Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguars F-Type, launched in 2013 is their modern day answer to the iconic E-Type that changed everything when it came to sports cars.
Whilst the F-Type cannot quite live up to such a reputation, what it does do is bring Jaguar front and centre again in the Sportscar market place.
Available as both a coupe and soft-top convertible, the F-Type also comes with an interesting range of engines. The latest and perhaps most controversial being the 2.0l Ingenium engine which offers 295hp, this is followed up by the more established Supercharged 3.0l V6 emitting a reasonable 340hp or uprated S with 380hp or even 400hp. However, it is the range topping 5.0l Supercharged V8, which produces a healthy 550hp or even 575hp, that is the most coveted model.
Looking at the inside of the F-Type, there are some nice styling touches with a good helping of leather to make the cabin feel special as well as sporty. Although, I must admit the centre armrest area looks like a stuck-on afterthought crafted from a leather-clad cereal box, rather betraying the other smoother lines.
Further issue is that there is little to differentiate the entry level model from the R.Technology wise, the F-Type is distinctly JLR sharing the same infotainment system as the rest of the Jaguar range as well as the Land Rovers as well. This is not a bad thing mind as it is functional and intuitive with a good focus on the driver rather than the passenger.JCS has had the pleasure of test driving both the entry-level Supercharged RWD 3.0l V6 as well as the V8 R and whilst there is less 2.0s difference between the two in 0-60 times, the two vehicles did not feel as different as one would think. This is more of a criticism of the R than it is a compliment to the lesser engine. For such a substantial price difference (the 3.0l Supercharged V6 starting at just over £52,000 and doing 0-60 in 5.5s, and the 550hp R coming in nearly double at just under £91,000 or 575hp R at more than double just under £111,000) the 550hp R just did not feel quick enough (0-60 in 3.9s). Nor did the interior feel justifiably more expensive. To be honest if you were looking to spend around £100,000 then the Aston Martin V8 Vantage would, to us, be a much better choice given its performance and prestige.
The drive of both the variants we tested felt very similar despite the AWD of the R. Both vehicles are well balanced and hold the road well. Even the 3.0 presents you with some nice pops and bangs from its acoustically enhanced exhaust. It is without doubt though that the AWD offers greater stability in the majority of times we have wet days and as such would make the 380hp AWD S perhaps the ideal compromise. But again, even that coming in at just over £69,000, you do start to wonder about the likes of a comparable 911 which just feels a bit more prestigious than the Jaguar.
To be clear, the F-Type is not a bad car, not by a long chalk, but it offers a far better value proposition as a sportscar with its entry-level, even 2.0l Turbo (which is in fact a shade quicker than the lesser 3.0l Supercharged), as opposed to the range topping model which to us does not feel like twice the car for twice the money. With this in mind, we certainly prefer the entry level models over the range-topping R simply because the R does not feel special enough for its price tag.
Facts & Figures Jaguar F-Type 3.0l Supercharged / 5.0l Supercharged R AWD:
Engine: 3.0l Supercharged V6 / 5.0l Supercharged V8
Transmission: 8 Speed Automatic
Power: 340hp / 550hp
0-62mph: 5.1s / 3.9s
Top Speed: 161mph / 186mph
Fuel Economy (Combined): 33mpg / 25mpg
CO2 Emissions: 199g/km / 269g/km