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2018 Jaguar F-Type P300 R-Dynamic road test review

Rohit Paradkar  /
23 Oct 2018 09:11:56 IST

We seem to be living in some weird times. The other day I was out shopping for a vacuum cleaner and I had to choose between a V8 and a V10. And the car that I drove to the shop is this red-hot F-Type coup you see here, but ironically, it is powered by an in-line four-cylinder engine! Hmmm.

This is the same 2.0l Ingenium petrol engine that you get in the XE and XF sedans and it has been introduced on the F-Type alongside the new headlamps and infotainment system as a part of the car's mid-life makeover. The engine also gives this car a new mid-mounted exhaust and a P300 badge on the tail, which sheepishly points to the power output - 300PS. You get more power than that in a CLA45 AMG! And for lesser money, it gives you four seats and a boot. In contrast, the F-Type is strictly a two-seater and the boot only has space for your morning groceries or maybe a slim laptop bag. After all, who goes grocery shopping in an F-Type? And if you do, the CLA45 clearly makes more sense, right?

Well, not really. You see the F-Type is the spiritual successor to the E-Type - the most beautiful car ever built. The F doesn't beat that, but if you appreciate beauty in simplicity, then the F-Type is certainly one of the most beautiful coupes out there! And taking it to the grocery store or to the office is like being a Samaritan to the onlookers.

Coming back to the new 2.0l engine, it is now the base-spec for the F-Type (if you haven't guessed already), while the range topper is the stunning F-Type SVR built on the V8. The 2.0l Ingenium boasts of a great fuel efficiency, meaning you need to make lesser stops to the fuel station; and it also emits lesser CO2. So instead of polar bears, this cat only eats butterflies for breakfast.

In our tests, the F-Type managed around 6kmpl in the city and over 10kmpl on the highway - amazing for a sports car! The magic lies in the fact that the peak torque of 400Nm is available from as low as 1,500rpm. You will surprised to see you the F-Type puttering around town in third gear most of the times. On the highway, it cruises at 130kmph at a little over 2,000rpm. Give it some beans and you will notice that it takes a while to build pace. Shift to the Dynamic mode though and the car becomes relatively aggressive. There is a noticeable change in the engine character, the lovely ZF eight-speed transmission becomes quite responsive.

The F-Type comes with Pirelli P-Zero tyres and knowing how good these tyres are, I inherently expect tons of grip from them. But because they are tailor-made, they make sure that they safeguard the frisky character of the F-Type. In Dynamic mode, the rear wheels break traction often to ensure the driving fun, while the linear delivery of the humble power, ensures that you won't soil your pants when this Jaguar starts wagging its tail. If you don't like it, there is a rain/snow mode to reign in the enthusiasm.

Weight distribution was never a concern with the F-Type, but the entry spec car fine-tunes the 51:49 ratio further. The 2.0l engine is lighter and shaves over 50kg off of the front. The result is noticeably quicker turn-ins. Speaking of which, quite a few drivers had complained about the overly sharp turn-ins of the F-Type and to address that, the new F-Type has a more linear steering response when in normal mode. If you belong to the group that liked the sharper turn-ins though, then you might want to leave the driving mode to Dynamic.

I like the balance that the F-Type achieves between predictable handling and the frequent tail-wags. I also like how the adaptive suspension has been set up. Potholes are as big a worry for it as you would expect for a sports car, but the F-Type handles undulations, ruts, and joints surprisingly well. Unlike a typical sports car, it doesn't track unnervingly over the imperfections in the road. For a flat ride through corners, the dynamic mode does stiffen up the chassis and quite noticeably so. Despite that, the F-Type can arc a clean line even through bumpy corners. Dynamically then, the F-Type is still as impressive or maybe even better than before. Even with the smaller, entry spec engine, there is plenty of enthusiasm in this cat to keep you entertained.

Before you complain, let us address in pink elephant in the room - the sound of F-Type. The exhaust note of the V8 is so emotional and so involving, that the first time I heard it, I wanted to bottle it and take it home. Sadly, I can't say the same the about the P300. That said, it sounds astonishingly good for a four-cylinder engine. It has the crackles and pops that you expect from a sports car, and has this pleasing grumble as the speeds rise.

Sure, it lacks the aural drama that you expect from the F-Type, but it seems like a small price to pay when you compare the price and performance difference between P300 and the V8. I would go ahead and say that it offers almost 2/3rd the performance of the full-fat V8 and that may be plenty for many out there. And that is the point of the F-Type P300 - to make this gorgeous art on wheels, more accessible for those who appreciate it.

Photography: Anis Shaikh

  • Aug 09, 08:29 PM (IST)

    That's a wrap on the high-stakes Rajya Sabha elections. Thanks for staying tuned. Follow moneycontrol.com for news, views and updates.

    SUMMARY

    * Congress' Ahmed Patel wins Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat
    * Patel received 44 votes, the exact number needed to win the election
    * In late-night drama, Election Commission disqualified votes of two Congress rebels
    * Amit Shah and Smriti Irani also elected to Rajya Sabha

  • Aug 09, 07:30 PM (IST)

    In all, 11 Rajya Sabha members — one from Goa, one from Madhya Pradesh, six from West Bengal and three from Gujarat — were elected.

    FULL REPORT | Rajya Sabha elections: Here who's got elected and re-elected

  • Aug 09, 07:09 PM (IST)
  • Aug 09, 04:35 PM (IST)


    Why Patel's win matters: A defeat could have meant more trouble for the Congress.

  • Aug 09, 03:56 PM (IST)

    West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also congratulated Ahmed Patel on his victory.

  • Aug 09, 03:01 PM (IST)

    "How much more evidence do we require to understand that we opposition parties are up against a ruthless, finely tuned BJP political machine," Abdullah said.

  • Aug 09, 02:22 PM (IST)

    Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has said that Congress leader Ahmed Patel's win in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls "should have never been this difficult" and the opposition needs to introspect and shift strategy to counter the BJP in the 2019 general elections.

  • Aug 09, 02:10 PM (IST)
  • Aug 09, 01:33 PM (IST)

    Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath says the party has always fought back.

  • Aug 09, 01:08 PM (IST)

    Amit Shah is choosing to focus on the third anniversary of his tenure as BJP President, thanking his followers his Twitter for their wishes. He has not yet commented on his Rajya Sabha victory or the BJP candidate's defeat to Ahmed Patel.

  • Aug 09, 12:15 PM (IST)

    There is no confirmation from the BJP yet over whether they will approach the courts over the EC's decision to disallow two votes.

  • Aug 09, 11:43 AM (IST)

    Congress President Sonia Gandhi says she is very happy with Ahmed Patel's victory. "Thank god for the Election Commission," she says.

  • Aug 09, 11:42 AM (IST)


    Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad says the defeat is a lesson for the BJP and they are free to approach any court.

  • Aug 09, 11:42 AM (IST)

    Kailash Vijayvargiya puts things in perspective. "We have won two seats and Congress only one [in Gujarat], no question of disappointment," the BJP leader tells News18.

  • Aug 09, 10:35 AM (IST)
  • Aug 09, 10:32 AM (IST)

    JD(U) legislator Chhotubhai Vasava is also believed to have voted for Ahmed Patel, defying the party whip.

  • Aug 09, 10:22 AM (IST)

    JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav has congratulated Ahmed Patel on his Rajya Sabha victory. The JD(U) is now part of the NDA, but Yadav has been against the idea.

  • Aug 09, 09:58 AM (IST)

    Meanwhile, six leaders were elected to the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal on Wednesday. Five of them were from the Trinamool Congress -Derek O'Brien, Dola Sen, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, Manas Bhunia, Shanta Chhetri. Pradip Bhattachya of the Congress was also elected to the Upper House. 

  • Aug 09, 09:19 AM (IST)

    Meanwhile, there's been no official reaction from Amit Shah on either his victory or BJP's defeat to Ahmed Patel. He completes three years as BJP President today.

  • Aug 09, 09:17 AM (IST)

    Meanwhile, there's been no official reaction from Amit Shah on either his victory or BJP's defeat to Ahmed Patel. He completes three years as BJP President today.

  • Aug 09, 09:14 AM (IST)
  • Aug 09, 08:31 AM (IST)

    There is speculation that the BJP may approach the courts regarding the Election Commission's decision to disqualify the two votes. We should get some clairty as the day progresses.

  • Aug 09, 08:12 AM (IST)

    In the end, it was two disqualified votes that helped take Ahmed Patel over the line. Here's a recap.

  • Aug 09, 07:55 AM (IST)

    SUMMARY

    *Congress' Ahmed Patel wins Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat
    * Patel received 44 votes, the exact number needed to win election
    * In late-night drama, Election Commission disqualified votes of two Congress rebels
    * Amit Shah and Smriti Irani also elected to Rajya Sabha

  • Aug 09, 07:51 AM (IST)

    Ahmed Patel has gone from a low-profile politician to the centre of attention in the past month. Here's a short history of Patel's career.

  • Aug 09, 07:51 AM (IST)

    Why does Patel's win matter so much? Read our report.

  • Aug 09, 07:50 AM (IST)

    After late-night drama that saw Ahmed Patel retain his seat, we can expect to see reactions pour in through the day.

  • Aug 09, 02:25 AM (IST)

    That's all from the Rajya Sabha election for now. Log on to www. moneycontrol.com for coverage of the Rajya Sabha elections during the day. Thanks for staying tuned.

  • Aug 09, 02:17 AM (IST)
  • Aug 09, 02:14 AM (IST)
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