There will be some for whom a four-cylinder engine has no place in the nose of a Jaguar coupé, but just consider what it means.
This car weighs 52kg less than the richly sonorous V6 F-Type, with most of that heft lifted from its long nose.
As such, not only is there little discrepancy in terms of power to weight – the junior F-Type boasting 194bhp per tonne to its bigger brother’s 210bhp per tonne – but agility and ride comfort are also said to be improved.
With 296bhp, this 2.0-litre engine is the most highly tuned of all the firm’s four-cylinder Ingenium units and it features a new electrohydraulic valvetrain with variable lift control.
The designs of the twin-scroll turbocharger and exhaust manifold have also been devised to mitigate pulsation, reducing turbo lag to the extent that it’s “almost non-existent”, according to Jaguar. Factor in 295lb ft at just 1500rpm, too, and you’d expect this car to perform impressively.
Officially at least, it does, with a 0-60mph time of 5.4sec claimed by Jaguar. The sole transmission is the ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic and, for now, it drives the rear wheels exclusively. To get an F-Type with a limited-slip differential, you’ll still need to opt for the V6 S, although the 2.0-litre car does get torque vectoring to contain understeer.
Telling the handsome four-cylinder F-Type apart from its siblings is all but impossible if you’re looking in your rear-view mirror, because the updated design of the bumper and LED headlights is shared across the range.
From behind, though, you’ll notice a chunky single-exit exhaust in the style of Lamborghini’s Murciélago.
Under the aluminium skin is double-wishbone suspension that uses non-adaptive dampers with reduced spring rates.
Jaguar engineers are known to prefer the lightweight 18in alloy wheels that come as standard, although R-Dynamic models – like our test car – get 19s.