Jaguar F-Type A Pure Sports Car

Jaguar F-Type A Pure Sports Car

by Michael Satterfield - 03/17/2022

Few new cars genuinely get me excited these days, outside of a handful of exotics there aren’t many obtainable cars that I would describe as lust-worthy. Most companies today have resigned themselves to building good cars, in fact, it is nearly impossible to buy a bad car in 2022; But like Jim Collins says, “Good is the enemy of great” and there are far too many good cars in this world. But now and again (when the accountants aren’t looking), a great car sneaks through; the Jaguar F-Type P450 is one of them. 

Now some might say that a car that starts at $69,900 isn’t really the everyman’s car, that a sports coupe like a Mustang is more “obtainable” than a Jaguar. But when you consider that this Jaguar is within $6,500 of well-optioned Mustang Mach 1, and around $6,500 less than GT500 (before markup), the value of the Jaguar shows, it is at its core a muscle car like the Mustang, but with a better tailor. Fully loaded, including destination, the F-Type I am driving comes in at $86,200.

The other obvious comparison is the Aston Martin Vantage, which if equipped with the classic Aston grille, is a very handsome car too. But the baby Aston starts at $139,000 and when you tack on the options to an Aston Martin, you’ll find most Vantages come in at between $175,000-$220,000. In shopping around Aston Martin dealers here in Texas, the least expensive 2022 Vantage in stock is $170,086, so if you ordered a standard P450, you would save $100,000 and still be driving a very special, limited production British sports car. 

Buying an F-Type means you are buying into an elite club, because despite its good looks and sporting heritage, Jaguar is still a very small company and they only build around 2,000 F-Types for the US market a year, making them far rarer a sight than the 911 or Corvette. While most reviews focus on pricing, 0-60 times, and cubic square feet of cargo space, most of those things don’t really matter all that much in the real world. There will always be a car that’s cheaper, faster, or can fit more golf clubs, buying an F-Type is a lifestyle choice, more akin to buying a luxury item than a car. 

Jaguar F-Type A Pure Sports Car

Sliding behind the wheel, the F-Type feels bespoke, in British Racing Green with a Tan Leather Interior, it looks the part of the quintessential British sports car. For me, the F-Type is an escape pod, slip on some driving gloves, point it in the direction of the countryside, and dial in your favorite driving music. If you have had a bad day, few cars help make everything right in the world like the F-Type. 

Pushing the start button brings the 444 hp, 5.0-liter supercharged V8 to life with a delightful rumble seldom heard in suburbia these days of electrification. F-Type P450 drives like a car with far more horsepower, with peak power coming on fast at around 2,500 RPM this Jag is a joy to drive on a twisty country road. Tapping the paddles, turning into a corner, rolling back onto the throttle, it feels like a classic sports car, as if it is channeling all of Jaguar’s racing heritage with every turn of the wheel, it just happens to have paddle shifters and dynamic mode. It is impossible to not smile while driving the F-Type on a great road. 

Blasting out across the causeway over Lake Livingston towards Point Blank with the windows down is the kind of therapy that one can only understand through experience. Ripping down TX-156 through the Sam Houston National Forest, taking the long way home, the sound of the exhaust echoing off the trees, my Zen broke by the chirp of the radar detector reminding me to check the speed limit. The F-Type wants to go fast, and it is easy to let the speedometer climb. The only thing that would make this day better is if I was headed to a racetrack to really experience the full brilliance of the F-Type.

Jaguar F-Type A Pure Sports Car

Pulling into our small downtown, the car draws attention among all of the F150s and Suburbans, one guy asks if it is “the James Bond car?” I tell him no, it is a Jaguar and let him sit inside it, he especially likes the optional glass roof, but thinks it is too fancy for him. But even at the local country club, where the parking lot is a greyscale sea of BMW M cars, Porsche 911s, and AMGs, the British Racing Green coupe makes a statement. Its taught proportions look refined when parked next to a new M4 with its controversial grille and oversized proportions.  

Perhaps that is what I like most about the Jaguar, it’s exotic, but not in the garish orange Lamborghini way, it has an understated elegance that many cars simply cannot offer in a package that is practical for daily use. With that in mind, I would suggest you only drive the P450 if you are truly ready to buy one because once you do, you’re not going to want to leave the dealership without it.