I was patiently waiting for the appropriate ride to accompany me on my first post-lockdown road trip. When it arrived, I let the cat out of the bag. In the divine shape of the new Jaguar F-Type R.
I can’t get over how profoundly attractive this car is. Parked on the shiny, crème-brulee coloured polyurethane garage floor, I take my time to admire it in all its glory. First of all there is the colour, black at first glance, but changing into a royal dark blue, when the sun hits the metal skin. In addition it features Jaguar’s black package. Meaning all emblems are blacked-out. What an awesome design detail.
It’s only the second F-Type facelift since its introduction in 2016, but man, did they do a magnificent job. A new bigger and wider grille and narrower headlights, giving the car this fiercely slitted gaze. You see this in your rear view mirror and you automatically move to the left to make room.
Then there is this incredibly beautiful posterior. No, wait, let’s call it, what it is: an enchanting ass. One can’t stop admiring it. Jaguar really wanted to make sure, that it looks as attractive as possible, as most other drivers will only see the cat from behind, when it prowls. It’s a stunning, modern rear with four end pipes gloriously protruding from it. The new Jag is long (4.47m) and very low (1.31m), resulting in an even more muscular appearance and stance. And the door handles are retractable, so not to disturb the side lines. There is a slight resemblance to the new Mustang and Maserati, but that’s a good, not a bad thing.
And this beauty is my first chance since lockdown to hit the open road during a short trip. There is obviously not much space to put your stuff. A proper two-seater with no space behind the seats. And a fully digital cockpit, illuminated like the rest of the interior, by the large glass roof. The car fits like a glove and you are immediately part of the machine.
Will the performance match the looks, you might ask by now. Pushing the start button, the super-charged V8 awakens to an unprecedented thunderstorm. What a noise. The fantastic sounds comprise hissing, barking and glorious backfiring, further enhanced by pushing the exhaust button in the middle console.
Outside the city limits, on an empty Route 62, I finally get the chance to open her up. BLM is all I can say, Black Lines Matter. It’s a really fast, fun-loving road car, chiselling a permanent grin into your face. But it doesn’t just feel like a sportscar, it has a very distinct muscle car feel as well, which last time I experienced a couple of years ago in the Mercedes AMG SLS.
And the new F-Type is surprisingly comfortable, firm but not hard. And thanks to all-wheel drive it sticks to the twisty bends of Huisrivier Pass like the myriads of smashed flies to the windscreen.
I am stopping again, this time at an abandoned Karoo petrol station. Once again catching myself admiring this ass, this time in the warm late afternoon light. I think I am in love. With a cat.
Conclusion: The newest F-Type R marks the return of the iconic Jaguar sportscar. Finally there is a worthy, modern successor to the legendary E-Type.
Jaguar F-Type R
Engine 5.0-l. V8 supercharged petrol, paired with an 8-speed auto box, all-wheel drive
Power 423kW and 700Nm
Top Speed 300 km/h
0-100km/h 3.7 seconds
Price R2.4m (as tested R2.7m)