You can drive for long stretches in the rural countryside of what was once the old kingdom of Aragon, in northeastern Spain, without seeing a soul. When you’re behind the wheel of the new Jaguar F-Type Coupé, that isolation is a shame—this is a car that wants to be seen.
Since releasing its E-Type, which is still considered a design classic, Jaguar hasn’t made a sports car in 50 years. So while the British brand may have been nervous prior to the F-Type’s hardtop debut late last year (the convertible version was unveiled in 2012), it’s safe to say its return to the style has introduced a 21st-century classic.
While in Spain, we clocked 186 comfortable miles behind the wheel, passing through a variety of terrain and road types and stopping for a regretfully alcohol-free lunch at the visually stunning Ferrer Bobet winery (vintuswines.com), in the mountainous Priorat wine region. We headed back toward the town of Lleida, our starting point, but not before passing through a twisty section of asphalt that ran through a high-tech windmill farm. It was all a little dreamy. Or maybe it was just the car.
When it comes to sports vehicles, the Porsche 911 has traditionally been king. But the Jaguar we drove—along with the eight other newcomers in the following slideshow—are challenging its dominance of the scene. Porsche fans are almost religious in their fervor, but the F-Type and its ilk are sure to make them turn in their pews.