This weekend we had the chance to drive the latest addition to the F-Type line-up, the AWD version of the car. Want to watch the video first? Then click here.
Jaguar is back and there’s no denying that. Around 2 years ago the company started on their ongoing success streak and until now there seems to be no end to it. The figurative revival of the brand in 2013 was marked by the F-Type convertible as it received a response from the world that Jaguar hadn’t seen for a while. Sales went through the roof and it was hard remaining objective whilst the lines reminded me of finely sculpted women. As the car grew older more variants were served to us by Jaguar, the coupe saw daylight and the addition of an AWD-system completed the line-up. Thanks to our partner we had the opportunity to test the recently launched all wheel drive system on the F-Type, the F-Type V6 S AWD to be precise.
Time to crunch some numbers, good numbers that is. The F-Type V6 S AWD, as the name suggests, is equipped with a six cylinder engine in a 60 degree ‘V’ configuration and has three liters of displacement. The engine breathes in a rather unconventional way as it is aided by a supercharger, more on that later on. The combination of six cylinders and the supercharger push out a maximum of 380 horsepower at 6.500 rpm and the maximum torque of 460 nm is available between 3.500 – 5.000 rotations. This power launches the convertible to a hundred in 5,1 seconds, 2 tenths of second slower than its rear-wheel-drive version. The car stops accelerating at a speed of 275 kilometers an hours, sadly we weren’t able to test that…yet. Fuel consumption is a fair 8,9 liters for 100 kilometers and the emission is set a 211 grams of the blasphemous gas we call carbon dioxide. The car weighs in just under a massive 1700 kilograms, a fair 80 kilograms more than the RWD version.
The all wheel drive system deserves additional text and so does the supercharger. First up is the supercharger. Where the rest of the world has embraced turbocharging to be their savior, Jaguar is sticking to the supercharger technology. With the launch of the Ingenium engines it was obvious why, anything under 3 liters of displacement gets an exhaust-gas driven turbocharger slapped onto it and anything above or equal to it gets a supercharger. There is no difference in the fuel-savings and emission reduction between the technologies above the 3 liter mark. The difference is the lack of turbo lag however and having that instant boost is worth it.
“Our target with engineering the all-wheel drive F-TYPE was to maintain that engaging rear-drive character that’s so important to Jaguar sports car DNA, yet offer even greater dynamic capability. The result is a controllable, exploitable and blisteringly fast performance car in all weather and road conditions. – Jaguar press launch
The AWD system increases the cars weight by 80 kilograms and makes it slower to a hundred. So why would they offer it? It’s simple really, it all comes down to what clients want. It’s not an AWD-sytem that allows faster accelerations, no it’s a intelligent system that only loads up the front wheels when it looses grip. The system is designed to exploit the dynamic properties of the F-Type in a more controllable manner. So yes, a safer way to use the car in any condition with any level of experience.
In the hours that we had I drove the car under various conditions like B-roads, highways and trough city traffic. Sadly we had no track to test the car on its limits; you can’t simply test the limits on public roads. Let me walk you trough driving the car. It all starts with you entering the car, a keyless entry that is, something I never liked as you don’t get that powerful control over the start engine anymore. You’ll soon forget this disappointment once you press the ‘start engine’ button and see the high quality interior surrounding you. The V6 breathes out through the sports exhaust and you are treated to notes of one of the best sounding V6’s out there at the moment. Press the button that lowers the roof and whilst it is lowering you’ll find yourself pressing two other buttons. One of them is for opening the valves in the sports exhaust and the other one is for turning off that idiotic start stop system. You’re now ready to get going.
On the road this car feels solid, aided by the 1700 kilograms keeping it pinned to the floor. No this car won’t snap at you until you push it. It will snap at you when you brake it hard. The weight pushes trough a lot for a car this size and you can overestimate its braking capabilities easily. Push it above 100 kilometers an hour and the rear spoiler slowly rises whilst you look in the rear mirror. Now that the engine is warm you can preform a launch control. Simply put the car in dynamic mode and push down the throttle and brake simultaneously. Release the break and keep your right foot flat to the floor and you’ll be served a very clean acceleration and a rare supercharger whine. At speed it is noticeable that this car is an agile one despite its weight, but the public roads won’t give you the freedom to see how agile.
The F-Type V6 S AWD is a success and for a good reason, it offers an attractive car at an attractive pricing. The looks are bang on, but that is a personal thing. Even with the roof open you are presented with clean chassis lines and best of all to the nearly erotic moan of the V6. Driving it is a rewarding and comfortable experience and every drive mode has it’s own charms. Driving slow or fast, the car will do it for you with ease and that’s not always the case with cars in this segment. The AWD system adds weight, but it also adds safety and that is a massive plus for these playful Jaguars. The final verdict is visible in the infographic below. The F-Type V6 S AWD scores a excellent 4,25 out of 5.