Jaguar F-Type – Pretty Sport Car
Introduced in 2013 as a 2014 model, the F-type is arguably Jaguar’s first real sports car—as distinct from a grand tourer—since the E-type seduced attendees at the Geneva motor show in 1961. Offered in hatchback coupe and convertible editions, the F-type boasts exceptional rigidity with an aluminum-intensive chassis, an accomplishment by the engineering and development team that necessitates little compensatory bracing for the open-top version. The designers created a head-turning exterior that makes the Jaguar F-type a contender for best-looking ride in a class populated with several beauty queens. Propulsion comes from one of two supercharged engines, a 3.0-liter V-6 and a 5.0-liter V-8. Both the six and the eight are offered in two states of tune, with outputs ranging from 340 to 575 horsepower. A six-speed manual is available with the V-6, and a rapid-shifting eight-speed automatic is optional with the V-6, standard with the V-8. All-wheel drive is available on higher V-6 trim levels and standard with the V-8. The combination of high chassis rigidity, firm suspension tuning, and exemplary powertrains position this hottest of Jaguars on a par with the best in a distinguished class. Add competitive pricing, and the Jaguar F-type makes a compelling case as a world-class sports car with a British accent.
Jaguar F-Type Video:
What’s New: Expanding the Jaguar F-type lineup at both ends for 2017, Jaguar enhances affordability at the entry level with a $3200 lower price on the base F-type, which costs $62,395; the new Premium trim level adds $5400 and some features that were stripped out of the base car during the pricing discount. Bigger news, however, is the new F-type SVR, which raises output of the F-type R’s 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 to 575 horsepower, the price to $126,945, and top-speed potential to 200 mph, making this the hottest street Jaguar ever. Jaguar has also managed to expand luggage space slightly in F-type convertibles to just over seven cubic feet from, uh, just under seven cubic feet.
What We Like: Coupe or convertible, the F-type is a piece of extraordinarily beautiful kinetic art. All models share the aforementioned rigidity, and their agility rivals the best in this class. The steering is quick and communicative, the grip is tenacious, and braking performance is outstanding. Power ranges from respectable to potent depending on how much you spend. Acceleration numbers are best with the paddle-shifted eight-speed automatic, but the six-speed manual is exceptionally slick. Interior noise levels are surprisingly subdued—until the driver summons full power, whereupon the exhaust note becomes loudly musical and addictive.
What We Don’t Like: The price for flat cornering attitudes and eager transient response is a stiff ride with head toss on lumpy pavement. The coupe’s backlight looks vast outside, but the driver’s rear view in reality seems like a narrow slot that shrinks by about 50 percent when the rear spoiler deploys to show the driver the classic Jaguar leaper backward and upside down. Curb weights tend toward pudgy for an aluminum-intensive car. Also, Jaguar seems to have gotten carried away with exterior identification. There are 10 badges and logos stuck on the outer regions—one on each wheel center, one on each front fender, one on each door handle, one on the rear deck, and one mid-grille.