Those of us who call the Great Frozen North home know that when the roads get icy, even the tough store their 2WD vehicles for the season, no matter how coveted they are. The 2016 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, which will be available in AWD, is looking to change that.
It’s already a car with many appealing traits: the rumbling and snapping growl of the Active Sports Exhaust System, the exhilarating get-up-and-go from its sporty engine (an impressive, 550 hp, 5.0-L supercharged V8) or the lean, seductive profile that draws eyes from all angles at all speeds. But its defining characteristic—the raw sense of power and pleasure it gives—can only be found behind the wheel.
And so we did just that, getting familiar with the F-Type Coupe over a couple days and a few hundred kilometers in the Niagara wine region as part of Jaguar’s Savour the Senses Program, designed to showcase not just the car, but also the accompanying “Jag lifestyle.” (It’s a tough job, we know.)
I heard the F-Type before I saw it, as it pulled up in front of my Toronto home. To say it purrs wouldn’t be accurate; it idles at a growl and accelerates to a roar. I saw a few of my neighbours’ curtains part to catch a glimpse. With the new coupe iteration, chief designer Ian Callum has kept the roofline low, which helps to guard that sleek, super-fast profile of the convertible.
Then I was behind the wheel, fighting the urge to stomp the pedal, feeling the hundreds of eyes as they followed me out of the city toward wine country. On the highway, restrained by traffic and The Law, I was struck by the luxurious interior. This is a car that begs to be driven fast, but doesn’t sacrifice comfort. The touch screen displaying all the tech you’ve come to expect from luxury automakers kept my passenger busy until we were out of the city and off of the main drags. Then came the real experience.
I switched into Dynamic Mode, which significantly amps up the exhaust sound while increasing the throttle’s sensitivity and firming suspension and steering, found some corners and tested the car’s fast-twitch muscle. Yep. It’s there all right. The car is capable of shooting from 0 to 100 in just 4.2 seconds. The drive was…exhilarating.
The rest of the day was spent doing the type of things Jaguar owners (and lucky journalists) do: sipping fine wines and touring the private cellar of Megalomaniac, which benefits the Health Links Foundation for children enduring long-term hospital stays, and tasting the eccentric proprietor’s private stock of the old world and the new; visiting Stratus Vineyard, renowned for their environmentally unobtrusive style of winemaking and enjoying a meal prepared by one of the region’s finest chefs, Stephen Treadwell from Treadwell Farm to Table Cuisine in Niagara-on-the-Lake; and then checking in to the charming Inn On the Twenty in the town of Jordan, ON. This is a lifestyle I could get used to, but, unfortunately, the Jaguar was due to be picked up the next afternoon. I still had the drive home. There were some detours.
The F-Type’s sex appeal is impossible to miss while behind the wheel; every eye that follows you as you drive by lets you know just how attractive you are in this machine. And with the 2016 AWD model, you’ll be able to have that feeling year round.