We review the new F-Type Jaguar, a car 40 years in the making
The F-Type is the most important car Jaguar has built for nearly half a century. It’s the car that will define Jaguar for years to come. The stylish new roadster is the alphabetic successor to the iconic E-Type – the car once described by Enzo Ferrari as the “most beautiful ever made”.
But this next installment has taken decades to arrive. Production of the E ended 39 years ago, and so followed four decades of feverish speculation about the due date for the F-type among car enthusiasts the world over.
So having kept us waiting impatiently all this time, what have Jaguar delivered..? If you were hoping for little more than an updated version of the E-Type then you’ll be disappointed. This is something quite different from its predecessor, a thing of great beauty in fact.
No doubt about it the Jaguar F-Type is stunning, no matter what angle you look from. It has already won multiple awards for its design and the thanks for that go straight to the man behind it all, Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Director of Design.
It’s men like Ian Callum and Marek Reichman (from Aston Martin) that have kept the British ahead in the style stakes whilst the Germans have been bogged-down with mere details such as technology and efficiency.
Not that the Jaguar F-Type is all style and no substance, it has a lot more to offer than just good looks. It’s the first two-seater sports car Jaguar has built since the E-Type and while other brands have failed to reinvent an icon, the F-Type is everything you would hope for from the legendary British manufacturer.
For a start it comes with a choice of three engines – a pair of 3-litre V6s with 340 or 380bhp and a 5-litre V8 “big daddy” with 495bhp. All are supercharged.
OK, all you sports car purists will balk at it not being a manual gear change – the F-Type only comes as an automatic – but fear not; there’s plenty to enjoy from the car’s “Quickshift” eight-speed which allows you to ease up and down the gears with your fingers on the steering-wheel paddles.
The F-Type is intoxicating from the off, with gimmicks and surprises to delight gadget lovers, you feel like “Q” has just given you the car and your name is now ‘Bond’. From a distance, press “open” on the fob and the door handles appear from where they’ve been hiding, tucked into the flanks.
Inside the car you’re greeted by a copper-coloured button saying: “Start me.” Press it and marvel as you hear the brawn erupt from within! The thrill at the power you now have in harness is something to behold. I also love the way the air vents rise up out of the dashboard when you start the ignition, giving the impression the car is coming alive.
The F-Type’s interior is a work of art, all leathery and roomy. The E-Type was a very English affair, this on the other hand is something for the whole world to celebrate.
It’s not perfect; downsides include its exhaustive options list, cumbersome transmission and ride quality over poorly surfaced roads. But overall the Jaguar F-Type is the sort of car you’d buy just for its looks alone, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Unlike its German rivals it will turn heads wherever it goes.
In short it is a brilliant blend of style and sophistication with a gorgeous interior and modern engine to boot.
Tested: 3.0 Litre V6 340 Supercharged, 1,984cc turbocharged petrol engine, eight-speed automatic
Price/on sale: £58,520 on the road
Maximim Torque EEC-Nm: 450
Top speed: 161mph
Acceleration: 0-60mph in 5.1sec
Fuel economy: 22.4mpg/31.4mpg (EU Urban/Combined)
CO2 emissions: 209g/km
Our Verdict: It has taken its time to get here, but if you were waiting for a powerful, elegant piece of modern driving excellence then you’ll be doing cartwheels at the prospect of getting behind this wheel of this refined piece of machinery.