I could hear it way before it made its way around to the front of the hotel. After a few minutes, the valet attendant appeared, pulling up in the 2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S convertible that would be my ride for a few days while in South Beach.
"This is the first one I've seen in person, let alone drive," the attendant said to me as he handed over the keys.
This was baffling. We were in South Beach, the mecca of where Italian supercars and other high-dollar rides in the United States resided and this valet attendant was more excited to get behind the wheel of the F-Type than anything before. However, I would soon learn that he wasn't alone when it came to expressing interest in the F-Type.
After answering a barrage of questions from the valet about the car, I took off down Collins Avenue but only made it two blocks before rolling up to the first stop light, where a few people with cameras around their necks decided to step off the curb and start taking pictures of the drop-top Jag. I soon realized that this would be a common occurrence over the next few days. Shortly after my first run-in with some camera-toting tourists, I set out down some side streets to find the opportune photo spot to take my own pictures of the F-Type.
I attempted to covertly creep down some of South Beach's side streets but every time I squeezed the throttle, the burbling sound of the F-Type's exhaust system would reverberate off of the old brick buildings that were stacked closely together. This, in turn, blew my cover once again and like a horde of zombies on fresh meat, people who lined the main streets of South Beach quickly spotted the car in the alley and began taking photos and pointing again simultaneously. It was then apparent that if I wanted to get some alone time with the Italian Racing Red F-Type in South Beach, I'd have to get up while most people were just going to bed. For those who have never been to South Beach before, that's around the time the sun starts coming up, if not a little later.
Better than coffee
The next morning, I set out to South Pointe Park before the sun came up to take some pictures of the F-Type before the streets became crowded with interested onlookers again. Since it was so early, traffic wasn't an issue, giving me a chance to stretch the F-Type's legs and let that V8 engine sing. Just like the day before, as soon as I stomped on the accelerator, the exhaust system crackled, burbled and popped loud enough to wake everyone up who was still sleeping. I'm usually not worth much until I get my morning coffee but the F-Type's exhaust note was a proper substitute for a cup o' joe.
Once I arrived at the park, I was met with a wide open spot right in front of the water to take some photos. However, not shortly after I positioned the F-Type where I wanted it, a few people getting an early morning work-out walked up and started asking about the car. Even though it didn't carry the massive price tag like the usual supercars that inhabit South Beach, it was now crystal clear that the Jaguar F-Type was just as exotic and interesting to the locals. After talking to them for a bit, the sun had already started rising and my chances of taking pictures in solitude quickly evaporated.
You don't go to South Beach because you want to blend in - just ask LeBron James. Like James, the F-Type grabs attention wherever it goes -for better or worse- with people even looking up from their expensive meals served up from restaurants that line Ocean Drive. While cruising down one of Miami's most recognizable roads, we got caught behind an amphibious duck boat that was loaded with tourists. Since Ocean Road is only two lanes and lined with people that seem to tight walk the curbs, we were at the mercy of this particular tourmobile. It didn't take long for people on board to notice of the F-Type behind them. Soon you could hear the driver pointing out notable spots along Ocean only to look back and see his group of paying customers with their cameras fixated on the two-seater Jag.
Finally the duck boat turned off on a side street and I was freed to go, and at a more entertaining speed. Once again, I could hear the reverberations of the exhaust grumbling, growling, and snapping during the drive down State Road A1A as endless marinas and high rise buildings careered by. After about 45 minutes, I ran into John U. Lloyd Beach, a quiet and empty spot. This would be an ideal place to take some more photos because of the secluded location. Again, after about 5 minutes, more people walking the beach came up and started asking about the car. After fielding questions, I hopped back into the F-Type and pointed it back to Collins Avenue.
The Jaguar F-Type was made for places like South Beach and after spending a few days with it, I could easily see why. It garnered attention everywhere it went, no matter if it was at a secluded beach, or Ocean Avenue. People were genuinely intrigued by the F-Type and wanted to know more about it. The F-Type's aggressive styling and even more bellicose exhaust note stole the show wherever it went, even when surrounded by Italian supercars at a stop light. Some people gave the F-Type the thumbs up while others fumbled for their camera or phone. Most just found it easiest to stare slack-jawed.
After getting a few days with the 2014 Jaguar F-Type, I became accustomed to the raucous exhaust note and all the attention it brought along with it. However enjoyable, I was most thankful for the soft-top roof that would provide some much needed shade every once in a while, and in under 14 seconds to boot. Not only is the Jaguar F-Type made for places like South Beach, it thrives in it.
Upon returning to the hotel on the final night in South Beach, the valet asked if I had a good day and what I thought of the car. The answers about the car had become very well-rehearsed. After handing him the keys to park it for the night, I retired to my room overlooking Collins Avenue. Not even before I kicked my shoes did I hear the F-Type's robust exhaust tear through the night sky one last time. It was indeed a good day.
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