Get ready to welcome back the days of the iconic E-Type from Jaguar, with its launch of its amazing F-type. It is refreshing to see the brand come up with an innovative car after years without a high-performance roadster or coupe.

What has managed to captivate our attention?

The concept of turbocharging has definitely piqued our interest. Porsche’s decision to move the 718 generation of the Boxster and Cayman from a zinging flat-six to a turbocharged flat-four could be justified by the brand’s long association with smaller engines, from the four-cylinder 356 onward. But Jaguar has no such reasons or excuses for the shrink ray it has applied to the F-type’s powerplant, with the new 2.0-liter base model being the first time this brand has produced a sports car with less than six cylinders.


The newly developed Ingenium turbocharged gasoline inline-four engine is sparking a lot of attention and we will soon get to witness what it does to the F-Type. The peak

296 horsepower is slightly more than the Jaguar XJ-S made from a 5.3-liter V-12 in the early 1990s. Visually, the four-cylinder model is distinguished from other F-types by being limited to a single central exhaust pipe in the middle of the rear bumper.

How is the driving?

When it comes to handling, the car was taken over some roads in North Wales – the reason for choosing this place is because Jaguar’s engineering team made extensive use of them during its development. The performance of the powerplant might not seem like what you would expect in a natural sports car – it produces a low-down grunt than high-revving excitement, but driving is quite smooth.


With the gearbox in manual mode and the car in its more aggressive Dynamic setting, it is not hard to find the engine’s rev limiter—at 6750 rpm in first and second gears and 6500 rpm in higher ratios. Left to its own devices, though, the transmission always shifts far closer to 5500 rpm where the engine’s output peaks, but these gear changes are both prompt and even.

Lighter than before!

The beneficial features include the mass reduction over the nose – it gives the 2.0-liter car a more agile feel that many of its predecessors, especially when it comes to turning in to slower corners, yet this Jag stays just as planted as any F-type in faster turns. Ultimate adhesion will no doubt measure lower on our skidpad, thanks to narrower tires and fractionally softer springs, but the four-cylinder car feels more exploitable.

What are the different versions available?

As mentioned above, the F-Type is a much-awaited successor to the classic E-Type – to put it in a nutshell; it is a great car that is a perfect combination of refined performance and beautiful styling. However, the launch of the new F-Type is a testament to the fact that it is has given Jaguar a highly credible rival for a range of sporting models from the Audi TT at one end to the Ferrari California T at the other. In-between, the broad range of engine and trim options means Jaguar has an F-Type to compete with rivals as diverse as the Porsche Boxster and Cayman, Mercedes SL and Porsche 911, the McLaren 540 and 570 Sports Series, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and the Maserati GranTurismo/GranCabrio.


It has Type Roadster and F-Type Coupe versions of its current sports car. It is actually a long-nosed, front-engined/rear-drive two-seater with luxurious styling that mixes retro and modern design cues to great effect. If you want one of the more powerful V8 options, you can upgrade that classic format with a four-wheel drive system. The F-Type Coupe and Roadster both share classic Jaguar design cues, with a svelte, powerful stance and a wide track that accentuate the performance. The tail-lights are obviously a nod to the classic E-Type, while the LED headlamps and front-end styling have informed newer Jaguar designs like the F-Pace and XE models.


The F-Type Convertible comes with a fabric roof that opens fully automatically. The top includes a special Thinsulate layer to make it waterproof, but it also improves sound deadening – so much so that the Convertible is nearly as quiet as the Coupe when the roof up. No matter what version of the F-Type you choose, you will be rewarded with a superb driving experience, even if the handling tends to get slightly rough at times. As it was developed as a Convertible from the outset, there is very little twisting or vibration through the bodyshell, and body control in corners is excellent.

How much will it cost you?

Maintenance costs are pricey, but not out of the ordinary when compared to the F-Type’s rivals. You can get a three-year service plan for around £1,000 or a five-year scheme for around £1,500. Insurance premiums for the F-Type are going to hit you hard in the pocket whichever way you look at it, so the question is how they compare to rivals. Jaguar cars traditionally suffer from heavy depreciation, but experts estimate that the F-Type will buck this trend. Consistently strong demand means predicted residual values stand at over 50 per cent after three years.

What is the verdict?

The overall effect is still not quite as poised as a Porsche Boxster, but the F-Type is an amazing car to drive nonetheless. It differs by blending marvelous engaging performance with the sort of supple ride that makes cruising, a cinch. German rivals tend to adopt a more firmly sprung approach, which sometimes jars on Britain’s mixed bag of tarmac surfaces.

Now with the all-wheel-drive SVR model, the Jaguar F-Type has carved a niche for itself in a premium two-door sports car segment. The F-Type range is priced to take sales from the Porsche Boxster S and 911. That means higher-spec F-Types provide more value for money, although you wouldn’t be making a mistake if you picked the entry-level F-Type over a Boxster. Study its features, weight the pros & cons, and then make up your mind!

Categories: Car

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