At this week’s LA motor show, Jaguar will unveil a new all-wheel-drive version of the F-type sports car, and rumour has it that the manufacturer could also bring along new versions equipped with a manual gearbox.
Obviously these cars are interesting in their own right, and who won’t welcome extra F-type flavours? A three-pedal car would also keep the dwindling band of buyers happy for whom not having a manual is a no-go for ownership.
The already confirmed four-wheel-drive version, however, is an even more tempting prospect and promises to add an extra dimension to what is an already excellent driver’s car, albeit one that can be quite lairy in rear-drive guise.
Above all, though, additional cars signal a clear intent from Jag: that when it said the F-type was a serious Porsche rival it wasn’t just talking about the way it could compete on the road.
Porsche, of course, is the past master at slicing and dicing the 911 line-up, offering us almost endless variants including four-wheel drive, closed, open, wider and doggedly keeping the option of a manual ’box even when sales of it are slender.
Why not? It makes buying a 911 bewildering, but you’ll get exactly what you want at the end of it. And it’s hugely profitable too, not least because there’s always a fresh one about to come out. Jag’s extremely smart in following suit.
What we’re still waiting for, though, are the lighter, more extreme versions of the F-type. After all, the GT2s and GT3s fully cement the 911’s reputation even if the Carrera 4S Cabrios are the ones that really sell.
So far we’ve had the limited-edition Project 7 F-type, but let’s hope there’s more to come.