Two seats, aluminium body and an exuberant V8 Turbo for a truly exclusive British icon, which still manages to be affordable in its four cylinder entry level.
Rightly considered the heir of the legendary E-Type, the 2019 version of Jaguar’s F-Type changed in just a few yet significant features compared to its debut six years ago and the even more recent restyling, without showing the slightest sign of aging. No surprise, really, as we are looking at a true sports coupe, internationally acclaimed right from when it was first unveiled during the Paris Motor show back in 2012, equally at ease in daily home-office routes as well as exciting race-track performances in its most extreme versions.
Glamour, comfort and adrenalin rush, this is what the F-Type promises and this is exactly what you get. Enhanced by a sleek curvy design, the essence of a true Jaguar, all the finishes are worthy of the brand they represent. Two comfortable seats have been entrusted with embracing its occupants regardless of the configuration, coupe or spider, or power, between 300 and 575 hp, enough to drive the F-Type right into the restricted and exclusive 300km/h club.
Little difference between the two versions, coupe and convertible, if not a passing sensation of maximum protection or maximum freedom, besides additional space for a suitcase when the compartment dedicated to the retractable hardtop is missing. Few, though significant, changes in the design, preserved the F-Type’s characteristic flair with its body made entirely of aluminium, updated only in the front bumper area and in a few other details such as the shape of the air intakes on the sides which vary with different power units. When darkness falls, its LED headlights featuring LED 'J' blade Daytime Running Lights guarantee the best possible illumination whatever your surroundings, adapting the width and depth of their beam to the vehicle’s speed and offer a quality of light closer to daylight, managed through the four Adaptive Front Lighting modes: City, Country, Motorway and Bad Weather.
Attention to detail and an abundance of quality materials, including striking aluminium inserts, leather and carbon fibre, the interior offers every possible assistance and entertainment, largely controlled and managed by the Touch Pro electronic unit through its 10-inch central display. Customizable graphics as well as intuitive controls simplify procedures and by acting on the touch screen with two fingers, just as we would with an ordinary tablet, maps can be enlarged and weather and traffic indications are easily found, not to mention filling stations with the best prices ... for a little saving, considering the cost of the car.
The two Sport and Performance seats feature an ergonomic design which provides increased lateral support during dynamic driving and a cooling option, in the most exclusive versions such as R and SVR, for greater comfort. The new lighter magnesium construction of the seats saves over 8kg compared to earlier models despite offering the same degree of comfort.
A few metres before reaching the destination, the Arrival Mode kicks into action and the monitor displays a 360 ° interactive view of the parking place to avoid scratching the bumpers; additionally the Park Assist system will come to the driver’s aid easing the 4.48 metre long F-Type in the first available space.
A Jaguar under the bonnet
Perhaps not the first option, but the four cylinder in line two-litre entry level displays all the sophisticated technology expected in a sports coupe in true British style. If, on the one hand, the engine size is commonly found in most family sedans, the power output simply isn’t! Under the bonnet the most powerful four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine ever made by Jaguar lies in wait, ready to unleash its 300 hp, or 150 hp per litre, enough to enhance the British coupe’s performances with a more than respectable 250 km/h top speed and 0-100 acceleration in just 5,7 seconds. Traditionalists might sniff at the choice, but Jaguar’s idea is to fulfil the desire of many upper middle-class customers of owning a dream car at just 60,000 euro, almost a third of an SVR, for which 150,000 euro are needed.
The wide range of 28 different versions, among convertibles and coupes, offers the perfect compromise; a 3 litre V6 turbo. A double configuration, with 340 or 380 hp of power, capable of raising the top speed to 260 km/h and 275 km/h respectively, reducing acceleration time from 0-100 km/h to 5.3 and 4,9 seconds depending on the option. Not quite as exciting, though, if an 8-speed Quick-shift automatic transmission is used in place of more traditional manual six-speed. Finally, for those hard to please, Jaguar thought of a 5-litre turbocharged V8, which comes with an automatic transmission only but can boast an AWD system, vital in controlling the 550 hp, able to push the F-Type to 300 km/h, with just 4 seconds needed to go from 0-100. Still not enough? Well, then, surely the 575 hp of the F-Type SVR will put butterflies in your stomach with a top speed of 322 km/h, reduced to 314 km/h on the Convertible version, and just 3.7 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h.
Four finely tuned double-wishbone suspensions, able to deliver precise control without neglecting the necessary comfort, are aided by wheels with different size tires between axles, with 18, 19 and even 20 inch wheels dedicated to the most powerful versions. Handling the 300 rampant horses produced by Jaguar’s four cylinder Ingenium, not to mention the 575 of the V8 SVR, requires a rather generous footprint, guaranteed in this case by a set of ultra-low-profile UHP tires ranging in size between 245/45 R18 to 265/35 R20 at the front and 274/40 R18 to 305/30 R20 at the rear. Mentioning the countless electronic safety devices, assisted by sensors and cameras, may even seem excessive, but these ensure a total control of the car: thanks to Autonomous Emergency Braking, Auto High Beam Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Adaptive Speed Limiter and Driver Condition Monitor - to mention just a few - there is no danger of accidentally crossing into the opposite lane, exceeding the speed limits allowed, missing road signs or suffering from fatigue at the wheel, able as they are to step in at the right time and stop the “roaring” Jaguar in case of emergency.