On the twelfth day of Christmas!

Christmas is just around the corner, I can almost taste the cookies and turkey with stuffing! This is my favourite time of year as family comes close together and hopefully the snow is piling up outside.

I know it may sound like an oxymoron, but there are few things I enjoy more than fresh snow on the road and the challenge of driving a rear-wheel drive car when all you see is white powder. It brings back so many good memories. You see, I grew up in an era when the back wheels provided traction and there was absolutely no thought to putting snow tires on your vehicle for the winter. Let me say, the Blizzard of 1978 and 1979 were just as much fun for me driving in the city as the snowmobiles passing by in the neighbourhood.

In this era of continuous traction and rubber for every imaginable scenario, its fun to take a step back every now and then and drive a rear-wheel drive car. With this in mind, my favourite drive of the past year was the 2017 Jaguar F-TYPE S Convertible.

With cat-like good looks and feline grip, the F-TYPE S is a throwback to a simpler time of manual shift gearboxes and rear-wheel drive dynamics. How well it would do in the snow, I can’t say as the weather during my test drive was sunny and warm. But I will say it did provide enough smiles and thrills that I can’t help but wonder what it might be like to drive this convertible sport coupe in the winter.

A 3.0-litre supercharged V6 engine with 380 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque enables the F-TYPE S to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 5.5 seconds. Top speed is listed at 275 km/h. Compared to the eight-speed QuickShift automatic, the manual shift F-TYPE S is 0.6 seconds slower. But I don’t care. Moving through the gears using my right hand and left foot is still a joy even though the automotive world seems to have passed it by.

Truth be told, if Santa were to bring me the vehicle of my dreams, it would most likely not be a manual transmission car, but rather an automatic sports car with all the bells and whistles. But, when the occasion arises to shift and drive with the tail a little loose, it is still one of the best ways to hit the open road!

We hope you have enjoyed our second annual “The 12 Rides of Christmas!” It’s been a fun year at vicariousmag.com and we have big plans to make 2018 even more spectacular. Stay tuned, January is just around the corner and it promises a few surprises. For now, enjoy the holidays, have a Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous Happy New Year!

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