What is it?
Beautiful, that's what it is. A 3 ltr, supercharged 6 cylinder, rear wheel drive, 6-speed manual beauty that pumps out 380ps of absolute awesomeness and I want one - I want one soooo badly that it almost hurts.
On the Road
Apart from being a 2-seater sports car, the F-Type is quite a usable car. In the mornings I would throw my work bag in the boot and drive the 8 mile commute to work. This entailed the usual stop/start traffic around the town centre with speed bumps and potholes that would swallow a whole cyclist. The F-Type handled the commute with ease. 30mph in sixth? Easy. 171mph in sixth? Apparently so, I didn’t try it! Whether you’re in heavy traffic or bumbling around town, the combination of the V6 and manual ‘box is very easy to use.
Of course, you can’t have a F-Type and not take it on a long drive, and that’s what did, albeit to North Wales, but that’s where some of the best roads are.
Heading from ‘up north’, we took the M56 and A494 towards Ruthin, enjoying the F-Type’s ability to waft along effortlessly, despite its sporty ride. From Ruthin, we opened it up a bit on the B5105 to Cerrigydrudion, then right onto the B4501 and left at the A53 back towards the A5 (AKA Evo Triangle). Much fun was had.
Last month I took the AWD 5.0ltr supercharged V8 convertible with the automatic gearbox out for a spin around York. It was loud, brash and bloody good fun. The thought did cross my mind however, comparing the V8’s 550ps to the V6’s 380ps, is the V6 more usable for UK roads?
Well, I remember the episode of Top Gear in which Mr Clarkson drove an F-Type for the first time, and his words resonated with me every time I drove the V6. Not once did I think to myself, “This V6 this is a bit sluggish, I wish I was driving the V8.” Not once.
Following the A5 we turned left onto the B4407 and continued towards Ffestiniog. The 6-Speed ‘box is short and slick and allowed me enjoy the fabulous Welsh roads, add the double wishbone suspension, electric steering and a new torque-vectoring system that gently brakes the inside wheels, which made it handle even better.
We left Porthmadog, and after a bite to eat in Caernarfon, we took the usually interminable A55 and cruised back to Bolton. It was during this return journey that I had an epiphany, not a huge one, but a slight moment of insight. You see, it may be packed with electronic wizardry to keep it steady and on terrafirma, but the 6-speed manual ‘box, rear wheel drive and a supercharged 3.0ltr V6 up front makes it more like a traditional sports car, an enthusiasts car in which you have to take control and except the consequences when you mess up, it just feels proper, like a 2-seater should do.
Then, just when you think you understand what it’s capable of, there’s the ‘Dynamic’ button which stiffens things up and gives the exhaust extra growl! I may appear a little childish, but I switched it to Dynamic mode even when I was going shopping - I’m even smiling now, a month or 2 after our time together.
Over the week we covered almost 700 miles and I managed an average of 27.4mpg - which in all honesty is brilliant, considering I was a part time hooligan!
Overall I loved the interior, but there were times when I had to jump to its defence. My Dad moaned that the seats were too hard, and what happens when people criticise something we like? Well, we become defensive, and with that comes anger, sometimes. Even when Muddy Madam complained too that the seats were hard and storage space was lacking, I immediately jumped to the F-Types defence, “What do you expect, a boot the size of an estate car? No, it’s a sports car, deal with it!”
I then received the death stare. Every bloke recognises the death stare, it’s when we’ve said something wholly inappropriate, and she’s angry with you.
To be fair, there wasn’t much interior space up front, especially annoying was that there was nowhere for me to stash my sunglasses. Then, if you put water bottles in the cup holders it becomes quite difficult to change gear.
Open the tailgate, and if you’re sensible and ticked the space saver spare on the options list, then you don’t have a lot of space there either.
Back up front, everything is laid out nicely with a lovely premium feel. The heated seats are the hottest I've ever come across, in fact, at times they was too hot!
Staying with the seats, they are nice and long in the leg, though bit narrow for my large girth! I particularly liked the curved cubby box which was comfy and stops your elbow from sliding backwards.
Visibility all-round is excellent, for a car of this type, amusingly the rear view mirror is shaped like the rear window and the large door mirrors offer a great view of the rear haunches over the back wheels and beyond.
Engines & transmissions
Both the V6 and V8’s are supercharged, the faster cars are automatic only and AWD is available from the R-Dynamic.
F-Type: 3ltr V6 340ps supercharged manual / automatic - Fast
F-Type R-Dynamic: 3ltr V6 380ps supercharged manual / automatic - Faster
F-Type 400 Sport: 3ltr V6 400ps supercharged automatic - Faster’er
F-Type R: 5ltr V8 550ps supercharged Automatic - Scary
F-Type SVR 5ltr V8 575ps supercharged Automatic - Scarier. And I mean 0-60mph 3.5 seconds and 200mph scarier!
The thing is, as I’ve mentioned earlier, this isn’t the first F-Type that I’ve driven, therefore I already knew that, not only was it a great car, but I was besotted by it, so in fairness this review just acknowledges my feelings - it was never going to be anything but glowing - if I’m being honest.
However, as it’s the first one I’ve lived with for a week or so, I have to admit that it isn’t perfect, no, there was nowhere to put my sunglasses.
I loved the short gear gear changes, the growl and cackle from the exhaust when you drop a gear and accelerate - hard. It will go faster than I will ever want to and go around corners quicker than I'll ever need to. It’s far more capable at handling the black stuff than I will ever be too, and to be fair, I probably embarrassed it.
The F-Type, no matter what specification you opt for, will leave you with a massive grin on your face, it can do that, that's one of its party tricks. The conclusion that I’ve arrived at is quite simple, I need to earn a lot more money because simply put, I need an F-Type in my life.