From £55,3858
The least bombastic model in the Jaguar F-type range also has the sweetest handling balance

Our Verdict

Jaguar F-Type Convertible

The Jaguar F-Type convertible provides direct competition to the 718 Boxster and the 911 Cabriolet, but can the big cat take a bite out of its Porsche rivals?

What is it?

This is the entry-level version of the much-anticipated new Jaguar F-type sports car, and at £58,500 it has raised more than a few eyebrows with its price. However, now that we’ve driven the F-type in all of its various guises and realised that it is more than just a little bit good, that asking price now makes if not perfect then reasonably decent sense.

What Jaguar has produced, even in this basic model, is a not a car that sits beside the Porsche Boxster as an obvious rival. It sits above the mighty Porsche (but beneath the 911 in this instance), which is why its pricing strategy now just about adds up.

What you get with the basic V6 model is not exactly a basic car. The supercharged V6 engine produces a rousing 336bhp at 6500rpm and 332lb ft between 3500-5000rpm, and the gearbox is the same eight-speed Quickshift from ZF that you get in both the more expensive F-types. All up, the largely aluminium F-type V6 weighs just 1597kg.

You lose the diffs from the more expensive versions (mechanical in the F-type V6 S, electronically controlled in the V8 S), and the wheels and tyres shrink to mere 18s, but the V6 doesn't feel like it is missing much on the road.

What's it like?

There’s a delicacy to the way the V6 F-type drives that not even the delightful V6 S can replicate in certain circumstances. Its steering seems especially sweet, as does its ride, both of which are almost certainly the result of it riding on smaller, visually less arresting 18in wheels, which also happen to bring slightly higher-profile and therefore slightly more comfortable 18in Pirelli P Zero tyres.

The V6 flows beautifully along any road, feeling nimbler but also a lot less manic than the He-Man V8 S. Yet it’s still perfectly quick enough, thanks, with 0-60mph taking just 5.2sec. That’s the sort of thrust that impresses rather than frightens, and for quite a lot of Jaguar’s new customers – as many as 85 per cent of F-type buyers will be new to the brand, reckons Jaguar – the V6 might well provide the perfect cocktail of grip, grunt, style and desirability.

And for the purist, it might even provide the most satisfying driving experience of the three. How so? Because you can drive the V6 hard on the road without scaring yourself or incurring the wrath of other road users, which is a genuine concern in the F-type V8 S

Its handling balance might well be the sweetest of the range, with almost no understeer to speak of on the road and no oversteer either, simply because there isn’t the torque to unstick the rear tyres like there is in the other models. Instead, the V6 glides soothingly from apex to apex, with lots of control but also lots of feel – not just through the steering but through the seat, and especially via the beautifully damped rear axle. 

In pure feel terms, in fact, I’d say it’s at least as rewarding as a Boxster, with more intimate steering and a better ride to go with it on most surfaces – although to be fair we won’t know for sure until we’ve done a proper comparison back on some favourite UK roads

The gearbox also works especially well in the V6, again because it doesn’t have such a big hit of torque to deal with when shifting gear. Indeed, Jaguar’s new Quickshift eight-speed transmission feels more like a dual-clutch automatic in the V6 than it does in either of the other models.

What you don’t get in the V6, you might not actually miss anyway. There’s no Dynamic Drive system so you can't fiddle with the engine, gearbox, damper and throttle settings. Nor is there the nagging 'am I really in control of this car?' doubt that can send shivers down your spine in the wonderful but wild V8 S. Instead, what you get is a traditional rear-wheel-drive sports car, pure and simple. With a lot more emphasis on the pure than on the simple.

Should I buy one?

The V6 F-type nestles itself neatly into a gap that we didn’t think existed until we drove it. It sits above the Boxster but beneath the 911 in its pricing, and that’s exactly how it feels dynamically. 

As such, it could actually be the pick of the range for many. It’s not as bombastic (or as expensive) as the other versions but still has most, if not all of the charm of the more powerful models where it counts. And its steering and handling balance are possibly the sweetest of the three.

At £58,500 you could even describe it as a steal.

Jaguar F-type V6

Price £58,500; 0-62mph 5.1sec; Top speed 161mph; Economy 31.4mpg; CO2 209g/km; Kerb weight 1597kg; Engine V6, 2995cc, supercharged; Power 336bhp at 6500rpm; Torque 332lb ft at 3500-5000rpm; Gearbox 8 speed auto

Join the debate

Comments
12

17 April 2013

How exciting - F-type day has arrived. As a car enthusiast I have been keenly awaiting the first drive of this. And .....

As expected it sounds a wonderful car, especially in base model. It's got everything going for it .... Apart from price.

Buoyed by their heady pricing of the Evoque JLR thought they'd try it again with the F-type. Problem is that the Evoque created a market in which there were therefore no established competitors. Whereas the 5-star Boxster S is on helluva competitor to the F and for £10k less! Time will tell whether they got the pricing right.

And I still think, good looking as it is, it already looks like a 5yo car. The design is too retro and not enough future for me.

 

 

You're not stuck in traffic - you are traffic!!

A34

17 April 2013

If this was the peer of the 911 eg a compact 2+2, then the pricing would be easier to justify. As a heftier 2 seater in the mold of a TR3 or Austin Healey, then this might not be the slam dunk replacement for all Brit sports car needs, but it does mean we bracket the Germans nicely... Caterham - Boxster - Jag F - 911 - Aston...

17 April 2013

Before writing off the SLK and Z4 as also-rans, I'd like to see this entry-level car compete against a Hartge Z4 with a Boxster S in tow for good measure. If it can beat those, then it's as good as you say.

17 April 2013

I actually believe this is a great car, but the glowing praise Autocar heaps upon all JLR products does add a degree doubt. But lets assume it is brilliant. Its still stuck with an auto box (I know 90% of customers will want this anyway along with Mr Sutcliffe) and its more than £10k overpriced.

If what we have read is to believed hopefully a manual will come along before too long, which just leaves the price as an issue. Actually for most price will matter a lot less than depreciation, and i expect that will be very gentle for quite a while.

The option list has some very expensive things on it. If you can keep away from them it might not be too expensive to own for the next few years. Its just such a shame JLR have chosen to price it so high  

 

17 April 2013

Hmm, a lot taken on trust here.

A Boxster S is cheaper, quicker and more practical. I wouldn't bet on the Jaguar winning.

17 April 2013

Looks good, drives great .... the only problem is the Boxster S. If it comes down to taste then it will do well in the marketplace. If it comes down to spec sheet stats +practicality+ PRICE+ handling then its the Boxster S. I would take issue with the premise that it sits bewtween the Boxster and the 911.... it is possible it may end up trying to sit between two stools.

I accept Mr. Callum+s statement that it can not compete with the E-type but they they are the ones who pushed this idea in the first place, if I remember the wave of hype that we read in all the automotive journals. He seems to have retreated from that initial viewpoint after takling a shellacking from the public.

I hope it succeeds on its own merits because the more choices we have, all the better.

GeToD

 

17 April 2013

I can't imagine that anyone at Porsche will have a single bead of sweat on their brow ... If anything, Jaguar has (as a result of astonishingly poor judgement in terms of pricing) more of less secured extra sales for Porsche in that their Boxster now looks excellent "value for money" ...

17 April 2013

I think that it is priced between the two Porsche products almost by chance - the real reasoning behind the pricing is that it reflects what Jaguar's target market can afford to pay.

17 April 2013

F Type 0-62 5.3s

Boxster S 0-62 4.8s

The F-Type is comprehensively outclassed by a far superior vehicle.

 

17 April 2013

GermanPower wrote:

F Type 0-62 5.3s

Boxster S 0-62 4.8s

The F-Type is comprehensively outclassed by a far superior vehicle.

 

Boxster      0 to 62    5.8 seconds

F Type S     0 to 62    4.8 seconds

The Boxster is comprehensively outclassed by a far superior ( English Power) vehicle.

maxecat

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