Jaguar F-Type review: Hands-on

Fifty years on from the iconic Jaguar E-Type, at last there’s a worthy successor

What is a hands on review?
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Jaguar F-Type Review
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Jaguar F-Type Review
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Jaguar F-Type Review
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Jaguar F-Type Review

Jaguar has defined its respected sporting heritage for decades producing such models as C, D and E-Types. However some motoring enthusiasts would argue that they haven’t released an authentic sports car in a while, one that stands alone among the competition.

Spoke too soon? It seems Jaguar has responded, in fashion, and is heading back to the future with the new Jaguar F-Type. Despite being 6% bigger than its bitter rival, the Porsche 911, don’t mistake this for anything more than your classic sports car. That said, it really is one hell of a sports car

Jaguar F-Type: Features

To look at the new F-Type Jag is to want to drive it. Now, buckle up and brace yourself for an onslaught of superlatives.

The fun starts with the base, 340hp supercharged V6. Next up is a tweaked version of same, this time cranking out 380hp. Topping it all off is an 5.0-litre supercharged V8, good for around 500hp and so torquey it would come in handy should the Earth stop spinning on its axis.

Jaguar F-Type: Tech

The “optional” Meridan Trifield audio system is obligatory really, adding 770W of thump with epic clarity and atmospherics. Throttle response, steering feel, even exhaust note and suspension stiffness: the F-Type’s battery of console controls puts you in full control. Touchy tabby Jag’s eight-inch touchscreen centre-console clobber comes as standard. There’s also a G-Force meter – essential, of course…

Jaguar F-Type: Specs


Jaguar F-Type : Performance

We drove the entry-level V6 but if we didn’t know about the other choices, we’d never want for more. It’s as crisp and zingy as fresh lime juice and it flings the F-Type to 60mph in just 5.1 seconds.

Then there’s the noise. God, the noise. The soundtrack through the fat twin pipes is an outrageous, intoxicating mix of track-bred howls, pops and crackles, though the optional Active Exhaust means you can flick it into stealth mode at your whim. Perfect.

Then there’s the chassis. Again, an active option is available, in the form of the Adaptive Dynamics’ adjustable dampers, but even with the standard passive setup, this is just a delight: adjustable and just the right side of fi rm compliance. Tuck into a corner for the first time and you just know you’re going to be friends. Press on and it telegraphs its limits with the warmth and bonhomie of an old chum.

Granted, the eight-speed torque converter gearbox isn’t as crisp as the best of the dual-clutch brigade, and despite a lot of clever, weight-saving tech, the F occasionally feels every one of its 1,600-odd kilograms. Overall, though, the experience is triumphant.

Jaguar F-Type: Interior

Inside, Jaguar has mixed the materials deftly. Leather, classy plastics and aluminium accents abound. The layout is bang-on, too – intimate and driver-focussed yet roomy, while the dash bristles with just the right quantity of satisfyingly tactile switches. You get quick access to key functions without the baffling profusion of buttons that blights some interiors

Jaguar F-Type: Verdict

It’s the little details that Jaguar has meticulously included that make this car a desirable work of motoring art. The car’s inability to remember your preferable driving style is outrageously cool, like automatically driving in more responsive Dynamic mode instead of you having to select it every time you fire up. It’s in those little details – the pitch-perfect cabin and stress-free configuration – that the F-Type elevates itself from very good to purely awesome.

Jaguar F-Type release date: Out now

Jaguar F-Type price: From £58, 520, Car-on-test: £67, 740

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view.