The motoring press don’t get to drive Jaguar’s new, all-aluminium 2-seater – called F-Type – until this April, but Motor-Vision very recently got to have a good look around this silver-grey production-ready prototype, an F-Type S with 380bhp, much like the car we’ll see in the Jaguar dealers in a couple of months. No driving, but the Jag guys did fire it up, and oh boy!
The new Jaguar F-Type, a 2-seater, convertible sportscar is said – by the Jaguar marketers – to represent a return to the company’s heartland, focusing on performance, agility and driver involvement. And they are more than happy for the press and public alike to make comparisons with their most famous coupe and convertible; the oh so slinky E-Type.
Well, I don’t know if the F-Type is the new E-Type, although taking theses pics at a Jaguar event just the other day, I have to say I was pretty taken by the F-Type, this first time I’d seen it in the metal. All-aluminium, that is.
This near-production-ready F-Type S – the mid range car with 380bhp from a 3-litre supercharged V6 motor, that sits between a 340bhp V6 and a 500bhp supercharged V8 – would likely thrash the 1960s pants off a poor old E-type, with 60mph come and gone in just 4.8 seconds and 171mph at the top. Even the entry-level F-Type (£58,500) would make a light breakfast of an E-Type with its all-modern 5.1 seconds-to-60 and 161mph top speed, while the big-boy F-Type V8 accelerates to 60mph in just 4.2 seconds and thumps on to 186mph.
It’s probable that the E-Type will always be the most beautiful Jaguar ever built – such is its curving and chrome elegance; the 1960s auto-personified – but with these power stats and having heard the F-Type roar, it’s deafeningly obvious that Jaguar is looking to the future and charging after the Porsche Boxster and Cayman; the new models of which are very good indeed.
The noise from those side-by-side fat ‘n’ wide F-Type exhaust pipes is all snap, crackle and pop. If you’ve heard the supercharged V8 motor in the current Jag XKR and XKR-S, you’ll have a good idea of the sonic assault that comes out of the back of the new F-Type. It’s very loud and seriously obnoxious – I even think it might be too loud for some people’s tastes – but I expect Jaguar will tone it down or up with an interior button to press.
I wasn’t allowed to drive the new F-Type, but I did sit inside it and lay my hands around the cabin. As good as a Boxster? Not sure, but let’s see the finished car. The chocolate brown leather in this F-Type felt soft and was nicely sculpted around the handsome seats, and the overall interior layout was pleasantly driver focused and cocooning for the chap with the wheel in his hand. But, some of the plastic left a little to be desired and some of the knobs and switches lacked the weight and accuracy of a Porsche. It’s small too, with my 6’ 4” frame feeling claustrophobically contained.
Below I’ve laid out my F-Type images, as well as a few images of the concept sketches so you can see if they’ve achieved their original vision. A striking, compact and lithe-looking new convertible from Jaguar then, and one that you’ll definitely hear coming. But, the Porsche Boxster is a pretty darn good A-road boxer, so the F-Type will need to be very quick on its toes to competently compete. We’ll see…
By Dan Anslow