JAGUAR FINDS ITS SOUL IN THE F-TYPE

JAGUAR F-TYPE | JAGUAR FINDS ITS SOUL IN THE F-TYPE

Written byAdam Tonkin | Images by – Dean Hales

British car companies have a long and distinguished history dating back some one hundred years. Once full of pomp and ceremony, British manufacturers are now turning slick concepts into functional designs that entice buyers from around the world, although this wasn’t always the case.

Like the Australian and American automotive industries, British manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover have seen it all before, the severe ups and downs of an industry in turmoil with government and private investors trying in vain to keep companies out of the red.

In 2011 Jaguar took a new direction, unveiling a sleek two door Grand Tourer, based on the XK convertible with a modern twist on the famous E-TYPE Jaguar. For nearly fifty years Jaguar has not designed a sports car of this nature, as Ian Callam, Design Director at Jaguar points out.

“It’s actually the first two-seater production sports car that we [Jaguar] have built since the E-TYPE so from that point, the F-TYPE is hugely significant and tremendously exciting”.

Jaguar has found their soul by turning to their roots to develop a sports car that is fun, creative and designed with a younger audience in mind.

Exterior Styling

The body of the F-TYPE is timeless with a hint of European elegance thanks to dedicated lines that flow along the body, over each wheel arch and fall into the rear. The design pays homage to the classic E-TYPE with a slight roll of the boot lid and the up-sloping rear end.

The four chrome exhaust tips and rear diffuser add depth and weight to the design while the taillights give a modern touch that take on a new dimension at night.

The ‘Italian Racing Red’ paint is a statement in itself, highlighted by trimmings in gloss black that set the tone for this muscular British built sports car.

The front is just as stunning with the power bulge following the length of the elongated aluminium bonnet before tapering into the nose. The functional front air dam and lower lip give the Jag an aggressive yet polished looked.

The retracting door handles are a common theme with Ian Callam from his days at Aston Martin; they have similar form and function that slide flush with the door panel. The eye-catching 20” black five blade rims with carbon fibre inserts fill the wheel arches whilst providing balance to the complexity of the exterior.

Suspension and Handling

The aluminium construction of the F-TYPE ensures it is as light as possible but at 1665 kg it can’t be considered lightweight. The 380MM front brakes do a brilliant job of slowing the Jag even after a full day of late braking deep into twisty turns.

The F-TYPE not only looks wide, it is! Entering a car park or tight country laneway should be done with caution. That said, the extra width though helps weight distribution and overall chassis stability.

The chassis sits on double wishbone suspension front and rear with active dampeners that adjust from firm to incredibly firm. Handling is refined offering sharp turn in control when the need arises.

Engage ‘Dynamic Mode’ to extrapolate the very best the F-TYPE has to offer and if you’re a touch mad, dis-engage traction control but do so at your own peril.

Communication from the road to the driver is continuous yet it can become muddled if provoked. The tail-happy V8 S can produce gradual, predictable and controllable slides with the right amount of steering input.

The pre-installed safety nets can only do so much to rein in the power but will provide plenty of warning before things get too out of hand.

Interior Styling

The sporty leather seats sit low and as far back in the chassis as the cabin will allow. A great deal of thought has gone into preparing the look, style and functionality of the interior. An uncluttered leather bound steering wheel adds a simplistic touch to an already plush interior.

The golden colored shift paddles look brilliant, they could be a touch longer for those with smaller hands.

The fabric convertible roof is up and down in seconds, folding neatly into the space behind the cabin. The roof function will operate operation up to 50 km/h though I don’t recommend it. When the roof is up, noise inside the cabin is surprisingly low even with the active exhaust on.

Modern day craftsmanship is highly evident however in the model I reviewed there were quite a few extras.

  • Lockable storage unit: $590
  • Performance Seats $2730
  • Interior Black Pack: $4390
  • Seat Memory Pack: $2040
  • Convenience Pack: $4950
  • Parking Pack: $1725
  • Extended Leather: $3970.

It’s an extraordinary amount to spend above the AUD$202,000 base price, nevertheless everything blends together seamlessly. Aluminium pedals wouldn’t go astray and are a glaring omission.

Engine and Transmission

The supercharged 5.0 litre V8, sends 364KW/495HP to the rear 20” Pirelli P-Zero tyres via the 8-Speed ZF gearbox. The engine delivers linear power with high levels of torque at any speed across the rev range.

It’s impressive in any gear, but brutal if prompted. The ZF transmission is brilliant, working like any decent dual clutch with quick seamless shifts in manual and auto mode.

The whir of the supercharger is completely drowned out by the exhaust tone. The F-TYPE is so loud Jaguar installed a bi-modal exhaust to appease the neighbours and to bypass excessive noise levels. Leave the bi-modal exhaust on during a cold start and the V8 literally barks into life, a truly gratifying experience for your ears.

To invoke the noise a heavy right foot is required which does nothing for fuel economy. An average of 14.8 litres per 100km/h will be alarming if you’re not used to double digit fuel figures.

The 0-100 km/h time is greatly affected by excessive wheel spin even with traction control engaged; the F-TYPE could only manage 4.3 seconds.

Key Competitors

  • Porsche 911
  • Aston Martin V8 Vantage

According to Jaguar the F-TYPE has no competitors, but competition always exists where money is concerned. The F-TYPE may not yet have the same handling characteristics of the 911 but it’s an impressive comparison for its first incarnation.

Vehicle Will Suit?

With next to no room for a bag or packed lunch, this F-TYPE is designed to carry passengers only. There is literally nowhere to store an overnight bag unless the passenger footwell is available thanks to a tiny boot and a space saver tyre. The F-TYPE will only appeal to folk wanting a dedicated, fun and brutish sports car.

Final Thought

The V8 S is a true sports car in every sense. Fast and fun with little to no storage space, horrific fuel economy and incredibly long doors that make it impossible to park in tight spaces! The F-TYPE to the fastidious owner offers a unique balance of raw power and refinement in a stylish package that is an absolute blast to drive, well done Ian Callam!

Vehicle Details

Year, Make, Model

Australian Pricing

2015 | Jaguar F-TYPE
A$202,000 – BASE | A$222,395 (As Tested)

Engine

Fuel Type

5.0 Litre V8 Engine – Supercharged

Petrol 98 RON

Kilowatts

364 kW @ 6500 RPM

Horsepower

495 HP

Maximum Torque

625 NM @ 5500 RPM

Fuel Consumption

14.8 L/100KM – 3.9 G/62MI

0 – 100 / 60

4.3 (manufacturer claim)

Gearbox

8 Speed ZF Gearbox F1 + Reverse

Fuel Tank Size

72 Litres -  20 Gal

Weight

1665 (Kerb Weight)

Safety Rating

N/A

Warranty

3 Year / 100,000KM – 3 Year / 62,000MI

Roadside Assist

Contact Ferrari Dealer

 

Feedback and Links

Feedback or questions on this article, please use the comment field, or click for contact details.

For details on Jaguar and the F-TYPE range, click > www.jaguar.com | www.jaguar.com.au | www.jaguar.co.uk

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