Motoring review: Jaguar F-Type
PUBLISHED: 13:34 21 February 2015 | UPDATED: 13:34 21 February 2015
he long-awaited successor to the E-Type is another masterpiece from the legendary British sporting brand - whether as convertible or coupe
Some Jaguar fans waited a lifetime for the stunning F-Type Jaguar. As small boys, they decorated scrapbooks or bedroom walls with pictures of its illustrious forebear, the E-Type (1961-74).
More than 50 years after that classic roadster and coupe spin-off made its debut, we finally have a genuine successor and maybe some of those boys will now have the wherewithal to order one, with prices from £51,250 for the coupe version.
False hopes were raised on the way: the XJ-S (1975-1996), XK8 (1997-2006) and current XK were all too large to be called E-Type successors.
Admittedly, the ‘F’ doesn’t have the jaw-dropping looks of the E-Type, which still wins awards as a car design or even as a work of art. At launch, the legendary Enzo Ferrari called it “the most beautiful car ever made,” although this comment might have been through gritted teeth; the Jag’s killer combination of style and pricing must have hurt Ferrari sales.
But the F-Type has and will gather awards for style and technology: its bodywork and some underpinnings are aluminium, enhancing the driving experience gained from its classic rear-wheel drive sports car layout.
The convertible has the glamour and our review comes at a time when many people will be tempted by the onset of spring-time wind-in-the hair motoring, but the coupe not only has more style but costs around £3,700 less than an equivalent ‘croptop’.
We recommend saving upfront outlay and fuel costs with one of two V6 engine options. There is a brutish 496PS (490bhp) V8 flagship, but E-Type fans may prefer the busier exhaust of the 3.0-litre V6, available as a 340PS (335bhp) or 380PS (375bhp).
The test car was a convertible with the beefier of the two V6s and ‘S’ spec, which brings a steering, chassis, suspension and brake set-up that sharpens handling rather more than the entry-level car.
You can customise it further to your own taste and even fiddle with the exhaust note if you want – although I’m not sure what ‘Trad Jag’ purists think about that.
The F-Type is a serious sports car in the traditional mould, with great steering feedback and balance on a challenging road, yet the ride is not punishing; you could easily plan a long drive to a business meeting in this.
I drove the auto, just before the recent launch of the manual option, and couldn’t fault it since the ‘box gives you all the manual control you need, but some may prefer to do their own gear changing after their long wait for an E-Type successor.
Price from: £51,250 (for coupe)
Model featured: V6 S Convertible auto £67,535
Power: 375bhp and 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds
Engine: V6 2,995cc petrol
Fuel consumption: 32.1mpg combined cycle
Road tax: £280 (£620 in year one)
Best rival: Porsche Boxster