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Jaguar’s F-Type raged against the dying light. Now it’s gone. Welcome to the future, where ugly is the whole point.

2024 Jaguar F-Type Coupe 2024 Jaguar F-Type Coupe

“Just look at the thing.” 
It’s the line you’ll repeat, coffee cup in hand, while the 2024 Jaguar F-Type lazes in your driveway like a jungle cat. I know, I know, I KNOW… describing a Jag in feline terms is the laziest auto-writer trope (where’d I put that rifle-bolt metaphor, anyhow?). 

But if any vehicle deserves the cliche, it’s this one:

Welcome to Kinardi Line, mouthpiece of the free world’s most curious auto writer. Home to questionable takes, quiet revelations, and shitbox worship.

Alas, good looks couldn’t save this Jag. Production of the gorgeous coupe ends with this model year. As with any moment when one good thing breaks off and begets the unfamiliar, it’s worth reflecting on what the F-Type accomplished, the potential unfulfilled. 

The F-Type was born pretty. It debuted at the turn of the century as a concept, borrowing lingerie-adjacent curves from the D-Type’s hindquarters and the XK’s cunning snout. The F-Type’s lines were sculpted so close to perfection, they survived Jag’s Ford implosion and lasted mostly unchanged until production began in 2014. 

Jaguar endowed the F-Type with peerless beauty, but prescribed it with a segment-straddling remit. It aspired to harass the Lotus Evora on a backroad, and chased the coattails of leather-bound cruisers from the likes of Bentley. Real Jag stuff.

Instead the F-Type became a master of none, a great thing to spend all day driving, but no Mercedes SL. Capable at a race track, but not a ‘Vette.

Ultimately, the F-Type had a 911 problem. Porsche’s marketing juggernaut told shoppers to accept no substitute. Instead of wandering off the years-long waitlist for a car that was faster, prettier, cheaper, and singular, they held out for a more-polished and predictable product. 

It’s a damned shame. 

The F-Type was born pretty.

The 911 and its Boxster brethren are good-looking cars, but they are not beautiful. The C8 Corvette is built of acute angles; not exactly Sydney Sweeney. Nothing you lined up against the Jag could touch its at-a-glance appeal. Sales slumped anyway, declining from a peak in 2015 through the current year.

Jag updated the car to correct course, improving its interior quality and tech integration, refining the whole British enchilada. With its 2019 facelift, Jaguar hedged against its own classicism, sporting a more angular and serious design. It diverged from that feline sex appeal (Forgive Me Father another cat metaphor, but do watch the bizarre erotic thriller, Cat People, by way of context) for a more muscular, tailored form. 

Whichever version you picked, the F-Type was gorgeous, and even charismatic. Especially the early V-8 coupes.

I’d argue the pre-facelift F-Type SVR (AWD, nearly 600 horses, assured road manners) was the sexiest muscle car ever sold. Beautiful, powerful, and fuck-off fast, I once crossed the Kentucky state line, a windshield full of empty highway caught in the SVR’s crosshairs. Moments later, by the time I’d backed out of the throttle, the four-lane freeway was all used up. My hands shook, ears ringing as I watched the speedo laze down from 180 mph. 

That F-Type had supercar speed, a better soundtrack than any pony car, and well… Just look at the thing. So why didn’t the F-Type sell? Blame the leaden curb weight, the dull steering feel, the confused mission directive.

Yeah, sure. All or some of that, but something else too. Beauty doesn’t matter anymore.

We used to flog ourselves on the altar of beauty, trading practicality away for slack-jawed awe. The Italians always did it best, but so did the midcentury Brits, and us jet-age Americans. Our pits leaked like interrogation suspects under fine double-breasted suits. Our arches screamed like stuck pigs in high heels.

No more.

Chasing overt beauty is shameful. You and your neighbor both get Botox, sure, but you’ll never hear it declared at the Sunday potluck, where eyebrows would raise at the prospect (if they weren’t frozen in place). 

But there’s something else too.

We used to flog ourselves on the altar of beauty, trading practicality away for slack-jawed awe.

Take mainstream fashion: Our trousers are hewn in technical fabrics borrowed from Everest expeditions and there’s a Carhartt badge on every last stocking cap in the places where carpenters can’t afford to live. 

The same happened to our vehicles. Design has become increasingly, irritatingly self-conscious, and complexly coded. We’ve averted from the kind of beauty that might stir up blood flow to your crotchal region. Instead, broadcasting utility—not desirability—is the most important aspect to modern design.

Notice how every vehicle is lifted an inch or two on blocky all-terrains, a skiff of black plastic cladding surrounding our wheel wells in a headlock. Whether or not your Volvo XC or Mazda CX-3 can hold up on the Yukon is irrelevant. They’re ugly as hell and they look the part of rugged self-reliance. 

Even for those who take the PJ to Aspen instead of a semi-lifted Subaru, that yearn for sex appeal has dissolved. Gone are the gold watches and silken shirts peeled back in search of chest hair that’s thick enough to climb. It’s all baggy gaudy monogrammed t-shirts and dayglo plasticky timepieces begging for Instagram acceptance.

With the F-Type bowing out, only the Ferrari Roma and odd Aston Martin remain aspirational beauties. Still, the uber-rich (and uber-poor) are more likely to turn up in an off-road adjacent SUV from either brand than a two-seater.

Draped in Carpathian Gray over Ebony leather, this F-Type is Bond’s Savile Row suit on wheels, the last of its kind. Low-slung, provocatively lengthy, muscled, handsome, and proud of it. Perhaps the Bond thing is another rote metaphor for the car—but a fitting one—given the last film ended with Daniel Craig, age 51, nuked from orbit.

We’ve entered a post-beauty phase. Or maybe the new generation simply redefined beauty, and I’m the last fool on the dance floor as the lights go out. All I know is, keep your knobby tires away from my gorgeously sculpted fenders, thank you. 

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