Jaguar have really taken the saying, “All good things come to those who wait” a little bit too far. After years and years of waiting we finally get a look at a new F-Type Jaguar.
Will it live up to our expectations? Is it an E-Type for the 21st Century?
Rumours of a brand new E-Type for a new generation first surfaced in the 80’s and various concept cars have periodically surfaced ever since, such as the 2001 F-Type concept seen below.
As none of these had turned from inked drawings into real cars made from metal and chrome, with the iconic lines of the original car, I had just about given up hope. Ten years after I had seen the F-Type concept drawings, and even as the wonderful C-X16 concept popped up on my motoring radar, I took it with a large pinch of salt and figured that it was yet another tease from Jaguar that would probably never be realised. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much.
It would now seem certain that the successor to the car that Enzo Ferrari considered to be the most beautiful ever made is finally teetering on the verge of production. It is probably because of the success and high regard of the stylish original 1960’s car that Jaguar have been a little nervy of putting out the name ‘F-Type’. Let’s face it, it’s a tough act to follow – even 50 years later. The E-Type changed sports car design and the worlds attitude to motoring forever; the big question is, will the F-Type?
Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar Global Brand Director, stated that it’s “a market segment that we have been absent from for too long.” And that, “the core appeal of Jaguar’s cars is their sporting heart and that heart will beat stronger than ever before in the F-Type.” We at Motor Vision really hope that is true.
The F-Type’s development schedule has just moved onto the road testing phase so residents around Castle Bromwich will be in for a bit of a treat getting to feast their eyes on the camouflaged prototypes whizzing around the town. This is all that separates the F-Type from becoming a real car that you can go to a showroom with all your hard-earned money and buy.
So what do we know for sure about the new F-Type I hear you ask? Well, the answer is very little really. To fit in with the proposed June 2013 launch, the F-Type will first be released as a convertible rather than the coupe version suggested by the C-X16 concept. It’s difficult to see whether or not the wonderful sloping rear end of the C-X16 will make it to the production coupe. There won’t be a hard top convertible version available as the cloth roof saves both weight and space. If you want metal above your head you’re going to have to wait for the coupe.
It will be built using the same aluminium techniques as with the XJ and XK models and be manufactured at the Castle Bromwich factory alongside those cars. Only two-seater versions will be built and in terms of size it would fit between the Porsche Boxter S and a 911 Cabriolet with a price point expected to reflect that at around £55,000.
The engine range is not yet confirmed but the hybrid drivetrain featured on the recent concept is not expected to be an initial option but a more traditional, normally aspirated, 3 litre V6 petrol engine will be offered with a 400bhp supercharged ‘R’ version created to tackle the Carrera S. Jaguar’s vehicle range is currently stacked full of automatic versions but fortunately something “more than a traditional auto gearbox” is promised on the F-Type, although as yet they’re not sharing what that will be.
We are likely to get full details at the Paris Motor Show in September where the production car should finally be released to an eagerly awaiting public. Which includes me. And everyone else in this office. And my Dad.