Speed, Sound and Catnip
Steve Siler

For most of Jaguar’s history, the company has built cars that look—well, historical. But Jaguar has been dipping into the catnip lately, building cars that are low-slung, lightweight and not a little bit irreverent.

The all-new, two-seat F-Type sports car is the smallest, speediest and brashest of them all. Whether you choose the 340-hp V-6 or the rip-snortin’ 495-hp V-8, the F-Type can reduce its fat rear tires into pools of molten rubber without much provocation, though only the V-8 can be equipped with a popping, crackling exhaust system so loud and raucous you’ll have Harley Davidson riders yelling, “That’s too damn loud!”

Steering and brakes give the F-Type reflexes that are—you guessed it—cat-like. And the interior is less ‘sugar daddy-in a silk robe and more ‘James Bond-meets-Tom of Finland.’ All this British beauty and brawn is priced somewhere between the Porsche Boxster S and Carrera Cabriolet, neither of which can hold a candle to this pretty kitty in terms of sex appeal.

2014 Jaguar F-Type

Base Price (including destination): $69,895 (V-6); $81,895 (V-6 S); $92,895 (V-8)

Power: 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 (340 hp, 339 lb-ft of torque); 3.0-liter supercharged V-6, S (380 hp, 339 lb-ft of torque); 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 (495 hp, 460 lb-ft of torque)

Tranny: 8-speed automatic with manual shift control

Fuel Economy, city/hwy: 20/28 mpg (V-6); 19/27 mpg (V-6 S); 16/23 mpg (V-8)

2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe

To give the frisky F-Type roadster a playmate, Jaguar introduced the gorgeous F-Type coupe at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show last November. More or less identical to the convertible but with a slinky, fixed metal roof in place of the roadster’s folding ragtop, the coupe promises an even more intense driving experience. And it’s seriously beautiful, proving that you don’t have to be a bottom to appreciate a hard top.

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