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2014 Jaguar F-type V-6 S Roadster : Current Models

What’s the letter “S” worth? $1K? $5K? $10K? When it comes to the 2014 Jaguar F-type V-6 roadster, the amount is $12K. Ringing in at $81,925, the 2014 Jaguar F-type S roadster neatly splits the $69,925 “base” V-6 model and the mighty $92,925 495-hp V8 S. But there’s more to this story than just the nineteenth letter of the alphabet. That $12K premium also brings a handful of performance-enhancing kit aimed at optimizing the V-6 cat’s driving experience.

Checking in with a max of 380 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of twist available from 3500 to 5000 rpm, the supercharged V-6 in S trim improves on the standard-issue F-type V-6 roadster’s output by a respectable 40 ponies courtesy of a recalibrated engine computer. (Torque, however, only sees an increase of 7 lb-ft.) The power comes on strong right off idle (Jag says a minimum of 220 lb-ft of torque is available at 1000 rpm), and made quick work of filling holes in the thick traffic prevalent on the streets around our Ann Arbor office. Shifts come courtesy of a ZF-Quickshift eight-speed automatic, and gear-change requests from the steering-wheel paddles are delivered with commendable alacrity. It’s no slouch in auto mode either, not shy about downshifting to the lowest possible gear when the throttle gets pinned. Still, we’d be lying if we said any roadster wouldn’t be more rewarding with a manual, and our initial reports of one for this car might still come to fruition. Launches are assisted by the S-specific 3.31:1 final-drive ratio. (The standard V-6 F-types make do with a 3.15:1.) We measured a zippy 0–60 time of 4.7 seconds, which is certainly entertaining but lags the beefy F-type V-8 roadster S’s sprint by more than a second. (We haven’t had the opportunity to strap our test gear to the base V-6 F-type yet, but Jag claims a time of 5.1.) Completing the quarter-mile consumed 13.1 seconds, the F-type S clearing the traps at 109 mph.

The S also builds on the standard car’s bag of electronically controlled features, adding Dynamic Launch (step on the brake, wait for the “ready” signal in the dash, floor the throttle, let off the brake, and go), a sport suspension with Jag’s proprietary Adaptive Dynamics, and the glorious Active Sport exhaust, which—sweet baby Jesus in a jumpsuit—sings an intoxicating song. At idle, though, the sound track is a bit frumpy and uninspired by comparison. Letting off the throttle after a run to the 6600-rpm redline, will, however, elicit rapid-fire staccato pops and crackles that sound as if the S just fired a pack of Black Cats from the tailpipe.

S trim comes with braking benefits as well, with 15-inch front rotors replacing the standard 13.9-inch units. The pedal is firm, the pads bite early, and plenty of clamping action is available with very little travel. It takes a few applications to feel them out, but we found them supremely easy to modulate. Thanks in part to the aforementioned dynamic suspension, dive and lean are virtually absent under even the hardest braking or cornering. Our test driver managed to haul the 3816-pound roadster down from 70 mph in just 158 feet. F-type fans may have noticed that the V-6 S roadster shaves 158 pounds from the V8 S roadster’s weight of 3974 pounds. Although it may seem insignificant on paper, almost all of the reduction takes place from above the front wheels, which imbues the F-type with a more chuckable nature when powering out of corners and bombing down twisty two-lanes. Surprisingly, turn-in isn’t improved much, but then all F-types change direction rather smartly. The hydraulic power steering is appropriately weighty and quick off-center, and the car pulled 0.90 g of lateral grip on our skidpad.

Our test car arrived with a heated steering wheel and seats ($600) and the Premium Pack S ($2000), which includes 14-way power seats, a wind deflector, dual-zone climate control, and a garage-door opener. With the seat heaters set to “broil” and the wind deflector in place, we enjoyed top-down motoring in temperatures as low as 40 degrees in complete comfort. The Extended Leather pack ($1925), Performance seat ($1500), and Vision pack ($2400) with rear parking camera, blind-spot monitor, front and rear parking sensors, and adaptive front lighting all contributed to an as-tested $91,228 sticker, just shy of the V8 S roadster’s base MSRP.
Great to look at, eminently enjoyable, and easy to fling about, the F-type S roadster possesses a certain lightheartedness that is hard to put a finger on. Maybe it’s because the alpha-dog V-8 F-type models shoulder the responsibility of posting eye-popping performance numbers. Whatever the case, when it comes to the Jaguar F-type, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more sensible way to spend $12K than on the letter “S."


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Sources : 2014 Jaguar F-type V-6 S Roadster Photo | 2014 Jaguar F-type V-6 S Roadster Article

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