stuck by its guns and not done so.
When not on four wheels I spend my time pedalling on two and see a similar fixation in the world of mountain biking, where people obsess about suspension travel as a measure of kudos and performance. Leading to huge numbers of riders heaving long-travel bikes around on the status-driven belief that more suspension is better, ignoring the fact a lighter, shorter travel bike is often more fun over the same terrain. Admitting as much would be a challenge to their masculinity though, much as suggesting a four-cylinder F-Type might actually be a better drive than one with a V8.
I live in hope that's because people are waking up to the idea that handling and more subjective measures of performance can matter more to your enjoyment of a car than cylinder count or 0-60 stats. Or at the very least consider the idea. Because, let's face it, whether it's horsepower in cars or suspension travel on mountain bikes, an awful lot of us are spending a lot of money for redundant performance we'll never actually use.
I had an interesting chat with Mike Cross about this on the launch for the car. He's far too smart to gift the likes of me a sensationalist scoop like "Jaguar's head of dynamics says the basic F-Type is better than the SVR!" and is as corruptible as any of us when it comes to noisy V8s - for a thoughtful, serious engineer he sure enjoys his time on the lock stops. Clearly a four-cylinder F-Type won't bonfire its tyres like a V8 one but there's a time and a place and on the Snowdonian roads of the launch event his enthusiasm for the new car was sincere. And well-reasoned.
Having spent a lot of time in a V6 F-Type on exactly the same roads the comparison was interesting. Without doubt the 52kg weight saving off the nose has had a transformational effect and the four-cylinder car flows like none of its heavier brothers. Is that a 'sacrifice' worth making in exchange for the experience of driving a more powerful car with a louder, more impressive and charismatic engine?
It's one I'm comfortable with. What about you?