Last week Jaguar South Africa invited me to experience the new F-Type and Hot Wheels at their JLR Experience Centre in Lonehill. The F-Type was recently updated and arrived in August in the country.
Amidst lockdown rules, the F-Type event was super small, there were only six of us in the slot I attended; three media guests and their plus ones. I was impressed with the care taken into sanitised each vehicle when we moved between the three demo areas for some Hot Wheels and Jag fun.
The new F-Type looks different, has improved dynamics and an increased focus on driver engagement. The new F-Type comes in a coupé and convertible in different models from R-Dynamic to R and First Edition.
There is quite a noticeable difference between the older model and the newest one. I found this cool image on the Top Gear website to show you side by side:
The front lights are a dead giveaway, as well as the grille and overall design as you can tell. On the inside, the cockpit features a 12.3″ HD instrument cluster with reconfigurable graphics unique to the F-Type. You can choose display themes like full- screen navigation or just a large rev-count. I love being able to choose and customise based on where I am going.
If you’re going for the R-Dynamic, it comes standard with premium LED headlights, 19″ alloy wheels, 6-way electric seat adjustments, keyless entry, HD instrument cluster mentioned above, and supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The top of the range F-Type R model has pixel LED lights, 12-way memory electric seats, Ebony Windsor leather, 20″ alloy wheels and an R body kit.
The car has three engine options in South Africa, which we got to experience at the event last week. The entry-level 2L P300 has 221kW/400Nm and goes from 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds, with a top speed of 250km/h. It is followed by the 3L V6 P380 with 280kW and 460Nm, going from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds, with a maximum speed of 275km/h. The top of the range 5L V8 R P575 has a total output of 423kW and 700Nm and does 0-100km/h in a RIDICULOUS 3.7 seconds, with a max speed of 300km/h.
The highlight of my day last week was driving the P575 beast, and having as much fun as I could in the limited space with cones. I went through a slalom and for the first time, also reversed through it. While I didn’t do it in a time I was proud of, managed to be consistent and not knock anything down. I also went flat out for the briefest moment.
We also experienced the convertible model, the P380 on the skid pan. While I did have fun attempting to drift, I am no drifter. The challenges were fun, and in this instance it was more of a memory game and going through the different colour cones in the right order. Another challenge was doing it in the quickest time.
Our last challenge was a riddle, which I guessed almost immediately, to be fair it was easy and related to shopping centres in the area. We had to figure out which three it was and drive to them in the shortest distance while being efficient. I know I cannot drive efficiently *cough* so Samina had the honours of doing that. Btw, she is way more efficient than I’ll ever be.
At each rotation in the experience sections, there was a Hot Wheels challenge too, that we took part in. It was really fun and while it got competitive there were bits I wanted to spend more time on just to perfect.
I also learnt a fun fact about Hot Wheels. They sell 16.5 cars every second making them the number one selling toy company in the world and have sold over 7 billion cars to date. The challenge pictured above really got me. We couldn’t make it land at the bottom and earn all the points for making it go through three loops.
The F-Type certainly has that “efficient” element to it, and is capable of an average combined fuel consumption of 7.2l/100km. While I am no expert at driving efficiently, I did learn a thing or two from Samina who drove for that part of the challenge and can see how it can be achieved. Not that I doubted it; I just doubt my own capabilities.
I had loads of fun experiencing the F-Type and Hot Wheels in this unique way. If you’re in the market for the F-Type, pricing is as follows:
Starts at R1 243 000 for the P300 RWD
And goes up to R2 422 700 for the R P575 AWD.
Starts at R1 241 000 for the P300 RWD
And goes up to R2 421 000 for the R P575 AWD.
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 14 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org