When the F-Type was launched the only gearbox was the 8-speed from ZF, which is a one of the finest you can get today, but now the shift-it-yourself fetishists can rejoice. Now you can get your Jaguar roadster with a six-speed manual and that makes all the difference.

Before I get into the details, you need to know that the manual transmission absolutely transforms the driving experience of the Jaguar F-Type.

Perhaps more importantly, a convertible is the quintessential Jaguar, isn’t it? In an era when even Jaguar has jumped on the SUV bandwagon, we all remember the XKs, the iconic D-Type, and of course the E-Types, and this F-Type is company’s modern interpretation of a roadster.

Under the hood of this S-spec rear drive convertible is the 3-litre supercharged V6 and it makes a decent 380 horsepower and 339 pounds of torque from 3,500 to 5,000 RPM. That lends tremendous flexibility to the engine and there’s enough torque to lean on in taller gears.

This 6-speed manual is only available with the V6 rear drive F-Type and that’s not a bad thing. Its dynamics are more than sporting enough to satisfy all but the crazies – and for you crazies, you probably want big power and don’t care to row your own gears, so just get the V8 R F-Type. Regardless, in this spec, this F-Type weighs in at 3,500 kilos, which isn’t bad for a modern sports and it puts the power-to-weight ratio into the respectable category.

I suppose to broaden the appeal of this manual gearbox, Jaguar’s made the throws and clutch actuation very light. The pedal layout is great and makes heel and toe work a breeze. Thanks, Jaguar.

In terms of outright performance, this F-Type S is fast enough to be satisfying, but won’t set any speed records anywhere. Zero to 100 km/h is possible in under five seconds and it’s got a top speed of 275. As with all modern sports cars, if you soft pedal it, you can get decent fuel consumption, too.

Airflow is reasonably well controlled around the cabin and I find that at highway speeds it’s best enjoyed with the side windows up.

The driver’s seat is supportive and very comfortable for long drives, and ergonomically, it’s a decent set up. Secondary controls are all very much Jaguar that have a little more charm than pure effectiveness.

If infotainment units are your thing, be warned that Jaguar seems to be about one step behind other premium auto makers. The unit in this F-Type does everything you need, if a little slowly. Consider it satisfactory at best.

When car makers are tuning their sports cars to go faster around the Nurburgring at the expense of comfort, it’s a pleasure to drive something as authentic as this F-Type.

Storage is modest. You’ll fit two carry on sized pieces of luggage in the boot at most.

This F-Type convertible is unquestionably the grown up’s convertible. If a Miata is too small, a BMW too bland, a Porsche too hard-edged and you don’t have enough gold chains to pedal a Corvette, then take a good look at this Jaguar.

Oh, and thank you, Jaguar, for bringing back the manual transmission at a time when more and more customers are asking for automated gearboxes.

2016 Jaguar F-Type S
Base Price: $92,500
As Tested: $108,500
Notable Options: Italian Racing Red paint, $650; 20-inch wheels, $3,800, performance seats, $4,300; “Super Performance Braking Pack”, $1,650
Drivetrain: 3.0-litre V6, 380 hp @ 6,500 RPM, 339 lb-ft @ 3,500 – 5,000, 6-speed manual transmission, limited slip differential with torque vectoring, rear wheel drive.
Performance: Zero to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds. Top speed of 275 km/h.
VVUZZ Recommended: A roadster for grown ups, but at $108,500 alternative roadster options are aplenty.

Image courtesy of the author.

Published on Aug 12, 2016