When Simon Cowell turns up at your car launch party, he’s either curious, or collecting a fat check.
Either way, the feisty Brit was at last week’s world debut of the gorgeous new Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe on the eve of this year’s Los Angeles auto show. Maybe he thought the F-TYPE had the X-Factor.
Mr. Cowell, Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr, along with Brits Jodie Kidd, Kelly Osbourne and former 007 George Lazenby, mingled with several hundred buffet-depleting media folks to watch the truly spectacular reveal of Jaguar’s new piece of automotive art.
Jag had taken over the colossal Raleigh Studios near Santa Monica – it’s where Howard Hughes built the mighty Spruce Goose. As the studio went black, searing red lasers marked a glide path from the end of the hangar straight towards the crowd.
Then the thundering roar of a 550-horsepower V8 played loud though wall-of-sound speakers and the appearance of the new F-Type Coupe with its LED cat’s-eye headlights four football fields away.
Now the Jag is accelerating hard towards the crowd and keeps coming, and coming, with no let up in speed. Sixty, seventy, eighty miles per hour. Straight at the audience, which is now looking very twitchy from their ring-side position on the bleachers.
What they didn’t know was that just beneath them, the show creators has pulled aside a curtain to reveal an F-Type-sized tunnel. As the Jaguar blasted into it – at 88mph no less – screams were heard, largely from Simon Cowell.
Welcome to Hollywood.
Arguably, this new F-Type Coupe didn’t need to make such a theatrical entrance. This is quite possibly the sexiest, sleekest, most buffed and toned Jag since the iconic E-Type hit the scene in the early Sixties.
I like the shape of the roadster-bodied F-Type. But alas I can’t say that I love it. The short canvas roof and flat rear deck somehow accentuates the car’s considerable girth, making it appear rather short and stubby.
But replacing the cloth top with one of the most achingly-gorgeous metal rooflines since the E-Type coupe’s has, to me, completely transformed the car, adding elegance, and glamour, and beauty and true, true desirability.
If I was a 13-year-old, I’d have a poster of this new F-Type Coupe on my bedroom wall. Next to the one of Miss Kerr.
There’s also mechanical desirability here too. While the flagship V8S Roadster has to make do with 495 horsepower, the Coupe is being offered as an R model packing 550 horsepower from its supercharged 5.0-liter V8.
We’re talking serious performance here. As in 0-to-60mph sprinting in a mere 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph.
As with the roadster there’ll also be two supercharged 3.0 V6 engines available, delivering either 340-hp or 380-hp.
And if all that wasn’t enough, the Coupe will be priced $4,000 less than the roadster models, with prices kicking off at $65,000 when it goes on sale next spring. As for that brutish F-Type R, it’ll set you back $99,000.
Form an orderly line – or ‘queue’ as we say in the olde country – at your nearest Jaguar showroom. I’m betting Simon already has his car on order.