In eyes of teen-me, the Jaguar XJS was pretty much the greatest car ever made. The whole 12-cylinder engine thing was awesome and all, but it was the visual — all those swoops and curves — that got the hormones all skitter-scatter. Mmm, mmm. I think I might need to be alone for a while ….
I never did settle in and get one, though it was close once. There was this 2003 XKR coupe that that I was all a-twitter over, but I ended up taking a similarly-priced ’03 BMW M5 out for a spin, and that ended that. But here, some 10 years on, I still have daydreams about the yards of wood that made up the dash of that Jag, and all those swoops … [cough]. Yep. I’ll be fine in a minute.
After that period, Jaguar — like BMW — went through a couple of truly epically bad aesthetic choices and I completely lost interest and then lost track of the brand.
That changed this week. I mean, me. The brand has been chugging away whether I watched or not. And apparently, they’ve managed to stay afloat despite my ambivalence. Who knew?
The new F-Type, for example, is a stunner. The body is very reminiscent of what Aston is currently doing with the long-hood designs that Jag pioneered so many decades ago. In fact, the F-Type is eerily similar to what Aston is doing with the Vanquish, but for $65k (starting), the new F-Type is a whole lot more affordable.
Starting with the gimmicky door-handles, the new Jag is an exercise in luxury. I spent a little too much time
licking stroking all the leather surfaces. Unfortunately (or happily, according to my wallet), the new car is only a two-seater, so that takes care of that little fantasy.
What I did find on the inside, however (aside from acres of leather), is a full-on Meridian sound system. It’s optional, of course, and there are two stages, but I can’t imagine anyone ever bothering with only the first stage and the second is only a $1k or so more than standard. For 2016, here’s the details:
The Meridian Digital Surround Sound System is an 825 watt, 16 channel stereo/surround system featuring a subwoofer and 16 speakers strategically placed throughout the vehicle. The system incorporates Meridian’s Trifield technology, a DSP algorithm specifically created for musical reproduction to deliver a consistent, concert-like experience to all passengers, expanding the sense of space within the cabin. Also utilized is digital signal processing technology and Meridian Cabin Correction™ which ensures clarity and definition to each instrument and vocal.
I spent some time in an F-Type R, with the windows up and the tunes cranked. Given the constraints, I was not just surprised, I was thrilled. Tight bass, good imaging, and a reasonable control interface had me imagining doing horrible things to my kids’ college funds. Well, maybe not horrible. They’re smart little rugrats. I’m sure they’ll get on just fine with loans, right?