Marriages, so the saying goes, are made in heaven. They’re also made in Italy…
The one for which I was only too happy to be matchmaker had the land of Romeo and Juliet as its setting.
And the pairing, a handsome macho eye-catcher and a real stunner of style and elegance, made for a memorable link I shall be proud of for a good while.
The bonding? Beauty and the beast. The beast? A Jaguar F-type. The beauty? The exquisite Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni on the water’s edge of Bellagio, Lake Como.
I drove the dashingly powerful Jaguar to Italy with Trophy Wife, who was on duty at a Milan fashion show buying for her boutique. We opted for a stopover at the Serbelloni.
And if the unashamedly admiring glances that the just-launched F-type, released a year after its soft-top stablemate, stirred in its show-off setting parked in front of the classy Serbelloni is anything to go by, it was the perfect match.
I have no doubt that the new F-for-Fantastic Jaguar coupe is the finest car they have made for decades – a hark back to the glory days of the resonant E-type. Through the trombone-sized sporty exhausts, it heralds a signature tune of a growl sound to promote goose pimples.
For my money – dollar for dollar, mph for mph, mpg for mpg – the eagerly responsive and utterly safe F-type, as good looking and comfy as they come, is just the car to rival the twice-as-pricey Ferraris and Astons and their uppity like.
It begs the question: why pay a fortune for a car whose performance and style can be equalled for a fraction of the cost of the so-called supercars?
The F’s eight-gear responses to my urgent demands for quick overtaking bursts on the autostrade and its balance along the tricky narrow lakeside lanes were real confidence boosters.
In a choice between the supercharged V6S – my tester – and the V8, I’d go for the more economical V6S, which strikes the best balance and has all the kit and technology you need for a few grand less.
I owned three E-types, one after the other, and if I’d been blessed with the foresight to hold onto them and sell them at today’s value – around £200,000 each – you wouldn’t be reading this because I wouldn’t have been around to write it. I’d be permanently ensconced in the Michelin-starred Serbelloni, with its spectacular mountain- and lake-view restaurant, and movie star guests like George Clooney, with my tasty TW.
Another ideal marriage.
Specification: Jaguar F-type S coupe
Engine: three-litre, six-cylinder
Acceleration: 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds
Top speed: 171mph
Price: S$420,000 (inc COE)