The key to a happy marriage is also the key to a new Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar-F-TypeMy wife and I had been in the market for a new car, and the search brought us all over the map. We actually started with a Smart Car, which was inexpensive but otherwise didn’t seem all that smart. We moved on to a Mini, which was pretty quick and fun, but it just wasn’t for us. Then we tried Ford’s Mustang halo, the GT500 and, while it was a ton of fun, the horrid mileage, tiny tank, and poorly designed dash and console felt like it had missed a few decades of automotive evolution. Finally, we checked out the Tesla S for a weekend, and it’s a wonderful technology showcase that’s just hard to charge and too big for our needs.

None of these cars came close to our holy grail: a car we both loved. The closest we’ve come is Audi’s TT; my wife loved the first one because it was beautiful. I loved the second generation because it was a much better driving experience.

Meanwhile, Jaguar unveiled its new F-Type. We kept driving by it, displayed on the local dealer’s lot and finally gave it a test drive. Turns out, it’s the holy grail.

The E-Type

Most people disposed to ranking this sort of thing agree that the E-Type is one of the most beautiful cars ever built, and when I was younger (a lot younger), I owned two of them – both used. The first was a ‘67 roadster that I couldn’t really afford at the time, but I couldn’t help myself. Front heavy, with a detuned engine (an early effort at smog control), uncomfortable seats, and electric controls that found all sorts of creative ways to blow fuses, it was a far better car to look at than to drive. I later bought a ’64 coup that had been tuned into a hot rod, which became a nightmare that almost never ended. Between the modifications and a general lack of care, it was such a money pit that I actually had to go work at a Jag mechanic to help pay to keep it running.

But, over the years, I looked back at that ’67 roadster and wish I’d kept it. I’ve had Hondas and Chevys, Mercury Cougars, a Mazda RX-7 and a Toyota MR2; many – particularly those last two – were better cars, but none were better looking and none held my heart like that old XK-E did. It was one for the ages.

The F-Type

The new F-Type doesn’t look anything like those old E-Types, but it still reminds me of them because they’re both rolling works of art. Oddly, I find the E-Type to look better in picture than in person, but the F-Type looks better in person than in pictures. Like most supercars, the F-Type is very wide, and pictures don’t capture the dimensions well; similarly, the available color schemes are deep metallics that don’t quite translate in the imagery. The black, in particular, has a chameleon-like quality of shifting colors depending on the surroundings.

While all three of the car’s configurations are supercharged, you can option them with things like active exhaust, lighting, and suspension. We wound up with the loaded S8, and driving it is hard to describe. It has an amazing sound system, but even that is nowhere near as entertaining as the sound of the engine. When the active exhaust kicks in it’s like God has swung a foot from the heavens and kicked the car forward as angels let fly with some sort of battle cry. Press the accelerator and it’s impossible for the driver’s face to not be plastered with a grin, while the passenger’s face will likely look stunned.

Still a legend

The only car I’ve driven that comes close to the F-type in terms of fun is the Nissan GT-R, but looks-wise it can’t hold a candle to the Jag. This car is packaged fun, as amazing to me as the old E-type with none of the problems. Like the GT-R, the F-Type comes race prepped and is a modern, reliable car straight out of the factory.

But the real magic lies in the fact that both my wife and I love this car. She’s a design nut who gravitates towards cars like the Audi R-8, while I want a car that’s just a ton of fun to drive like the GT-R or Lotus. In the past, that’s always meant that one of us was unhappy with whatever was in the driveway. With the F-Type, the only one who’s unhappy is the one not driving.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Smart Home

Amazon sent me a Christmas tree. Did it leave me pining for more?

Is driving to a Christmas tree lot or farm to get some fresh pine a daunting task that you dread every year? Good news: Amazon is now selling real Christmas trees with free shipping. We decided to order one to see how it went.

What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi is bringing two technologies to CES 2019. The first turns a car -- a luxury sedan, in this case -- into a drive-in movie theater. The second is presented as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.