This is undeniably one of the most amazing Jaguars to come out of Jaguar’s doors since the iconic E-Type ended production in 1974. It doesn’t have the sweeping, bullet-like lines of the E-Type (Enzo Ferrari once called it the most beautiful car in the world!), but it does bring memories (fond, and not-so-fond) to owners and E-Type lovers. Jaguar head of design, Sir Ian Callum said that the F-Type cannot top the E-Type. It’s not nearly as iconic, beautiful, and it’s brand-new. Basically, he tells Jaguar faithful to suck it up and get over it. Plus, 40 years separate the Jaguar E-Type from the F-Type. Yes, there were two stillborn attempts at an F-Type before. They failed. Is it possible that there will never be a successor to the E-Type? Not now, at least. The driving force behind the F-Type was Ratan Tata (the owner of Jaguar), founder, CEO, and owner of Tata Motorcars. He owns an E-Type, and was insisting that a replacement be built. Jaguar obliged. Probably because they didn’t want to have to rebuild his E-Type every year or so (E-Types are notorious for being lemons).
The Jaguar F-Type is shorter and chunkier than other Jaguars. Take an XK, shorten it by about a foot or so, and you’ve got a vague idea of the F-Type. It’s about as wide as a Camaro ZL1 (greater width gives better weight distribution, balance, and room), but just over a foot shorter. It’s low. Like XKR-S GT low. That’s about 1.55 inches off the ground in certain models! There are hints of the E-Type all over. The rear bumper? It kinda disappears, letting you oggle the twin center tailpipes (like an E-Type), the taillights are thin, wrap-around style, with big circles in them for the brake lights (again, E-Type).
Remember those twin tailpipes? They are for V6 models only. Yep, a V6 Jag. Who’d think? The smart Jaguar engineers who gave a 3.0 liter-V6 340 horsepower! They built a 3.0 liter V6 from scratch, gave it almost 250 horsepower, and slapped a supercharger on it. The F-Type S version of the V6 gets an even more ridiculous 380 horsepower. While that’s not as scary as the Nissan GT-R’s 545, it’s plenty to move this Brit along in a hurry. For those wishing for a V8 can get one. The V8 is the standard-issue Jaguar/Land Rover supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that has been detuned to a still-ridiculous 495 horsepower.
All F-Types send their power to the rear wheels via an 8-speed Quickshift transmission (that’s what it’s been named by Jaguar…Don’t ask!). It’s quick, and it has no trouble in manual mode! Yay for hoonage!
Like all new cars sold in the West, there are so many features on the F-Type that I could fall asleep just listing half of them! There’s a few that are noteworthy: The hood is enormous, tilts forward, piece of aluminum that encases the engine. With the hood open, there isn’t that much to look at. There’s simply a massive engine cover made out of plastic. Lovely.
Jaguar says that when there are two passengers in the car, the weight distribution is 50-50. Unloaded, it’s 52-48. Impressive for something that weighs 3500 pounds.
In my opinion, there isn’t anything to criticize except the tiny trunk. 7.1 cubic inches is what one typically would find on a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. If you want a $70,000 two-seat convertible, the Jaguar F-Type might just be the ticket.
Despite it’s rather modest specs, the Jaguar F-Type is NOT a car you want to race your Mustang against on a winding canyon road. The F-Type will leave you so far behind in the dust that it’s almost funny. It’s fast – 5.1 seconds to 60, according to Jaguar, but it corners like a Formula 1 car. It flings itself into a corner with so much gusto that you’ll be gripping the steering wheel! With the top down, you’ll likely be grinning like a madman. Why? The exhaust pops, cracks, growls, snaps, and burbles so much when you downshift it might scare pedestrians…
As good a car as the $70,000 ‘base’ F-Type is, the $81,000 V6-powered monster is the way to go. It gives you 40 extra horsepower that aren’t really needed, 19-inch wheels, big brakes, and a plethora of items one might expect to find on car three times as expensive. Plus, it will reach 60 in a scant 4.8 seconds. And, Jaguar says that the transmission is still being worked on for improved shift times, and better launches. All the better for the inner hooligan in all of us.
When you sit in the $92,000 V8-powered F-Type V-8 S you will immediately know that this trim level is a wholly different car. When you dump 110 horsepower onto a relatively short chassis, you’ve got a handful. This car erupts from a stop so violently that you’ll think that 4.2 seconds must be incorrect. I know this may be a bad analogy, but it explains the different versions. The ‘base’ F-Type is like driving a Ford Mustang GT Premium. The S version is like driving the Ford Mustang Boss 302. The V-8 S is like a combination between the Mustang Boss 302 version and the GT500 version. It’s a well-handling hot rod. Flooring the throttle will result in quite possibly the loudest blast of noise that you’ll ever hear from a British car. It bellows, roars, screams, rumbles, cracks, and hums – all at the same time. Then, you’ll be thrown back into your seat, the tires will squeal, and you’ll lay tire tracks for hundreds of feet.
This is it. It’s not what E-Type lovers wanted, but it’s so much better than the styling. It’s quite possibly one of the best British cars of the 21st Century. How about so far? I’ll let you decide…