From its seductively long hood to its steeply raked windshield and wide rear haunches, the F-type is a stunner. Offered as both a coupe and a convertible, it gets a snarling 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 pumping out 340 hp to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. Racier S models get a boost to 380 hp and offer all-wheel drive with the automatic. Suspension tuning is firm, and the F-type is always eager to play, but the cost is an often harsh ride over bumpy roads.
Introduced in 2013 as a 2014 model, the F-type is arguably Jaguar’s first real sports car—as distinct from a grand tourer—since the E type seduced attendees at the Geneva motor show in 1961. Offered in hatchback coupe and convertible editions, the F-type boasts exceptional rigidity with an aluminum-intensive chassis, an accomplishment by the engineering and development team that necessitates little compensatory bracing for the open-top version. The designers created a head-turning exterior that makes the F-type a contender for best-looking ride in a class populated with several beauty queens. Propulsion comes from one of two supercharged engines, a 3.0-liter V-6 and a 5.0-liter V-8. Both the six and the eight are offered in two states of tune, with outputs ranging from 340 to 575 horsepower. A six-speed manual is available with the V-6, and a rapid-shifting eight-speed automatic is optional with the V-6, standard with the V-8. All-wheel drive is available on higher V-6 trim levels and standard with the V-8. The combination of high chassis rigidity, firm suspension tuning, and exemplary powertrains position this hottest of Jaguars on a par with the best in a distinguished class. Add competitive pricing, and the Jaguar F-type makes a compelling case as a world-class sports car with a British accent.
What’s New: Expanding the F-type lineup at both ends for 2017, Jaguar enhance affordability with a $3200 lower price on the base F-type, which costs $62,395; the new Premium trim level adds $5400 and some features that were stripped out of the base car during the pricing discount. Bigger news, however, is the new F type SVR, which raises output of the F-type R’s 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 to 575 horsepower, the price to $126,945, and top-speed potential to 200 mph, making this the hottest street Jaguar ever. Jaguar has also managed to expand luggage space slightly in F-type convertibles to just over seven cubic feet from, uh, just under seven cubic feet.
With its redesign for 2016, the Jaguar XF follows the full size XJ and the new XE into the house of aluminum. In addition to the attendant weight loss, the new XF also sees a major increase in its tech offerings, while its engine lineup is sharply reduced.
The switch from an all-steel structure sees the mid-size luxury-sport sedan, which first made its debut in 2009, shed considerable mass. Jaguar is quoting a 132-pound weight loss for the rear-wheel-drive model and an impressive 265-pound cut for the all-wheel-drive version. Helping matters is the fact that the car has not grown any larger. The overall package size is retained, but the car’s wheelbase grows by two inches. The wheelbase stretch yields more rear-seat room, a welcome development. However, Jaguar is claiming bumps of less than an inch in rear-seat knee- and legroom, which is less than we might have hoped.
The new styling is largely evolutionary, not surprising given that the previous car ushered in Jaguar’s current design language. Although the whole car is new, the most noticeably fresh elements might be the headlights (available as full LEDs), the taillights , and the elongated greenhouse that now includes quarter-windows in the C-pillars.
The dramatically shrunken engine lineup is reduced to just two versions of the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6. This is the same 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 as before, making an identical 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. It’s joined by a new, 380-hp version of the engine in the XF S, but that iteration also produces 332 lb-ft. Both versions of the V-6 use an eight-speed automatic—with gear selection by Jaguar’s dial shifter—and can be had with rear- or all-wheel drive. Jaguar predicts a 5.1-second zero-to-60-mph time for both the AWD XF and the RWD XF S, with the AWD XF S finishing one-tenth quicker than that and the RWD XF one-tenth behind.