Aside from the sequence of letters in the alphabet, the F Type is seen as the new-E because it’s compact and cool looking.
Base price: $180,000.
Powertrain and performance: 5.0-litre supercharged petrol V8, 364kW/460Nm, 8-speed automatic, rear-drive, Combined economy 11.1 litres per 100km, 0-100km/h 4.3 seconds.
Vital statistics: 4470mm long, 1308mm high, kerb weight 1665kg, luggage capacity 148 litres (198 litres without spare wheel), fuel tank 70 litres, 20-inch wheels.
We like: Striking style, outrageous V8 engine, compact dimensions.
We don’t like: Can feel more muscle-car than sports machine, a few cheesy details.
How it rates: 9/10
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Has any sports car of modern times been as eagerly anticipated as the Jaguar F Type? Surely not, even if much of the hype has been generated by Jaguar itself, obsessed with the idea that it has finally created a successor to the legendary E Type.
Aside from the sequence of letters in the alphabet, the F Type is seen as the new-E because it’s compact and cool looking. It’s supposed to be a proper sports car rather than a gentleman’s express. A strikingly modern sports car, too – just like the E Type was in its day.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
Opt for the flagship V8 supercharged model tested here, and your F Type also comes with something approaching a supercar soundtrack. The crackling, cackling exhaust note has to be heard to be believed, and that applies even if you don’t have the optional active exhaust system fitted.
So there’s quite a bit of muscle-car character in there too, especially when you consider the straight-line speed. But compactness is a virtue and because the F Type is shorter than a mainstream small car, you still enjoy that intimate feeling.
The F Type is not as light as you might think, given its aluminium construction, but the precision of the steering and short wheelbase ensure 100 percent involvement for the driver.
If there’s one criticism of the car’s dynamics, it would have to be that there’s too much rubber on the road. The wide tyres take a degree of intimacy out of the connection between driver, car and road. Then again, once you experience how readily the rear breaks traction under even moderate power, you can see why the F Type wears such substantial footwear.
The V8 supercharged model comes as standard with an active differential. Wise choice.
IS IT EASY TO LIVE WITH?
In so far as a two-seat roadster can be easy to live with, yes. The seats are fabulous and the cabin layout pleasingly simple, save a couple of fussy details. The vents still open up to greet you when the car is turned on (as with the XF and XJ models), although the signature Jaguar Land Rover rotary gearshifter has been dropped in favour of a conventional gearstick. Nice touch.
A smattering of bronze-coloured switches also catches your eye in the cockpit. They are reportedly inspired by the world of fighter jets: this particular colour is used for key controls because it’s easy to identify at a glance.
Practicality is probably not a major concern if you’re buying a car of this type. However, it’s still a pain that the already tiny boot is robbed of even more space when a spare tyre is fitted.
SHOULD I BUY ONE?
If you crave attention and want a whole lot more drama in your life, then yes. The F Type is a magnificent thing – probably a car of more simple pleasures than a Porsche Boxster, especially when powered by this throbbing V8 engine. It’s both highly capable and simply outrageous, and therefore hard not to love.
The F Type was launched as a roadster first, but don’t forget this year you’ll also be able to have one with a roof. Surely that’s the model that’ll really feed those E Type fantasies.
Air conditioning: Dual climate
Audio: CD, iPod compatible
Automatic lights/wipers: Yes/yes
Blind spot warning: No
Cruise control: Yes
Driver footrest: Yes
Gas discharge headlights: Bi-xenon
Head-up display: No
Heated/ventilated seats: Yes/No
Keyless entry/start: Yes/Yes
Lane guidance: No
Leather upholstery: Yes
Parking radar: Yes
Power boot or tailgate: No
Power seat adjustment/memory: Partial on driver and passenger/No
Remote audio controls: Yes
Satellite navigation: Yes
Seat height adjustment: Yes
Self-parking technology: No
Steering reach adjustment: Power
Trip computer: Yes
Find a Jaguar F Type HERE