We headed up the West Coast for a magical weekend with the Jaguar F-type…
Over a very cold and icy weekend in the Cape, we headed up the West Coast for an unforgettable journey of the Flower Route with the Jaguar F-type!
I’ve always wanted to experience a place like the West Coast in a sports car. When it comes to long distance driving, most of my friends and family would prefer to travel in a spacious SUV. But as a bit of a thrill-seeker (with no kids), the thought of escaping the manic CBD in a sports car on a Friday afternoon and heading out on the open road alongside the seashore was to me, bucket-list stuff.
I’d managed to rope my sister into joining me. Of course, it wasn’t too challenging to convince her, what with the words “so do you wanna join me for a weekend up the West Coast in a Jag?” to dangle at her. So we began our trip out of Cape Town for our ‘sisters’ weekend with the F-type’. Fitting both our luggage into the F-type’s boot wasn’t as impossible as I thought it would be. We managed to get two fairly large tog-bags, two hand bags and various jackets (and wine) into what was mostly occupied by a spare wheel.
The transition between the F-type’s performance in the busy city, to the long open road is really what I wanted to experience. It’s all very well having a sports car that’s fun to drive and great to look at, but I’ve rarely driven one that does a decent job at behaving itself in the city. Well, I got my wish, because we headed out of the city on a Friday afternoon, only to be met with bumper to bumper traffic, which delayed our trip by two hours. Nevertheless, this was a real opportunity to see how long I could stand being trapped in the city in a small sports car. While the torture of not being able to open the car up and spread its wings on the highway was enough to make me want to cry, we found that we were far more comfortable in the F-type than other coupes. Although compact on the outside, it felt rather spacious inside and its grained leather and suede-cloth sports seats weren’t stiff or too hard. (It was also nice to see the grumpy faces in traffic lighten up at the sight of two girls in a bright blue F-type!)
At the risk upsetting those die-hard F-type fans who feed off of engine specs and technical details, here’s what you need to know about the new F-type…
Our F-type R-Dynamic Coupe model houses a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that offers 221kW of power and 400 N.m of torque. Every F-type is fitted with an Active Sports Exhaust that creates a ‘race-car’ inspired crescendo. Opening up the active valves, the exhaust system reacts to throttle position, speed and engine revs (if you want that ‘pop pop’ sound, you’ll get it!)
Once we had managed to escape the Friday traffic madness, it was time to enjoy the F-type on the open roads of the West Coast. Of course, this meant using the F-type’s Switchable Active Exhaust which allowed us to manually open the exhaust valves and enjoy the sounds coming from its engine.
Between my sister and I, we were both in agreement that the F-type’s impressive suspension was a standout feature. Despite the F-type’s low ride height that keeps it firmly planted on the road, it seemed to absorb any lumps and bumps on the road without fuss.
Inside, although storage space is limited in small cars like these, we found that the F-type actually had a lot more to offer than most, with cup holders in the centre console, a storage compartment under the middle arm rest, a reasonably sized glove box and door bins to store our keys, phones and water bottles. Pairing our phones was an easy affair after which we were able to fight over various playlists (80s music vs contemporary hits) to accompany the splendor of our surroundings. Two USB points were available for us to charge up our phones and stay connected for the duration of our trip.
Some might not be as pleased as we were about the absence of a bigger engine, but the F-type’s 2.0-litre engine gave us far more mileage for our money. This was also thanks to the fast-reacting Stop/Start system which is fitted to every F-type as standard. We could also turn the Stop/Start function off when we wanted to, with a simple press of a button.
Feedback from the F-type’s electric power assisted steering is outstanding! It offers so much control and responsiveness without being too overwhelmingly sharp. Optional Adaptive Dynamics modifies the F-type’s responsiveness to match your conditions and driving style.
The West Coast National Park is a popular destination during flower season, where spring flowers are known to leave thick braids of colour over scenic landscapes alongside the blue seas. Due to a predominantly overcast and rainy weather forecast, we weren’t all too optimistic about finding any of the flowers we’d seen and heard about on social media, but it was suggested that we headed towards Potsberg – an area of the reserve that rewards the long drive.
Driving through the National Park in the F-type, with or without the flowers, is something one can only dream of. The landscapes are truly majestic and breathtaking and being able to capture it on camera just didn’t do it justice. After two hours of F-typing through the reserve, we finally came to a sliver of blooming colour, and it sure was worth it. There you go again, South Africa, reminding us of how truly spoilt we are to have so many different landscapes and natural beauty to discover in your lands.
After a successful day of flower finding, we headed to our venue for the evening. The Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel was the perfect venue to arrive in an F-type. We’d chosen the Strandloper because we wanted to spend the weekend truly escaping the city, and it is here that we felt like we’d come to the other end of the world for our own private weekend of tranquility and luxury.
Pricing for the Jaguar F-type range starts at R1,054,200.
For more information click here.