New & Used Jaguar F-Type: In Depth
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The Jaguar F-Type is a two-seat high-performance coupe or convertible that marks the brand’s return to the sports-car segment. Due to its tweener size and price, the F-Type competes with smaller cars like the Mercedes-Benz SLK, BMW Z4, and Porsche Boxster, as well as the big boys, like the Porsche 911, the Chevrolet Corvette, and the new Mercedes-Benz AMG GT.
For more information, see our full review of the 2015 Jaguar F-Type, including options, prices, gas-mileage ratings, and specifications. You can also see the F-Type vs. its competitors. And, finally, first-drive impressions of the F-Type can be found at Motor Authority.
The two-seater is positioned slightly lower than the larger XK coupe and convertible, both of which went out of production soon after the F-Type was introduced. The F-Type acts as an indirect replacement and also shares some of the XK's aluminum construction techniques, though the shared heritage isn't as clear at first glance.
The F-Type ushers in some new design themes for Jaguar. It sports a high front end--in part to handle European crash regulations--and LED front lighting, with some strong influences of Maseratis and Corvettes of the past. The taillamps are also LED units, and Jaguar says they're the thinnest shapes that could be made. The cockpit has an asymmetric, driver-oriented theme, with the passenger fenced in by a large center-tunnel grab handle--a strong visual cue to the F-Type's dynamic intentions. There's a big LCD screen for infotainment and settings, while a set of rotary knobs control some secondary functions. Not everything's been steered off into touchscreen interfaces.
The Jaguar F-Type was offered with three engines at launch. Two were supercharged V-6s, both 3.0-liter units, one with 340 horsepower, the other with 380 hp. In its slowest form, the F-Type will accelerate to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. But with the top-level supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 with 495 horsepower, it's capable of 4.2-second 0–60 mph times and a top speed of 186 mph.
At launch, the F-Type was offered with rear-wheel drive only, and all models featured an eight-speed automatic transmission. At that time, Jaguar said it was considering adding a manual transmission to the car, something it made good on with the announcement of the 2016 model. Speculation also says the brand may add its turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine at some point to provide a lower cost of entry, although that has not yet become reality. All original models employ an engine stop/start system to reduce fuel use when stopped, while the top models can be optioned with a raucous active exhaust to increase audible emissions.
A bit larger than the intended competition of SLK, Boxster, and Z4, the Jaguar F-Type is about 176 inches long, riding on a wheelbase of 103.2 inches. Curb weight of about 3500 pounds is kept low with aluminum construction down to the suspension level--it's all independent, and steering is electric, and there's an adaptive suspension available so that all the F-Type's responses can be switched from a comfort mode to a sport mode.
Luxury features haven't been left off the menu just to save a few ounces--not if the well-heeled buyer wants them. Power sport seats have manual fore/aft adjustments to save weight, but upgraded "Performance" seats are an option, as is full power adjustment. Audio systems come from Meridian, with either 10 or 12 speakers, and either 380 or 770 watts of power. The convertible top is power-operated, but it's lined in Thinsulate to reduce noise and heat transfer, and folds in such a way that no tonneau cover is needed. (It also lowers or rises into place in 12 seconds, at speeds of up to 30 mph.)
The Jaguar F-Type went on sale in the U.S. in May 2013. The base 340-hp supercharged V-6 model is priced from around $69,000; the 380-hp supercharged six, from around $81,000; and the V-8 sports car, from about $92,000. A wide range of personalization options is also available.
A coupe version of the F-Type was launched in 2014. It was also the only body style offered in the new V-8 R trim, which is good for 550 horsepower and 4.0-second 0–60 mph times, as well as a 186-mph top speed.
Jaguar has announced big changes for the 2016 F-Type. For starters, all-wheel drive will be available on the V-6 S and standard on the R. Rear-drive V-6 and V-6 S models will now be available with a six-speed manual transmission. The convertible gains an R model, while the former V-8 S convertible model will be discontinued. As a result, there will again be three engine options, each now offered on either body style: V-6, V-6 S, and V-8 R.