fuel consumption.
Notwithstanding, giving its beauty, agility, ability, safe and smooth handling through dangerous situations, I dare to thump up for the F-Type, recommending it for fun-lovers, who have some millions to set aside for luxury sport machine.