We’ve driven the Jaguar F-Type Convertible and Coupé in entry-level V6, a sharper and more expensive V6 S and, arguably best of all, in its top-flight R and SVR specifications and the overall consensus is that it’s extremely good, going on excellent. Which is a genuinely nice piece of news for us to deliver.
Jaguar hasn’t so much bet the farm on it, but Jag’s entire reputation as a sports car maker on the success of the rear wheel-drive F-Type (although all-wheel drive versions are available). So to find out that the fruits of its labours have been worth it – and then some – is more than enough reason to celebrate.
But the best news of all is this: all those doubts we once harboured about the F-Type’s asking price being a touch too high have, at a stroke, been eliminated. This car is expensive, yes, but it’s also worth it because it delivers. And in the end, not a lot else matters.
The entry-level Jaguar F-Type convertible with the new 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engine costs £55,385 and manages, through a combination of strong performance and achingly well judged driving dynamics, to provide stiff competition for the newly turbocharged Porsche Boxster. The mid-range supercharged 3.0-litre V6 that develops a rousing 335bhp and a standard eight-speed Quickshift gearbox (although a six-speed manual is available), amazingly slots itself into the narrowest of gaps between the 718 Boxster and the 911. It feels more grown up than a Boxster but also more approachable financially than a 911. And it steers and rides more sweetly than either of them.
There’s nothing basic about the entry level F-Type. Even though it is the entry point to a range that will attract up to 85 percent of its customers from outside the Jaguar brand.
The Jaguar F-type V6 S delivers more power – 375bhp – and a fair bit more performance to go with it. The 0-60mph time falls from 5.2sec to an impressive 4.9sec.
Its steering, chassis, suspension and brakes have been tuned to deliver sharper responses than the entry-level car. At the same time the exhaust note can be heightened via a new Dynamic Drive system that allows drivers to tweak steering feel, throttle response, gear change speeds and exhaust noise at the press of a touchscreen button. This may or may not appeal to Jaguar’s customers depending largely on how old they are, and how they feel about such technology in the first place. Either way, there’s also a mechanical limited-slip differential fitted to the £69,800 V6 S which, perhaps more than anything else, proves just how keen Jaguar is to separate the characters of its five F-Types.