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HAVING a pet lion (or a jaguar) is sure to impress your friends. Sooner or later, though, you're bound to have your buttocks chewed off.
Jaguar's F-Type 5.0 V8 Supercharged Coupe is a bit like that: sleek and magnificent, but fiendishly powerful, with a snarl to match. Switch off the traction control, and just giving the accelerator pedal a funny look is enough to send the Jag fishtailing wildly down the road.
Needless to say, it's terrifying to drive, and thus a brilliant source of non-stop giggles.
With only a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine, this new version of the F-Type Coupe is altogether more tame. It still leaps pretty fiercely, pouncing on 100km/h in 5.7 seconds.
It's also more agile than I remember the V8 version to be. The 2.0 scampers into bends like it means it - which makes sense. Without a big, heavy engine in the nose, it's more readily deflected off the straight ahead.
The steering weight and suspension firmness are all nicely judged, too, and it all culminates in the kind of well-sorted handling that separates dream cars from duds.
Although it's small, the new engine isn't devoid of character. It revs eagerly and smoothly, while the eight-speed auto keeps it constantly on the boil.
What's missing is some aural drama. The other F-Types roar, but the 2.0 sounds more like it's bawling.
Things are salvaged somewhat by an exhaust that pops and crackles deliciously, but if you want a better soundtrack you'll have to buy a 3.0 V6 model.
That means spending an extra S$46,000, which is a lot to pay for a nicer noise. And since it's only 0.4 seconds faster to 100km/h, why bother?
Besides, the 2.0 still turns heads, and its cabin has the same crowd-pleasing features found in the pricier F-Type Coupes, such as pop-up aircon vents and upholstery that looks like something from a gentlemen's club.
Performance-wise, it's more kitten than killer, but it's the sweetest of the F-Type litter.
Jaguar F-Type 2.0 Coupe