2014 Jaguar F-Type S V-6 Convertible Long-Term Update 1
Birmingham, We Have a (Tire) Problem
Ah, Hollywood. So glamorous -- all that glitter, those parties, the life! Because quite obviously that's what life is like for those who appear on the shiny side of the camera, right? I mention this because as you're probably aware, some of us Motor Trend types spend a whole heapload of time making videos. While the finished products are fabulous (right?), the process ain't. As John Saxe very well may have said, "Videos, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made." From my point of view, the days consist of hours of hurry up and wait while the video boys change lenses and who knows what else. I'm not complaining, just stating how it is.
The above is key because we were recently filming an episode of our car comparison show "Head 2 Head" at the Streets of Willow. The one where the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG took on the BMW M235i. We of course brought Randy Pobst out from Georgia to fully exploit the limits of the two wee Germans. Randy and I found ourselves with a bunch of free time on our hands, so in between takes we'd take the Jaguar F-Type S out for hot laps. Because it's a Jaguar, the handling comes across as a bit of initial understeer followed by throttle-on oversteer. Not as wild and crazy as the hairy V-8 F-Type S, but a fun, satisfying handful.
Randy kept saying our Italian Red long-termer is a great drift car, so I had to ask, "Randy, think you can give me some lessons?" I wish you could have seen the size of his smile as he said yes. Like any proper coach, he showed me a few demo laps before it was my turn to make some smoke. Randy made it look easy, drifting the car around the skidpad just before turn 1. My series of attempts more closely resembled donuts than drifts, or accidents than drifts, but I too made plenty of smoke. Then we looked at the tires. Oops!
The poor Pirelli P Zeros on the rear wheels were shredded up pretty good. Still drivable, but for a car with just over 4000 miles on the odo, they looked terrible. Two birds with one stone time. Since the Jag showed up I've always thought the silver 19-inch Propeller wheels that come standard look a bit dull and frumpy, especially with the shiny red paint. Best to order up some black 20-inch Tornado Gloss dubs and a new set of tires. They're being installed as I type. The best part? We're keeping the old wheels and tires for track days.