Sunday, April 13, 2014

(Tata) Car Of The Year (COTY)

The Jaguar F-type V8 S is quite possibly the most beautiful (useless) car that money can buy.
Also, the $92K base price is not really chump change, but we expect that it will not unduly worry BPites.

You are riding a Tata car, and it is better than roadsters from Mercedes and BMW (see review below). Aamchi Mumbai which hosts Bombay House - the famous bridge of the Tata ship- will be proud.

Background on Bombay House [ref. Wiki]: Bombay House (Tata Sons HQ: 24, Homi Mody Street Mumbai 400 001) is a historic privately owned building in Mumbai that serves as the head office of the Tata Group. The building is a four storey colonial structure built with Malad stone, and was designed by Scottish architect George Wittet, who later became the head of Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO), now Tata Motors. 

The Tata Group is perhaps the only Indian corporate to name its headquarters after a city where it started its journey. Bombay House, the global corporate HQ of the $ $106.34 -billion group. At that time, the group ran four businesses-textiles, hotels, steel and power-under the leadership of Sir Dorabji Tata, the elder son of group founder Jamsetji Tata. It was from this Edwardian building that Dorabji Tata diversified the portfolio into insurance, soaps, detergents and cooking oil. And it is in this building where the first Indian airline was conceptualised (1932) and where the largest global acquisition (Corus, for $13 billion in 2007) by an Indian group was made.

Since its beginnings in the pre-Independence era, the group has come a long way. It now has over 100 operating companies in seven business sectors and sells everything from salt to software and tea to telecom. It has businesses in more than 100 countries across six continents, and its companies export products and services to 150 countries. Yet, all key management decisions continue to be made at Bombay House, the bridge of the ship. The heritage building houses the office of chairman Cyrus Mistry and all top directors of Tata Sons, the holding company. Core companies of the group- Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Tata Power, Tata Industries and Trent-operate out of Bombay House.

Back to the car: It had been a long time since Jaguar built a sports car—some four decades, in fact. This hiatus came after the company had produced the SS100 in the 1930s, the XKs in the ’50s, and the E-Types in the ’60s and into the ’70s. Does the F-Type—specifically the V8 S variant, a noisy little rascal with a supercharged 495 hp V-8—represent Jaguar’s triumphant return to the sports-car realm?

“It’s a ton of fun for the money,” said judge Scott Kimple, “but I own an E-Type, and the design and styling [of the F-Type] is not quite up to that.” Assessments of the F-Type vis-à-vis the venerable E-Type are perhaps inevitable but unfair. Better to compare the new Jaguar to its contemporaries. The F-Type will flatten the little roadsters from Mercedes-Benz and BMW, the SLK and the Z4. But it cannot lay a glove on the Porsche 911, except in a price war. The Jaguar’s suspension feels like marbles on a washboard, yet the 8-speed ZF gearbox is as smooth and as quick as a Ferrari’s.

Configuration: Rear-wheel-drive convertible
Engine: 5-liter supercharged V-8
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Power: 495 hp at 6,500 rpm
Torque: 460 ft lbs at 2,500 rpm
Curb weight: 3,671 pounds
Zero to 60 mph: 4.2 seconds
Top speed: 186 mph
Base price: $92,000


1 comment:

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