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Track Time with a 2014 Jaguar F-Type

I was privileged enough to attend a special drive event hosted by Jaguar Land Rover Canada at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Quebec. Last week, I detailed my extreme off-road experience with big Land Rovers; now, as promised, it's time to focus on some adrenaline-packed 2014 Jaguar F-Type roadsters I also drove.

There were six cars available for testing including two V8-S models, two V6-S models, and two V6 models. Participants were allowed two laps with each, and no more than four laps overall. As you can imagine, the fun was over all too quickly.

Jaguar F-Type circuit ICAR
Photo: Frédéric Feudi

The base V6 produces 340 horsepower, the more potent one generates 380 horsepower, and the burly V8 cranks out a fantastic 495 horsepower. All three are supercharged and sound wicked, making for exhilarating times behind the wheel.

Jaguar engineers really did their homework when developing the F-Type. With a fast-operating 8-speed autobox (not quite as fast as dual-clutch units, but still), gear changes are always smooth and timely -- unless you're a professional driver, this transmission will do the job. It even blips the throttle when downshifting for that sweet rev-match sound.

I did not try the base V6, but I heard it, and let me tell you one thing: If you ever plan to buy one, make sure you select the sport exhaust option (standard on V6-S and V8-S models), because it really gives the 2014 Jaguar F-Type the roar it ought to have.

In terms of track handling, I preferred the V6-S, which felt more balanced, less nose-heavy, and almost as good sounding as the V8-S. The former has a higher pitch, while the latter evokes muscle-car . That being said, you'll have to agree with me that not many people will buy an F-Type to spend time on a track.

Jaguar F-Type circuit ICAR
Photo: Frédéric Feudi

That is why I recommend you buy a 2014 Jaguar F-Type V8-S (if you can afford it). Few sports cars are as pleasant to drive on a daily basis. It may not be the sharpest, fastest or most rewarding, but with 495 spirited horses under the hood it will happily dance around a track at the slightest prod of the throttle.

The F-Type V8-S is a refined muscle car with genuine British sex appeal that successfully achieves its primary goal of putting a big smile on your face and filling your ears with wonderful decibels. It is that good.

Not interested in a convertible? You're in luck, because the 2014 Jaguar F-Type is also available as a fixed-top coupe. If you want even more power, just wait for the upcoming 550-horsepower F-Type R.

Jaguar F-Type circuit ICAR
Photo: Frédéric Feudi