From £49,9009
Revised F-Type brings with it a special-edition model that aims to combine the V6’s agility with the V8’s performance at a keen price

Our Verdict

Jaguar F-Type

The Jaguar F-Type has given the big cat back its roar, but can the 2017 updates keep at bay its closest rivals including the masterful Porsche 911?

  • First Drive

    Jaguar F-Type 2.0-litre 2017 review

    The Jaguar F-Type two-seat coupé gains a punchy 2.0-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder engine and, it’s claimed, greater agility for less money.
  • First Drive

    Jaguar F-Type 400 Sport 2017 review

    Revised F-Type brings with it a special-edition model that aims to combine the V6’s agility with the V8’s performance at a keen price
Steve Cropley Autocar
12 July 2017

What is it?

Jaguar has learned plenty in four years of selling the F-Type.

One key discovery is that there’s a band of prospective owners who seek an F-Type with its focus very heavily on driving, packing the agility of a V6, a practical performance level close to a V8, a configurable chassis with an ideal brake-wheel-tyre combination and a uniquely styled body. They would like all of that at a price well below the cheapest V8.

Step forward the F-Type 400 Sport, a special launch edition in the facelifted F-Type range featuring Jaguar’s most powerful V6 yet and claimed to offer “unrivalled driver appeal”. Available as a coupé or convertible, and with two or four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox, the 400 Sport is being sold globally “for one model year only”.

The entry-level price for a 2WD coupé model is £70,665, just £1500 more than a standard 375bhp F-Type. The 400 label is justified by a gentle uprating of the 3.0-litre supercharged V6’s top-end power from 380hp (375bhp) to 400hp (395bhp). The 339lb ft peak torque figure is identical in both engines, as is the 0-60mph acceleration figure (4.8sec with 2WD).

Despite a lack of measurable action, experts insist there’s a subtle helping of extra poke, response and a keener engine note when the engine is turning close to its 6500rpm rev limit.

Practically speaking, the difference between the 380 and 400 engines seems mostly a matter of nomenclature; the simple truth appears to be that 400 sounds better. The 400's fuel economy (32.9mpg combined) and CO2 output (203g/ km) figures are also identical to those of the 380.

Jaguar isn’t revealing its plans for the longer term, but it seems fair to forecast that after the 400 Sport’s debut has given mid-range F-Type sales a hoped-for boost later this year, the 400 engine might become a regular production version.

Elsewhere, the 400 Sport’s specification offers improved value to the performance driver compared with standard cars. The automatic and its transmission paddles are standard, the all-independent suspension (by double wishbones and coils, both ends) includes Super Performance all-disc brakes (380mm rotors in front, 375mm at the back) and there’s a standard configurable dynamics set-up that allows the driver to select individual, favourite settings for the throttle, transmission, steering effort and damper rates. The car gets handsome five-spoke 20in alloys as standard, finished in satin grey, and there’s a standard mechanical limited-slip differential.

 

What's it like?

Talking looks, the 400 Sport is very much its own car.

On one hand, it gets the early benefit of the upgrades planned for the whole F-Type range, such as the new, thinner seats that improve dash-to-backrest space and look a lot racier while maintaining comfort.

On the other, there’s a unique combination of features: you can only buy a 400 Sport in three body colours – black, white or silver – and the car gets a Sport Design pack of body add-ons comprising a more prominent front splitter, blade-like extended side sills and a prominent rear diffuser.

The black leather interior gets yellow double-stitching on the seats and doors, and there’s a 400 Sport logo on the seats, dashboard, steering wheel and door treadplates. The thicker-rimmed, smaller-diameter, flat-bottomed steering wheel, normally an option, is standard. Anodised aluminium gearshift paddles make a good finished touch.

 

On the road, the 400 Sport goes hard. The sub-5.0sec 0-60mph time is effortlessly delivered. With 339lb ft of torque developed from 3500rpm, plus gearchanges quicker than any mortal could make them, the car storms to 100mph and stays strong beyond that speed, with the engine emitting its characteristic smooth and surprisingly high wail, edgier as it gets into the lower 5000rpm range.

Jaguar development engineer Mike Cross says you can feel a benefit from the 400 engine’s extra 20bhp right at the top end, but given that the 400 Sport has an impressive supply of gear ratios and plenty of low-end torque, the feeling is elusive. And the car is very nearly as fast if you let it change itself at around 5000rpm as if you redline it on the paddles.

 

It handles, of course. There’s no substitute for the experience of sitting low in a potent front-engined car of generous proportions, sighting over your knuckles and down the bonnet at the next apex. As cars become more different in the coming years, the appeal of this will become as special as riding in a mid-engined car is now.

With its plethora of electronic traction aids, plus that limited-slip differential and the standard ability at torque vectoring, you drive this car neatly and quickly. It departs hard corners entirely on line. To me, the flat-bottomed wheel – the thick rim of which particularly suits my fingers – is a particular asset.

Should I buy one?

The best thing about this the 400 Sport is its focus. You’re buying it on the right wheels, with the right seats, steering wheel and suspension specification. And the special model identification only makes it more desirable.

If driving is your priority, I think it would be hard to spend more than another £2000 to £3000 on cost options on the 400 Sport, because Jaguar has got the specification of it so right. In this day and age, that makes a nice change.

Jaguar F-Type 400 Sport Launch Edition

Location Warwickshire Price £70,665 Engine 2995cc, V6, supercharged Power 395bhp at 6500rpm Torque 339lb ft at 3500-5500rpm Gearbox 8-spd paddle-shift auto Kerb weight 1700kg 0-60mph 4.8sec Top speed 171mph Economy 32.9mpg combined CO2/tax band 203g/km, 37% Rivals Porsche Cayman, Mercedes-Benz SL, BMW M4     

Join the debate

Comments
16

12 July 2017

Real shame they've fitted a wheelie bin lid over the engine.....

12 July 2017

Still one of the most desirable looking cars on the road for me, although I prefer the coupe.

jer

12 July 2017

I'd go that way as well. Not sure about those 400 logos either. Still nice piece of kit. The next one should way much less than 1700kgs!

12 July 2017

Irrespective of the much-vaunted aluminium expertise of JLR this thing is 30 kg heavier than a Porsche 911 Gen 2 Turbo S Cabrio (using DIN figures). The F-Type is too wide, too heavy and just seems an 'unfinished article'. Granted JLR needs a little more practice than the 50+ years Porsche have had with the 911.... Maybe they should concentrate on the 4-pot, take the weight out (a 52kg saving over the V6 is simply not good enough) and market it at upper-TT prices, then they'll get another 5 years out of the product.  But, at every other price-point in the F-Type range it looses out to the competition.  With the E and I-Pace arriving I suspect that the F-Type is very 'non-core/non-halo' for JLR these days.

BertoniBertone

12 July 2017
BertoniBertone wrote:

The F-Type is too wide, too heavy and just seems an 'unfinished article'. 

Really? I wish someone had informed me earlier that it was so disappointing, I've been over here adoring my F-Type like a fool.

I don't care about any of the stats, it's my favourite car on the road at the moment and by far the best purchase I've ever made. It's an excellent all-round product. Gorgeous, fun, luxurious, attainable: it's a 2017 TVR, without the reliability woes.

12 July 2017

yes the F type wins every time in his book and mine.

12 July 2017

Only 4.5 stars Mr Cropley? Surely this wonderful motor car deserves more.

12 July 2017

Ah, the usual complaints about weight, which is surely only an issue if you're carrying it?  Anyhow, this variant, for me, is the most desirable version.  Attainable, vocal, still drop-dead gorgeous and comes with a proper engine with the minimum number of cylinders acceptable for such a thing.  Yes, applying a series of school-boy top-trump metrics against any particular rival may show shortcomings, but from my perspective this is a show-off car which holds its head with the Jags of old and rivals of new; just look at it!

Agree that this 400 'limited edition' is a stop-gap; Jag will need to provide headroom over the 300 4-pot, and the 400 will almost certainly be a regular part of the range very soon.

12 July 2017

I think the weight criticism is completely valid. Jaguar has made a right hullabaloo about their weight saving aluminium expertise yet their cars are consistently heavier than the competition and almost never that much lighter and never as roomy either. <br>

Porsche can make a 2+2 911 in steel that's much roomier and a good bit lighter. I don't get it.

12 July 2017

Might be heavier, but looks better than a Porsche. Not every driver is about pure speed and handeling.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Aston Martin DB11 V8
    First Drive
    22 November 2017
    Aston's decision to utilise AMG's 4.0-litre V8 struck us as an inspired one initially, but will a drive on UK roads change our minds?
  • Volvo XC40 cornering
    First Drive
    21 November 2017
    Volvo’s XC40 arrives in the premium compact SUV segment and hits the right note with design, practicality and driving style
  • Jaguar E-Pace D180
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Not the driver’s car many would hope from any car wearing the Jaguar badge, but the E-Pace is an attractive and interesting addition to the compact premium SUV ranks
  • Jaguar E-Pace P300
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Jaguar’s second SUV faces up to the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Tough task, so is the E-Pace up to it?
  • Subaru Impreza
    First Drive
    17 November 2017
    The fifth-generation Subaru Impreza is much improved from top to bottom, but a poor engine and gearbox keep it trailing in this competitive class