As an exciting reveal for South Africa, Jaguar gave us a taste of the new F-Type in partnership with Hot Wheels. It left us grinning and wanting.
You may not know this but the relationship between Jaguar and Hot Wheels goes back 4 decades with 110 models being die cast into the popular Hot Wheels toys that I played with many years ago. They’re also the cars I am suckered into buying almost every time I go to a store with my 6 and 3yr-old sons who seem to have suffered the same car-loving gene.
It’s fitting then that Jaguar chose to adopt its global reveal concept in partnership with Hot Wheels here in South Africa to give us a short taste of the stunning new F-Type.
The experience was held at the Jaguar Land Rover Experience Centre in Lone Hill, Johannesburg. It’s JLR’s newly revamped adult playground with a number of dynamic handling courses, skidpans as well as some off-roading terrain. It’s been set up in a bid to showcase the capability of all JLR’s products and its entirely open to the public even if you don’t necessarily want to go sliding around a skidpan as part of their myriad courses on offer. There’s a pleasant restaurant that overlooks the campus with kiddies’ areas and meeting rooms too.
The New Jaguar F-Type
The new Jaguar F-Type was launched globally in February this year but thanks to Covid-19 we have had to wait our turn. In South Africa, Jaguar is offering the car in 3 trim levels offered on the Convertible and the Coupé: The First Edition which takes a classier approach that includes 20-inch diamond turned alloys, Windsor leather/Oyster stitch performance seats and a limited slip differential among others. The F-Type R is the most hardcore trim on offer, featuring the R-body kit, LED headlamps, 12-way electric performance seats and a lot of R-badges around the cabin. Then the F-Type Dynamic with slightly less kit but they’re all highly crafted cars more universally beautiful than before. Those swept back headlights have been replaced by slimmer horizontal units that fit into an overall flush and cleaner design.
Jaguar was kind enough to invite us to take part in a series of challenges with our partners. How nice of you Jaguar, an opportunity to spend the morning with my wife driving great cars. Little did we know...
Jaguar posed three challenges for us, each with a real-world driving task coupled with a Hot Wheels task. Task 1 was a Hot Wheels straight drag race. I messed up so my wife took over and - we won with a clean ‘lights to flag’ victory. The real-world challenge was a slalom course from the helm of a Jaguar F-Type R Coupé P575. It allowed us to get the power down and experience 423kW launches whilst at the same time testing the agility and steering response of the Coupé. Have you ever done a slalom in reverse? We had to as part of the challenge and the overall sentiment is an exciting engine full of all the noise and fanfare that we’ve come to love of this Supercharged V8 in a responsive but much less twitchy package. My wife felt I was best suited to this. We didn’t score any points here – I was disqualified for missing a braking marker. Oh well. Driver error. Strike 2.
Challenge 2 was as unexpected as they come – driving the P575 on a 15km route around the area with the key objective of delivering the best fuel consumption. In a Supercharged powerhouse? So be it, we turned off the climate control, shut the windows and pottered along to deliver an 11l/100km round trip. Not bad considering all the red traffic lights we hit. Kanya(my darling wife) was driving while I navigated some awkward tension between us as we tried to figure out the best way to achieve maximum points. Things got heated - literally. Besides the in-car temperatures rising, it was also a time to ponder on the improvements to the cabin, most notably an updated central stack and new digital screens as well as the addition of CarPlay and Spotify to the Infotainment system. We got back and scored max points. Kudos to wifey. To match this challenge, our Hot Wheels task was a 3-circle loop deloop which I absolutely crushed. Max points here too. Things were looking up.
Our final challenge was a Memory and Drift Challenge around the Skidpan at the JLR Experience Centre. Yes we were tasked to drift a P380 F-Type Convertible around a series of cones. The trick was to keep it sideways as you went through the cones. If it was 'tail out' you got max points – if not, a big fat zero. 4 sets of cones and 60 points on offer I managed to chuck 15 points away, missing one set as I got onto the power way too late for the turbo to spool up. No issue with the car here, entirely driver error once again. My driver error. Thanks for pointing that out love.
The Hot Wheels Challenge here was also a Drift Course set up with flag points that we had to hit as we drifted. My wife was champion here. Max points. Are you seeing a pattern here? *rolls eyes.
What the skidpan and drift circuit showed up was the really chuckable nature of the P380. It’s a powerful motor here and its really usable, the engine note rising through the revs into a howl that is joyfully at home on a skidpan. The 3.0-litre V6 here is capable of 280kW and 460Nm through either a rear wheel drive set up or an AWD. But its also agile and nimble, good at changing direction and well balanced.
Of the 3 teams, we came stone last. Can you guess why? Can you guess who bore the brunt of the loss? Yes me, but we're still married.
It was a short but sweet experience was enough to whet the appetite for the stunning Jaguar F-Type. It’s an improved product for sure and I am a big fan of the range and trim levels on offer. You don’t get the 5.0-litre in rear-wheel drive any longer and this is a much safer option for all, though I know there will be those who would still think the purist drive has been lost. I am not one of them, as I think there is still such a high level of driver enjoyment here.
So pick your match, pick your roof or lack thereof and pick a great road. The Jaguar F-Type will excite I'm sure. We can’t wait to the same.
Jaguar F-Type Coupé Pricing:
F-TYPE R-Dynamic P300 RWD R1,243,000
F-TYPE R-Dynamic P380 RWD R1,513,700
F-TYPE R-Dynamic P380 AWD R1,659,300
F-TYPE First Edition R1,659,300
F-TYPE R P575 AWD R2,422,700
Jaguar F-Type Convertible Pricing:
F-TYPE R-Dynamic P300 RWD R1,241,000
F-TYPE R-Dynamic P380 RWD R1,511,800
F-TYPE R-Dynamic P380 AWD R1,652,800
F-TYPE First Edition R1,652,800
F-TYPE R P575 AWD R2,421,000
As far Hot Wheels is concerned, I’ve already made a purchase of a few since this F-Type | Hot Wheels experience. I’ve learned of the Hot Wheels Premium Collection and I’ve bought my kids some added corners and a Loop Star Play set as well. I've reliving a little of my childhood again, playing more willingly with the kids and enjoying the creativity of making bespoke tracks.
We’re all kids at heart aren’t we? And isn't that why cars like the Jaguar F-Type exist? To satisfy the same appetite.