Road Test – 2020 Jaguar F-Type Checkered Flag Coupe:Taking the Checkered Flag

Cool, blue pools of illumination play about the interior, lighting the instrument panel, the console and the passenger “Holy *%$@!” handle.

A clean-lined 10-inch Touch Pro infotainment system displays all the bells, whistles and apps while a Meridian sound system adds its efforts to the performance soundtrack.

In Canada, the Checkered Flag builds on the R-Dynamic trim, a middle-of-the-lineup model that already comes equipped with the Supercharged 3.0-litre V6 engine making 380 hp and 339 lb/ft of torque.

We may not get the manual gearbox choices of other markets but that’s a moot point anyway in the case of this all-wheel drive configuration, hooked up very nicely to a capable ZF8H70 eight-speed tranny that slips through the cogs automatically or via a flick of the steering wheel paddle shifters.

Granted, this isn’t one of the top-of-the-line F-Type V8 monster models but the supercharged V6 pulls enthusiastically with enough drama, especially should you push the “loud” button on the console, boosting both your adrenaline level and the volume of the acceleration roar, along with all the requisite snap, crackle and popping brouhaha when you let up on the go-pedal.

The get-up-and-go is ably handled by a double-wishbone suspension system, electric power assist braking, Torque Vectoring, Adaptive Dynamics, Configurable Dynamic modes and other driver assists to enhance the agile abilities of the F-Type’s lightweight aluminum architecture.

A power-up rear spoiler pops up at highway speeds plus to add a nice boy-racer touch.

The Checkered Flag package doesn’t really bolster this F-Type’s driving dynamics.

It’s more of a styling enhancement, starting with more aggressively-angled and extended side sills.

The Checkered Flag struts its stuff on exclusive 20-inch six split-spoke “Style 6003” gloss black wheels accented with red brake calipers. An added black roof is replaced here with an optional fixed panoramic glass roof ($1,230).

And Checkered Flag badges mounted front and rear separate this special edition beastie from the rest of the herd.

Added details continue inside with a black, brushed aluminum console finisher, an ebony suede cloth headliner and upgraded Ebony Windsor black leather interior.

The dark, leather-wrapped, lightweight magnesium sport seats are contrasted sharply by red seatbelts, a colour re-echoed in red illuminated treadplates and added red sport stitched edging along the seats, doors, dash and console.

There’s also red stitching and a red centre marker strip on a heated steering wheel that’s badged with a Checkered Flag on the bottom spoke. Look for more Checkered Flag badging embossed on the seat headrests and embroidered on the floor mats.

It’s a nice package that perfectly complements a powerful and comfortable-for-two sports machine that even offers acceptable weekend getaway luggage room (408 litres) via a surprisingly long hatchback opening.

The 2020 Jaguar F-Type lineup starting prices range from $70,500 to more than double at $141,000.

With the AWD Checkered Flag starting at $105,000 and optioned up here with $5,600 worth of extras to a fee-included $112,200, some high-rollers might rightly scratch their heads and consider going in just a little deeper ($115,000) for a 550 hp V8 version.

But while there could be some debate on the degree of the Jaguar F-Type’s Porsche-slaying abilities, engine and trim choices, there’s no questioning that the 2020 Checkered Flag model adds some special edition charm to an already unique premium sports car offering.