If you think of Jaguar as just a stodgy luxury brand, the 2014 Jaguar F-Type will make you think again. Jaguar's scene-stealing new roadster is a serious sports car, with its sights set squarely on performance icons such as the Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche 911. Those are tough targets, but one drive in the F-Type and you might be thinking "bull's-eye." We've got five reasons why the F-Type lives up to the hype.

Luscious Looks

For some, the F-Type's gorgeous styling alone will seal the deal. Featuring classic roadster proportions, an aggressive grille and one of the sexiest rear ends on four wheels, the F-Type turns heads wherever it goes. Everyone's seen plenty of Corvettes and 911s, but this Jag is something different altogether. If you're looking to stand out from the crowd, the F-Type is in a class of one.

Serious Supercharged Power

Whether you choose the V6 or the V8, the F-Type can blur the landscape with the best of them. It's strange to call the V6 an entry-level engine, since it's supercharged and makes up to 380 horsepower -- that's more than the base 911 Carrera can manage. But the real beast is the optional supercharged V8, which pumps out 495 hp and sounds fantastic doing it. When you pull out to pass and that V8 hits its stride, the F-Type is one of the most thrilling cars on the road.

High-end Appointments

The term "sports car" used to be synonymous with a bare-bones interior, but hey, this is a Jag. There's going to be a lot of luxury inside. There's fancy contrasting stitching on the seats and panels, and seemingly every surface you touch has an expensive feel to it. The F-Type also has power-rotating center vents that are among the coolest in the business.

Versatile Convertible Top

Unlike some other high-buck drop-tops, the F-Type employs a traditional fabric roof, and we like it. For one thing, it saves weight, which helps the F-Type go faster. But it still keeps the cabin pretty quiet at speed, so you're not giving up much refinement, if any. And thanks to the roof's relative simplicity, you can retract it in just 12 seconds at speeds up to 30 miles per hour.

Sticks Like Glue

That's all well and good, you're saying, but does the F-Type really handle like a sports car? Trust us: It does. The F-Type stays remarkably flat through fast corners, and all of its responses are cat-quick. The platform is so rigid that you can barely feel a quiver on rough roads. Forget about the fat-cat XK convertible and other luxury-oriented older Jaguars. The F-Type is the real deal if you love to drive.

AutoTrader's Advice

The 2014 Jaguar F-Type is a sports car through and through, and it's a blast. You'll never tire of hearing that supercharged V8 sing its song.

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Josh Sadlier is an automotive journalist based in Los Angeles and has contributed to such publications as Edmunds.com and DriverSide.com. He holds arguably the most unexpected degree in his profession: a master's in Theological Studies.

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