Jaguar are holding back

Jaguar F-Type prototype
Jaguar F-Type prototype

I love my iPod. Normally when you spend quite a bit of money on something you feel like it probably wasn’t worth it. Like bidding for an artisan loaf of bread or a signed rugby ball at an auction or fair, even though you know you could get one just down the road for a lot, lot less. But not so with the iPod.

I had saved up for a few years and was ready to get the iPod Touch 3 in 2009, but after trawling the interweb, I fell upon rumours that the 4 would have a camera. So I waited a year and a half until the 4 came along, and snapped it up as soon as it was out.

(Well, I would have done if Tesco hadn’t said it would be delivered enabling me to be the first in Worthing to get my hands on one, before telling me that, actually, it wouldn’t arrive until the following day. So my mum stayed in. And continued to stay in. It didn’t arrive. One month later, it arrived and my mum was finally able to leave the house. I digress.)

Once I had shelled out a large sum of money for my iPod, I realised there were some issues. Firstly, I bought the wrong one; I went for the 8 gig, when I should have gone with something that had much more memory, because now I have no apps, a few songs, and no memory what so ever.

Secondly, when the software was updated, it went from being a fast machine to something that utterly infuriates me because it keeps freezing. Sure, it doesn’t freeze for too long, but it has lost the responsiveness that I expected it to have when I bought it.

And finally, the camera is dreadful. Honestly and truly, it is the worst camera made by any man in the whole of human history. Apple would have done better if they had given me some tape, an empty juice carton, some film and a pin, told me to make a pinhole camera and sellotape it to the iPod.

This brings me nicely on to the Jaguar F-Type, confirmed last week by Jaguar. When I was sent the press release, I was delighted – genuinely excited and emotionally a little bit tender.

As you will probably know, in name terms at least, the F-Type is the ‘son’ of the legendary E-Type, launched fifty years ago. Without doubt, that is one of the most amazing, most charismatic and most brilliant cars ever built.

I was lucky enough to have a ride in one in August, and all I’ll say is that the seats are excellent, the engine strong, and the noise loud.

But now, sitting here on my sofa, watching the Masters golf after a hard day of hockey, I can’t help but feel sad. You see, the F-Type, I have discovered, is being built to be the baby sister to the XK.

But why? This is the replacement for the E-Type, and should not be built to sit below another car in the range simply to fill a gap in the market. Aston had the same problem with the V8 Vantage, because whenever I’ve spoken to an owner, they have all said the same thing: “It’s a little underpowered”.

Because of that, it could never compete against the Porsche 911, and it was never what it really could have been because they didn’t strive for the best. They strived for ‘the best in that niche’ so they didn’t make a ‘baby’ car faster than the bigger DB9.

Apple did exactly the same thing. They could have made something truly great, but they held back, both so they didn’t make their other products less desirable, and so they could add a better camera in the next time round and say ‘Look, it’s better now!’.

I really hope they change their mind build the F-Type to be the best car it could be, because unless they do, it really doesn’t deserve the F-Type badge.

Seán Ward

Editor,

newmotoring.com