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Certain vehicles stir the soul the moment you see them. They seduce you, entice you to come closer and touch, caress their lines and curves all the while in an air of elegance. Ahhh, am I still talking about a car? Yes! Without sounding sexist, a truly awesome car does exactly that. It elicits the images of a fine woman and stirs the same primal urges.
Give me a few moments while I recompose myself.
The Jaguar F-Type, when it came to fruition in 2013, was instantly loved by auto enthusiasts, journalists and bystanders alike. It checked all the right boxes and stirred the feelings described above. It was not a hypercar or supercar, but the definition of a genuine sports car. Despite what you would think as a diminished status, it elicited the same wow factor as say a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Nearly seven years on, it still looks good, with little to alter its original looks, except drive train modifications and minor aero upgrades over those years. The P380 Checkered Flag Edition is a final refresh for the F-Type to pay hommage to Jaguars, excuse the pun, checkered racing history, dating back decades and decades.
A supercharged 380 bhp V6 powers the P380 routed through all wheels and guided by an eight-speed ZF tranny. This visual enlightenment comes via coupe or convertible flavours. It’s highlighted by Unique red brake callipers, red seat belts and treadplates, suede headliner, 20-inch gloss black wheels, brushed aluminum interior trim, a red stripe on the top of the steering wheel, and a checkered flag emblem embossed on the front grill, seats, bottom of the steering wheel, and carpet mats. Mechanical upgrades come in the form of adaptive dampers, brake-based torque vectoring, and a two-stage active exhaust that allows the Checkered Flag edition to play its V6 symphony in full glory. Oh, that soundtrack is truly incredible. It still pops and crackles in a way only the F-Type can and still captures the original E-type essence in a way few homage vehicles every have.
The supercharged V6 with its 380 ponies and 339 lb-ft of torque is nothing to write home about; however, it is delivered in a controlled linear fashion. No lag, and good for a 5-second sprint to 60. In this form, the F-Type provides everyday usable power, without instilling a constant level of fear as to when the next ticket is going to be dispensed. This confidence is only bolstered by the high levels of grip provided by the F-Type’s all-wheel-drive system.
The interior is a driver-focused comfortable environment giving you the jet fighter cockpit-like feel. The center console houses a 10-inch infotainment screen that has updated software. The system is relatively easy to use and navigate. The combination of analog and digital controls and switchgear that resembles jet fighter toggle switches only adds to the F-Types nostalgia. The holy shit bar at the left hand of the passenger hints to what the P380 has on tap to excite. My 6’3” frame comfortably nestled into the driver’s seat with ample headroom.
The F-Type P380 epitomizes what a sports car represents. In a world that feels over inundated with German and Japanese fare, the F-Type grabs your attention sitting still. It begs you to linger a little longer and double-take at its lines. Isn’t that what the experience of being a sports car owner is about; answering onlookers questions and talking about your beloved car? Sure, you can pick options from BMW and Porsche that will beat the F-Type any day of the week and twice on Sunday. However, you choose the F-Type because you step to a different beat and long for something, just a little bit different. I only trust Jaguar understands the niche of the F-Type and captures this with the 2021 replacement.