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.

It doesn’t have the tactility of a 718 Cayman but you’ll be surprised by positive front end. There’s pliancy that allows the Pirellis to develop massive grip

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.


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