GQ test Car highlights 3 open Englishmen for the summer

The latest GQ Test Drive news and features. Explore British GQ
The latest GQ Test Drive news and features. Explore British GQ

We were on the road again - this time in three British motorists. These convertibles make you want to take a summer jaunt in the fresh air.

You do not have to wear tailcoats and cylinders in these convertibles, even if all three convey this typical British Flair. They are sporty – and made for the summer. In the Test we were able to open the hood but unfortunately quite rarely. Because the English weather was delivered to our doorstep. Quite quickly we forgot the rain – the extensive tours were too much fun. (Read: in May, we introduced you to five test cars – from Porsche convertibles to E-SUVs)

Jaguar F-Type Roadster P300

Facelift the Second. Seven years ago we were sitting in the then brand new F-Type, the Coupé with the gorgeous rear. The whole car one type. Crisp rear, long nose, between two seats plus roof, either made of steel or fabric. In 2013, the F-Type replaced the XK, the Jaguar that had maintained the classic Coupé and Roadster Tradition since the 1950s. Now the latest Generation.

What has changed? First of all the product range. The range has been tightened. Four or eight cylinders, three models, that must be enough. 300, 450 or 575 hp and the choice between coupe or Roadster. The Coupé P300 costs at least 64,200 euros, the P300 Roadster has a price tag that says: from 71,200 euros. At the top of the ladder, we read 125,600 euros for the F-Type R as a Coupé. The open variant with V8 is offered for a slim 132,100 euros.

We were allowed to test the P300 Roadster, the four-cylinder with turbocharging. A agile, fast guy with good manners, a decent Sound and that British spirit who keeps telling us that the island is still building cars with a good bit of fervour. (Read also: under the Hammer – that's how much the Jaguar from "James Bond 007: Spectre")

More than just a"he does it too" car

"Poore man's Aston" used to be mocked. A Jaguar as"he does it too" -car? That is long gone. At the latest with the F-Type, the question of which Briton to move was led ad absurdum. The concepts between Jaguar and, for example, Aston Martin are too different – the focus of the F-Type towards Purism is too clear. Even if F-Type and V8 Vantage are in the same weight class: the Jaguar carries the significantly lighter engine under the hood and you can feel that. It steers very easily, looks light-footed despite the heavy transmission and the low wheelbase of 2.6 meters sends the two-seater with the big cat in the Logo much rather into the very narrow streets with even tighter curves. That luxury on board does not play the main role, we owe this idea: although a Jaguar can also give the gentleman on wheels, feels much more comfortable with the gas foot as a clock for fun moments.

British GQ as they test drive some of the newest motors on the market
British GQ as they test drive some of the newest motors on the market

We were not able to perform the top Speed Test. The streets were too wet. We'll catch up on that. In short periods without rain it was then: roof down, windows too - and the Radio on loud. The north German landscape around Lüneburg passed us, Flower Festival in the head, Lust, mood, a little ignorance in the stomach. A few moments of happiness on wheels and in times of Corona the certainty that everything will hopefully get better soon. This is exactly why the Roadster from England has earned a small order. With 300 hp, the magic "roof-off button" and the beautiful nose in front of the window.

Mini Cooper S Cabriolet

We don't have to write much about the Mini brand. Over 60 years in business, extremely successful, clear in conception – and somehow Minis do not get older. The Cooper s with 192 hp, the lively four-cylinder and then the hood with partial opening sunroof function is the best friend for a quick, uncomplicated trip into the sun. At 24,000 euros, the trip starts in the summer. Our candidate is almost 6,000 euros more expensive-with everything on the list. At Mini, this is called personalization. This can cause the price of the little one to rise well over 40,000 euros. But then you are completely networked, standing on fine alloy wheels and the sporty seats are nobly upholstered.

Sun king, and curve favourite

The engine leaves nothing to be desired, unless you want to be the fastest. Then the athlete is ready among the Minis. Keyword: Cooper Works. The Cooper s easily achieves 230 km / h and takes around seven seconds from zero to one hundred. If you let it run smoothly, the Mini consumes just under seven liters. At our test drive it was 8.5 – already because we wanted to experience this karting feeling with a lot of momentum. The Mini is and remains a compact joy giver. Also because it has its wheels far outside at the corners, the steering always works a bit tighter and more direct and you want to greet every turn or bend with a grin.

In the interior, the developers and designers have further and further sharpened the character of the British. Everything fits together, the possibilities of individualization are almost limitless. The thick, round Monitor in the middle is the Information Center and the eye-catcher par excellence. And then there's the gearbox: hand switch and even more fun on curves, gradients and this British driving feeling. One should live in the mountains, then the genes of the Oxford-built four-seater are even more in their Element. He can also walk through the city in peace, but the real Mini-feeling is elicited from him in the curve wing. (Also interesting: the original Mini should resurrect as an electric car)

Aston Martin DB11 V8 Volante

As a Coupé you can buy the DB11 with V12 or V8 engine. The Volante is currently only with the V8 which is a shame, because the music of the V12 then. But still, The convertible is fascinated and supplies. The list of special equipment options is long and then there is Q, A department at Aston Martin that also makes the ordered car to measure, following the 007 Quartermaster. Fine Extras such as special lacquers, special leather or decorative seams made of gold – plated floss included-apart from rocket launchers or oil drain buttons perhaps. Only James Bond's company car has such Features. (Read also: from DB5 to DBS Superleggera-travelling in three 007 company cars)

The DB11 has almost 1,800 kilos on its ribs, ten kilometers downhill await us. 

The brakes and Pirelli's have to work diligently and reliably. And they do. A few trucks come towards us, the nose in the curves always half on our track. That is, the left foot always hovers over the brake pedal, both hands at the wheel, the eyes always in the driving direction and between the curves bring the V8 together with the two turbochargers a little on the trot. The chassis, supported by the Transaxle design-i.e. engine in front, gearbox in the rear – is taut but not angry. The car can be put clean and also very sporty in curves, unevenness is not ironed completely, but the pocket cloth in the Jacket remains where you had draped it. Even the sunglasses stay on your nose-unless you really step on the brake very courageously. Then physics takes care of the accessory.

Supercar with Bond genes

At the bottom there is time and peace for a look into the interior. We remember the Tour at the DBS and notice that the DB11 is a little quieter, more restrained. The bodywork also gives clear indications of the difference to other models from Aston Martin. Radiator mask and lighting units sit higher than the Vantage, whose whole Front wants to shake the Asphalt hand. It's about the Message: "I'm hungry, I'm very hungry."And we're not talking about a bag of crackers that this Briton wants to eat. The DB11, on the other hand, is the one in which you drive to the office in the morning without the board colleagues trying the stopwatch and recording times on a list.

It doesn't seem quite so snappy – but it can also be different. Smooth 300 km/h, we read on the data sheet. A beautiful, long stretch of Highway, three lanes and hardly any spectators. The gas foot moves, before into the third gear, full throttle, always up to about 5,500 revolutions. 200, 250, 290-the V8 is on the road in the pleasure center. The exhaust system developed by Aston itself plays the main acoustic role, the digital display migrates. 300, actually – and even 308. we notice that the DB11 is very clean and clear even at full load.

What we noticed: the sound from the tailpipes. Like the V8 Vantage, cultivated, coming from a good upbringing. It roars when you demand the engine, you almost want to give intermediate gas, as in old times, when synchronized transmissions were not yet invented. There is a little bit of the ' 50s in acoustics, even though we know that a sound engineer has been hired today. (Also interesting: everything about the Aston Martin DBX, the Bond SUV)

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