Full story to come later, but I just want to talk steering for a minute. The F-type, hydraulically assisted, steers well. I’ve grown to like its moves over the 15,000 miles I’ve driven this car, a lot of which have been along motorways. It’s not a system that’s loaded with feel, but there’s hardly any stiction, it moves easily and consistently, in slick, almost oily fashion.
But this morning I drove the Targa on a clear stretch of M40 and the difference between it and the Jaguar was extraordinary. The 911 feels nailed to straight ahead. I know from driving the 911 on twistier roads that, in general, I find its electrically assisted setup less fluid, incisive and satisfying than the F-type’s. But on a motorway it’s immense; requiring no thought, and no conscious correction, which makes it tremendously relaxing.
However else the 911 and Jaguar compare (the ride is comparable; the 911 has more tyre roar), the Targa’s intense straight-line stability makes it the less tiresome long-distance cruiser.
Both have variable-ratio steering racks, which are designed to be slower around the straight ahead than when you’ve plenty of lock engaged, for the precise reason that it makes the car feel more stable at high speeds. So why are they so different? Geography, I think.