What is the Jaguar F-Type?
Famed for its immensely stylish (if not especially practical) design, the F-Type is first and foremost a very dramatic vehicle, with a loud engine and exhaust, and plenty of performance.
- Top speed: 155-200mph
- 0-62mph: 3.7-5.7 seconds
- Fuel economy: 25.9-35.8mpg
- Emissions: 179-249g/km CO2
- Boot space: 207-310 litres
The Jaguar F-Type launched as a Convertible first in 2013, with a Coupe model following in 2014.
A limited edition model called the Project 7 aped the styling of a famous Jaguar D-Type, with a cut-down windscreen and humped rear deck lid, but was only sold for a short period at a very hefty price.
While initial F-Type engine line-up was limited, it now runs all the way from a 2.0-litre supercharged four-cylinder motor with 300hp at the start of the range to a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 with 575hp in the super-high performance SVR model at the top of the range.
Lesser V8s and V6 models are available, too. All are supercharged.
Most F-Types use an automatic transmission and are rear-wheel drive, though four-wheel drive is offered, and you can get a (not terribly nice) manual gearbox on some models.
The F-Type SVR is Jaguar’s flagship sports car – though you can buy an XE Project 8 saloon that is even more hardcore.
Powered by the aforementioned 5.0-litre supercharged V8, the SVR is available as both Coupe and Convertible, and either version will do 0-62mph in just 3.7 seconds, helped by standard-fit four-wheel drive for added traction.
Top speed in the Coupe is the magic 200mph; the more challenging aerodynamics of the Convertible limit this to 195mph.
The F-Type SVR looks as angry as it is fast, thanks to an extensive body kit and large rear wing. You’ll certainly hear it coming as well, thanks to an exceedingly vocal exhaust system.
The Jaguar F-Type isn’t quite as good to drive as it is to look at – but that’s largely because it looks so sensational. Whether you go for the fixed roof or the drop top, this is a stunning piece of design.
The excitement continues on the inside, where you’ll find plenty of surprise and delight features in the cockpit – though the build quality can seem a little patchy in places.
What you won’t find inside is a great deal of space. This is a cosy car for just two people, and the boot is absolutely tiny. Okay for a weekend away, not so good for a pan-European jaunt.
Jaguar is famed for its use of lightweight aluminium in its vehicles’ construction, but that doesn’t stop the F-Type feeling like a heavy car at times.
At least this makes the open-top version substantial and relatively free of rattles – not that you’d hear them anyway, over the sound of the exhaust.
If you like rear-wheel drive dynamics, then the F-Type could be your dream ticket – for this is certainly one sports car that isn’t afraid to let you steer from the rear.
This is so much the case, in fact, that the most powerful ones are equipped with four-wheel drive, in an effort to prevent them – and you – from going totally berserk.
Fortunately, Jaguar’s chassis engineers are renowned for delivering thrills that stop just short of spills, and as long as you don’t turn off all the electronic aids before booting it out your driveway you should be just fine.
The amount of noise this Jaguar makes can be a little wearing, however, especially as it doesn’t always sound completely authentic (or necessary); but fortunately you can switch the exhaust to a quieter setting.
Ride comfort is ok, rather than cushioning, with big alloy wheels definitely making life harder on your backside.
The F-Type is neither the cheapest nor the best value option, so if bargain hunting is in your parameters when buying a sports car you’re best looking elsewhere.
It’s a similar story on finance, where you can typically get rival two-seater models with equivalent performance on the same contract terms for less money per month than this Jaguar.
Jaguar F-Type Model History
However, the F-Type is the spiritual successor to the Jaguar XK Coupe and Convertible (as well as the classic E-Type) – and you can read more about the most recent XK models by clicking here.