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JAGUAR F-TYPE PIPS COMPETITOR AT THE POST

Buying a luxury sports car is a significant investment, and for buyers looking for a car that’s fast and sounds sensational but also offers practicality for everyday use, PerformanceDrive’s Brett Davis has chosen two models to test drive. Although not direct competitors in terms of specifications, the 2021 Jaguar F-Type P380 and Lexus LC 500 were compared side-by-side to see which vehicle came out on top.

THE PACKAGE

Davis notes the Jaguar has recently received a design facelift “so now it looks sleeker than before, with pinched headlights and a wider-opening front grille for increased on-road presence”. The same “sexy curves” carry over in the new design, including the huge rear haunches. The Lexus, meanwhile, features “a more extravagant design” and the green and tan colour combination also stands out against the smart and sophisticated silver Jaguar.

Inside, Davis loves the digital screens for the climate controls on the Jaguar and the very low and hunkered-down seating position, while “a fully digital instrument cluster...helps boost the F-Type’s appeal, especially against the tech-heavy Lexus”. Lexus, he says, is going for the wow factor and although it’s breathtaking it might be a little over the top. Davis says it’s unfortunate “Lexus is persisting with its very fiddly and, frankly, annoying touch pad controller system for the media interface. It’s just too cumbersome to use while trying to drive, and needlessly complicated.” And if you’re looking for storage space? Jaguar is the clear winner.

THE DRIVE

As mentioned, the cars feature different specifications and in terms of power the Jaguar’s 3.0-litre supercharged V6 can’t match the level of the V8 in the Lexus, but the Lexus unsurprisingly “chews more fuel than the Jag”. On the road, Davis can feel the Jaguar’s more immediate response and low-end torque, thanks to its weight being over 400kg lighter than the Lexus. “For the Jaguar,” he says, “being light helps in every department, including handling dynamics, agility, and of course, performance.”

In terms of handling, Davis says there is a clear distinction between the two, with the Jaguar “unquestionably a better-handling machine” with cornering speed, stability, and power-down grip. “It feels very nimble and loves to dart between switch-backs and tighter S-bends. And it feels extremely solid and planted on the tarmac. In contrast, the Lexus more closely resembles a boat. A speed boat, but a boat nonetheless.”

Finishing his review, Davis says both cars are “a hoot to drive” and stimulate the senses like sports cars are supposed to. While it’s hard to pick a winner with both cars “admirable in many ways”, Davis concludes that the Jaguar “is the better driver’s car in our opinion. It’s sharper, more precise, and more rewarding when you get it right. And it’s quicker”.

Learn more about the Jaguar F-TYPE and why it is such a pleasure to drive.