The last time we saw this was in the form of the E-Type, and the last one ever made finished back in 1975. So, it was about time that Jaguar once again proved that it can make another great two seated sports car.
Well I am happy to say, that it has done just that, in the form of the new F Type. The new Jaguar F-Type Roadster is a two-seat sports car with staggering head turning looks and an upmarket, driver-focused cabin that oozes desirability and panache.
The F-Type looks every bit as exciting as I would expect a sports car to look in today’s world – it also benefits from modern looks, and it easily has one of the most beautifully detailed body lines that I have ever seen. You can forget your Porsche’s and your Ferrari’s, this new F Type makes them all look like the ugly duckling, and the F Type being the beautiful Swan.
I have to admit, that trying to live up to one of the most famous sports cars of all time in the E Type, is a difficult act to follow even for Jaguar, but they have done this with such brilliance and I think it’s bloody brilliant.
So, what’s it like to drive?
A joy to drive is what it is. The steering is taunt and accurate, and it makes you feel in control. The chassis is excellent and it’s very impressive in both the corners and the twisty stuff, while grip levels are high. The F-Type is also wonderfully agile and very engaging.
I put this down to the low vehicle weight (starting at 3,521 pounds), high power (340hp, 380hp and 495hp versions) and the superb aerodynamics that help to achieve a pure sports car experience.
Inside and out:
The F-TYPE is equipped with a modern, lightweight soft top that, when lowered, serves as its own tonneau cover. This not only provides considerable weight savings per say – but also contributes to the car’s low center of gravity. The top can also be fully raised or lowered in just 12 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph.
I also like the hidden, automatically deploying door handles that remain flush with the door panel until activated by either unlocking the car with the key fob or touching a touch-sensitive area of the handle.
The F Type has full LED rear lamps that give it its own signature by reinterpreting classic cues from the past – and moving it into the future. By just looking at the back of this car, you will instantly know it’s the F Type.
Jaguar has even managed to give a different exhaust tone and tailpipe designs so you can distinguish the difference between the V6 and V8 variants of the F-TYPE. The V6 models feature twin center outlets in a nod to the classic Jaguar E-TYPE introduced in 1961. The V8 S model exclusively features four outboard-mounted exhaust outlets, with twin outlets on each side.
Further detail differentiation between the three variants is found in the exterior trim. The F-TYPE V6 model is marked by satin black trim elements in the grilles, vents, front splitter and rear valance, while the two ‘S’ models receive gloss-black finishes in these areas. The V6 model features standard 18-inch alloy wheels, with 19-inch and 20-inch wheels standard for the S and V8 S, respectively, and available as options for the V6. The V8 S also receives additional aerodynamic features, including front vanes beneath the shark gills and flat side sill extensions to manage airflow
The F-TYPE showcases the new supercharged Jaguar engines, a 3-liter supercharged V6 with 340hp and 380hp, and the 5-liter supercharged V8 in the F-TYPE V8 S with 495hp and 460 ft-lbs of torque. They are all are equipped with Intelligent Stop/Start system to enhance fuel economy – but I can’t see why Jaguar has done this – because you will buy the F Type because it’s a car for the real driver, not because it can save you a few pence at the pump.
The 340hp version of the supercharged V6, which debuted in the 2013 XJ and XF sedans, produces 332 ft-lbs of torque at 3,500-5,500 rpm. The 380hp version, exclusive to the F-TYPE, produces 339 ft-lbs of torque at 3,500-5,500 rpm. The V8 produces an even broader torque curve, with 460 ft-lbs produced over the 2,500-5,500 rpm range.
The 340hp V6 model can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in 5.1 seconds (0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds). The 380hp S model lowers that to 4.8 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds), and the V8 S can hit 60 mph from rest in just 4.2 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds). Electronically limited maximum speeds are 161 mph (260 km/h), 171 mph (275 km/h) and 186 mph (300 km/h), respectively, for the V6, V6 S and V8 S models.
On the inside:
The F-TYPE’s cabin layout is just like all Jaguars’ – perfect!!! Jaguar has always focused on the driver, and what they have done on the inside of the F Type is nothing short of epic. For instance, a grab handle that sweeps down the center console on the passenger side – delineating it from the driver’s position and wrapping around the center console is such a brilliant bit of interior design. There are also different finishes in the driver and passenger areas, including a different grain on top of the instrument panel and center console than that found on the passenger side.
In the S and V8 S models, the main control interfaces – the Engine Start button, steering wheel mounted gearshift paddles and Dynamic Mode toggle – are highlighted in an “Ignis” orange finish, similar to that used on the markings on professional divers’ watches. The controls also seem to be grouped by function, which enables you the driver to interact with them without diverting their eyes from the road.
Rotary dials also control the heating and air conditioning for each side of the car. A display screen within the two dials indicates temperature and mode. The controls are dual-purpose: in cars fitted with heated seats – pushing the left or right hand dial controls temperature for that seat. A row of toggle switches below the dials control additional climate functions.
The seats inside the F Type feature power recline and height adjustment with manual control of fore/aft movement, and performance seats can be ordered with additional side bolstering for greater support during high-force cornering. Both seat types can also be optioned with full power adjustment.
The F-TYPE is available with two audio systems from premium British audio experts Meridian™. These offer either 10 or 12 speakers with outputs of 380 watts and 770 watts, respectively. The Meridian™ systems benefit from the company’s experience in digital signal processing to create life-like audio reproduction. The top of the range offering also features the Meridian™ Trifield System, which places both occupants at the center of their own perfectly focused surround sound field.
To sum up:
Brilliant, epic – but really it’s just plain brilliant! By Anthony Yates