Jaguar F-Type v rivals
Jaguar recently launched the new F-Type in India and while most sportscars come in one or two variants in our country, Jaguar has given the F-Type a total of nine. That’s more variants than a regular hatchback would have! What’s even more surprising is that these variants span almost one-and-a-half crores! The F-Type range starts at Rs 95.12 lakh for the Coupe powered by the 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while the similarly specced Convertible costs Rs 1.06 crore. Keeping prices in mind, the P300 is probably the engine most buyers will end up picking — be it a convertible or a coupe — so that’s the one we’ll use as a basis for our comparison. The top-of-the-line F-Type R with its 5-litre supercharged V8 costs over 2 crores, and we will come to it in a bit.
Porsche 718 twins
The 718 twins are definitely the benchmark in this space. Surprisingly, they’re similar to the F-Type in more ways than you might think. Both have 2-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engines (in this case). The Porsches make 295bhp and 380Nm of torque, the F-Type makes 296bhp and 400Nm. They can both be had with a fixed or convertible roof. Pretty similar right? However, while the 718 can sprint from 0 to 100kmph in 4.9 seconds, the F-Type takes 5.7, almost a second longer. Another place where they differ is where the engine sits in both the cars. While the F-Type is front-engined like all the others on this list, the 718 is mid-engined, how a proper sportscar should be. Let's talk about looks, and looks can be subjective. However, in my opinion the F-Type looks a lot better. The sculpted bodywork, clamshell bonnet and gorgeous rear-end look exquisite. Not saying the 718 is ugly in any way, just not as appealing as the F-Type. In terms of pricing the 718 Cayman starts at Rs 85.95 lakh while the 718 Boxster costs Rs 89.95 lakh. The F-Type is slightly more expensive — the 2.0 Coupe P300 costs Rs 95.12 lakh while the 2.0 Convertible R-Dynamic P300 will set you back Rs 1.06 crore. The difference isn't too big, but Rs 10 lakhs isn't pocket change either.
BMW Z4 M40i
The BMW Z4 M40i is the most affordable sportscar here, yet it comes with a bigger engine than the rest of the cars on this list, other than the Ford Mustang. The 3-litre inline six-cylinder engine produces 335bhp and 500Nm of torque, considerably more than the F-Type’s 296bhp and 400Nm. Naturally this means the M40i is faster too, with a 0 to 100kmph time of just 4.5 seconds as opposed to the F-Type’s 5.7. The M40i is a properly fast little sportscar and if that’s what you want, there is probably not a better choice. The BMW Z4 M40i will set you back Rs 80.50 lakh, than the entry level convertible that costs Rs 1.06 crore. The serviceability and service network of the BMW would also pay dividends over the Jaguar, or even the Porsche.
BMW M2 Competition
The M2 Competition is a great car, even one of the greatest some may say. It is usable on a day to day basis thanks to an actual boot and rear seats that can easily fit children. The M2 will also scrape its underbelly on far fewer speedbumps than the three proper sportscars in this list. It's got the same 3-litre inline six-cylinder turbocharged engine as the bigger M3 and M4, although it is slightly detuned in this application. Don’t be upset though, it is still a really really fast car. 100kmph comes up in 4.2 seconds, faster than the Z4 M40i even, thanks to the 404bhp and 550Nm of torque it produces. At Rs 83.40 lakh it is priced a fair bit more aggressively than the Jag, while being faster. If you’re looking for the drama of a sportscar, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for the performance, the M2 Competition is the way to go.
Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic Coupe
If Mercedes-Benz still sold the C 63 S in India, it would probably be my pick of the lot. However, they don’t and we get the tamer ‘43’ model instead. Under the hood is a 3-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine producing 384bhp and 520Nm of torque. The C43 can sprint to 100kmph in 4.7 seconds from a standstill, making it slower than the Z4 but faster than the 718 and the Jag. Like the M2 Competition, the C 43 is a sporty but useable coupe and offers more practicality than the sportscars in this list, not to mention it gets all-wheel drive which makes it less of a handful to drive hard. At Rs 76.50 lakh it is one of the most affordable fast cars you can buy and makes it a solid pick.
Aah, the pony car. I love the Mustang. I didn’t quite understand it initially but I love how looney it is. The blue blooded 5-litre V8 under the hood produces 395bhp and 515Nm of torque. There are no official 0 to 100kmph times for the Mustang and I wouldn’t be surprised if the M2 or the Z4 M40i sail past it. But that’s not what the Mustang is about. It’s just a car for having fun, not setting laptimes. It will easily shred its tyres quicker than the other cars on this list and it can be used on a day to day basis too. There’s plenty of Ford dealers across the country, meaning if you do break down you probably won’t be left stranded for long. On top of that if you consider the Rs 74.62 lakh price tag, it is the most affordable car here too. It is slightly wrong to compare the Mustang to these cars, it isn’t from the same mould. While the Germans and the British weapons here are meant to extract every bit of horsepower to go a second faster around the ‘Ring, I’m not sure Mustang engineers even know what the ‘Ring is, and I love that! The question is do you want something loud and fun or something that’s fast. The choice is yours!
It’s a tough uphill battle for the Jaguar out there. It is the slowest car in the list, and the most expensive. However, The sweet spot of the F-Type range is probably the 5.0 V8 Coupe R-Dynamic P450 which costs Rs 1.26 crore. Yes, it is a bit more expensive but for the money you get one of the best sounding engines of any car in production today and performance to keep the other sportscars from this list at bay. The top of the line V8 model is priced closer to cars like the Porsche 911 and the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster, both of which offer more performance and more drama than the F-Type does, so it probably won't find many homes. The pricing puts the F-Type in a tough spot, but it will surely find takers thanks to the drop dead gorgeous looks. Maybe we should do a comparo test of these cars, that’ll be a fun day at the office won’t it?