Jaguar’s flagship F-Type two-seater sports car has been given a mid-life revamp and facelift in a bid to boost sales.
Prices of some of the most expensive models have also been trimmed – and equipment enhanced – to entice more buyers of the fast feline with a top speed of up to 186mph.
The big question is, are the surgically-enhanced features and the skinnier price tag enough to turn the heads of customers heading to Porsche dealerships to buy a Cayman?
New cat in town: This is the revised Jaguar F-Type, featuring fresh new looks
Priced from £54,060 to £102,370, the revised F-Type marks the first revamp of the leaping car sports-car by Jaguar’s new design director Julian Thomson.
He took over this year from long-standing predecessor Ian Callum who brought Jaguar styling into the 21st century, including launching the F-Type in 2012.
It became an instant hit, even landing the World Car Design of the Year award the year after it hit the market.
But this refreshed version comes at a time when sports cars sales are struggling in the face of the growing trend for larger sports utility vehicles. That means the sleek Jag has to have some serious stats.
Even the standard entry-level F-Type, priced from £54,060, in coupe and convertible form is no slouch.
Powered by a 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder petrol engine, it develops 300 horsepower, accelerates from rest to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and will keep going until it hits 155mph.
The design hasn’t changed all that much at the rear – not that it needed to, given how good it already looked
Jaguar hopes this facelift will help attract customers who might be tempted by the latest Porsches
The slimline LED headlights and redesigned clamshell bonnet stand out as the biggest changes
You don’t have to pay too much of a price for all that performance; the average fuel consumption is claimed to be 34.9mpg and CO2 emissions are 184g/km.
At the pinnacle is the upgraded all-wheel drive F-Type R which replaces the previous and more expensive SVR derivative and priced from £97,280 costs £16,000 less.
It is propelled by a mighty 575 horsepower – 25hp more than the pre-facelift example – 5.0-litre V8 that accelerates from rest to 60mph in just 3.5 seconds.
All engines feature ‘active exhaust systems’ as an option or as standard. Jaguar said: ‘Pressing the start button brings the car to life with its hallmark exhaust flare as purposeful as ever.’
Even the standard entry-level F-Type, priced from £54,060, in coupe and convertible form is no slouch, though there are hotter versions like this F-Type R
The R is now the top of the range example, featuring a 575hp 5.0-litre V8 motor
The interior features a new infotainment system and a choice of sumptuous materials
It added: ‘Customers who choose the 450PS or 575PS supercharged V8s benefit from the new Quiet Start function, which ensures a more subtle, refined sound – the electrically-actuated bypass valves in the rear silencer remain closed until they automatically open up under load.
‘If desired, Quiet Start can be over-ridden by selecting Dynamic Mode or by pressing the switchable exhaust button before starting the engine.’
But Jaguar insists: ‘The distinctive crackle and pop remains.’
All models have a recalibrated 8-speed automatic Quickshift gearbox with faster gear changes using lessons learned from the limited-edition 200mph Jaguar XE SV Project 8. Drivers can also switch to full manual control using either the SportShift gear selector or the steering wheel-mounted paddles.
Coupe and Convertible versions will be available, with the latter coming at a premium
Jaguar’s new design director Julian Thomson posing with the revised F-Type
Would you choose one over a Porsche Cayman? We think the Jaguar has a little extra drama
Jaguar F-Type: Will it fit in my garage?
Entry price: from £54,060
Top of the Range: ‘R’ 575PS all-wheel drive auto Price: £97,280 coupe/ convertible £102,370
Width (inc. mirrors): 2,042mm
Height (coupe/convertible): 1,311mm / 1,307mm
Weight (coupe/convertible): 1,818kg/1838kg
Engine: 5.0-litre V8 Supercharged 4-cylinder
Power: 575 horsepower (PS)
Gears: 8-speed Quickshift automatic with manual over-ride.
Top speed: 186mph (electronically limited)
Acceleration: 0-60mph: 3.5 seconds
0-62mph (100km/hr): 3.7 seconds
Fuel consumption: 25.6mpg
CO2 emissions: 252g/km
Fuel tank: 70 litres
Loadspace (Coupe –with/without parcel tray): 299 litres / 509litres
Loadspace (Convertible): 233 litres
Jaguar says: ‘Both upshifts and downshifts are more immediate and give an even more connected and responsive feel.’
As well as a ‘comprehensively uprated chassis’ the F-Type is available with new wider 20-inch 10-spoke wheels in gloss black with diamond-turned finish, and new adaptive dampers, springs, anti-roll bars and stiffer rear knuckles and ball joints ‘delivering even greater agility and responsiveness’. There are deployable door handles and air vents.
Built at Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham, the revamped F-Type’s updated exterior includes tweaks to the front and rear bumpers, all-LED lighting, a new front grille surround with F-Type script, and bonnet and fender vents.
A new clamshell bonnet is designed to ‘exaggerate the car’s visual width and accentuate its assertive stance.’
It added: ’The new front bumper and subtly enlarged grille deliver even more visual impact and presence.’
The rear haunches are meant to ‘enhance the F-Type’s inherently dramatic.’
Jaguar said the design tweaks allowed the F-Type to evolve with an even more muscular presence and ‘a purer, more sculpted and assertive expression.’
Jaguar’s new design director Julian Thomson said: ‘The challenge we set ourselves was to design the most beautiful sports car, with purity, proportion and presence that’s unmistakably Jaguar.’
In the cockpit, it also receives a new 12.3-inch interactive and reconfigurable driver display offering a choice of different displays including full map and a large central rev counter.
There’s also a touch-screen infotainment system with Meridian audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the ability to upgrade software-over-the-air.
As well as a ‘comprehensively uprated chassis’ the F-Type is available with new wider 20-inch 10-spoke wheels in gloss black with diamond-turned finish
In the cockpit, it also receives a new 12.3-inch interactive and reconfigurable driver display offering a choice of different displays including full map and a large central rev counter
All engines feature ‘active exhaust systems’ as an option or as standard. Jaguar said: ‘Pressing the start button brings the car to life with its hallmark exhaust flare as purposeful as ever’
There’s a 300mph version for your kids
One version of the new F-Type undertook daredevil stunts around Jaguar’s new design studios at speeds of up to 300mph.
But it was an exact 1:64 scale Hot Wheels scale miniature car model created from design data of the real car to craft the precise 3D-printed model– and is seen in video and photographs undertaking a super-fast journey from sketch-book to showroom.
The tiny Hot Wheels F-Type scale sports car model, complete with perfectly recreated black and white camouflage wrap, navigated 25 loop-the-loops, three gravity-defying jumps and 44 corners along the 232-metre long Hot Wheels orange track laid out around the studio at Gaydon in Warwickshire.
A Jaguar spokesman said: ‘The tiny F-Type reached scale speeds of up to 300mph along the custom-built track which was designed and developed with the guidance of Official Hot Wheels master track designer Paul Schmid.’
‘On the way, it raced from a design review of original sketches, past digital renderings, colour and materials samples and a clay model, revealing the details of new F-TYPE’s purposeful, beautiful and timeless design before coming to rest beside the real thing’.
The Hot Wheels revised F-Type clocked 300mph during testing in Jaguar’s design studio
Jaguar design director Julian Thomson said: ‘As a designer and huge car enthusiast, Hot Wheels models have been a part of my life since childhood. They capture the imagination, make owning the car of your dreams a reality, and give you the first opportunity to actually ‘drive’ a car.
‘We are used to creating models in clay but seeing such a finely-detailed 1:64-scale model of the new F-TYPE race around the studio, showcasing every stage in our design process, was a truly unique experience.’
Bryan Benedict, senior manager of product design at Hot Wheels, said: ‘We’ve been working with Jaguar for over 40 years but this was an opportunity to do something really special with a car that was not yet on sale.’
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