Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that â€” all things considered â€” might just be the primo choice for that particular model. Hereâ€™s an example.
The JaguarÂ F-Type has been around since 2013 creating leagues of bug-eyed gearheads whose jaws invariably hit the ground when they finally see one in person. It’s one of those rare cars thatÂ looks a gazillion times better in the metal than on paper. The slinky Coupe version showed up in dealers a year later, with Jaguar periodically adjusting trim levels and feature content.
An alert reader (thanks for writing in!) hinted we should use the F-Type for this series, and I was buoyed by the suggestion. Why? Itâ€™s well-known I tend to choose the largest engine and loudest colour available when spending my own hard-earned dollars on a vehicle. Yet, the base V6 F-Type appears to make a compelling case for itself.
Does one need to pop for the F-Typeâ€™s optional bellowing V8? Letâ€™s find out.
At $61,400, the Coupe is a cool $4,000Â less than its convertible stablemate, and sports a better profile to this jaundiced eye. In base form, the F-Typeâ€™s 3.0-liter V6 is aided by a supercharger, good for a healthy 340 horsepower to go with its manual transmission and rear drive. Sixty mph appears in 5.5 seconds, with even the cheapest F-Type charging all the way to 161 mph. Not a bad start for the base V6, then.
The hues of Ebony Black, Polaris White, and Caldera Red are all on offer for $0. In a reversal from most manufacturers, Jag charges extra for the plebeian shades of silver and grey â€” $600 and $1,500 respectively. Perhaps buyers of base F-Types want to blend in with traffic and fly under the radar, which, upon reflection, is not a bad plan. An optional Premium Package adds $5,400 and is comprised of luxury items such as keyless start and cornering lamps, with no performance additions of which to speak. Gearheads will leave that option box unchecked.
Savvy buyers can also upgradeÂ the headliner with material selected from the finest dead cows or â€” and this is a triumph of marketing â€”Â a *ahem* suedecloth upper environment. Referring to oneâ€™s headliner as such is akin to calling your lawnmower a landscape adjustment device. Regardless, both of those options are gratis. Drivers can toast their hands and buns with a $600 Climate Package. Our recommendation: wear gloves and long johns instead.
An extra $17,700 nets F-Type buyers the S trim, which sees a 40 hp gain ($442.50 per pony, or about the price of an actual pony) and a host of other performance kit. Uprated brakes, sport suspension with active dynamics, and the delicious active sport exhaust appear for the extra moolah, not to mention a limited slip diff.
But what about that V8? Well, F-Type owners can be rollinâ€™ in a 5.0 for $105,400, an automatic-only affair in R trim, which shoots drivers to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. The $125,950 SVR grants owners admission to the 200 mph club. Both of these are stunning achievements, and by all accounts the V8 bellows like Chewbacca on a bad fur day, but at double the price of the base model â€” which is no performance slouch â€” Iâ€™d be hard pressed to make a business case for my favourite engine layout.
Even the $17,700 walk to better performing S trim gives me pause. Sure, it does buy shoppers a yaffle of performance, of that there can be no question, but itâ€™s a huge amount of money to simply shave 0.2 seconds off the run to 60. The base V6 departs the line like a scalded cat, no pun intended, and will leave most of your roadmates staring at the twin sewer cannons serving as centre-mounted exhaust pipes. Given the price differential, I think itÂ deserves a spot in our Ace of Base group.
Not every base model has aced it. The ones that have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, BB? Let us know in the comments or flip usÂ an email. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.
The model above is shown with American options and is priced in Trump Bucks.