A four-cylinder Jaguar F-Type has been revealed at the New York motor show as the new entry-level model in the F-Type line-up. It will go on sale from £49,900 with first deliveries slated for the summer.
With a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivering 296bhp and 295 lb ft, the new model is 39bhp down on the rear-wheel-drive F-Type V6 but is capable of reaching 60mph from rest in 5.4sec and hitting a top speed of 155mph. That matches the V6 on 0-60mph time but is 7mph down on that model's maximum speed.
The new Ingenium engine is the most powerful four-cylinder unit Jaguar has ever offered and gives the entry-level F-Type the highest specific output of any model in the line-up, at 148bhp per litre.
Jaguar says the four-cylinder F-Type offers combined economy of 39.2mpg, which represents a 16% improvement over the V6 F-Type, in part thanks to a weight reduction of 52kg. The four-cylinder model has a kerb weight of 1525kg in coupé form and 1545kg as a convertible.
Most of the weight saving comes from over the front axles, and Jaguar says this also improves the car’s weight distribution, shifting 1% of the car’s mass towards the rear; the car now has a perfect 50/50 weight distribution, according to Jaguar. The suspension has also been tweaked all round to suit the reduced weight, as has the power steering.
This can give the car agility above other models in certain areas, said Erol Mustafa, Jaguar's chief engineer for sports cars. Talking about the differences in the line-up, Mustafa said for example, the new model could respond quicker at lower speeds in tight twisting roads than the SVR, but that the SVR would naturally outperform the entry-level car in other ways.
The new model will only be available only with Jaguar’s eight-speed automatic gearbox, which has been tweaked specifically for use in the 1997cc twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and only in rear-wheel-drive form. The turbocharger itself also features ceramic ball bearings to reduce friction.
Jaguar also claims to have solved the problem of the four-cylinder engine’s comparative deficit in engine note compared with the V6 and V8. An active exhaust is standard on the four-cylinder model, and this can be further tweaked with a switchable active exhaust on the R-Dynamic trim cars.
Along with the rest of the updated F-Type range, Jaguar’s new 2.0-litre F-Type gets autonomous emergency braking as standard, along with lane departure warning. Jaguar chose the New York motor show it "Launching the car at New York fitted with our programme timing and also the US market is significant for F-Type, it's the second largest after the U.K," according to Mustafa.
The F-Type is the latest Jaguar model to receive another variant of the Ingenium engine. The F-Pace, XF and XE were all updated for the new model year with two new 197bhp and 247bhp petrol and a 237bhp Ingenium engines.
There’s also a 3.0-litre straight six Ingenium engine on its way, to replace the V6 engines in Jaguar’s line-up in the long term, as well as a 1.5-litre three-cylinder in the pipeline.
When asked whether he would consider diesel or hybrid applications for the F-Type, Mustafa declined to comment but said it is always looking at ways of improving the car, and that it would not rule out hybrid performance in the future. However, he added that in terms of reaching emissions targets, there was no pressure on him. "Our focus always has to be driver enjoyment."