In Depth

Jaguar F-Type 2017: Everything you need to know

British manufacturer adds a four-cylinder engine to its F-Type sports car range

Jaguar may be investing heavily in SUVs with this year's F-Pace - plus an anticipated electric crossover in 2017 - but the firm's flagship is still a sports car: the F-Type. 

It's been on sale for three years now, but it's still one of the most desirable sports cars you can buy thanks to head-turning looks and wide choice of powertrains. 

The F-Type is available with six or eight-cylinder engine choices and manual or automatic gearboxes. While standard cars are rear-wheel drive, all-wheel-drive versions are also offered. You'll have to decide on a body style as well – the F-Type comes in coupe or cabriolet form. 

Auto Express says it "satisfies the demands of both driving enthusiasts and the style conscious".

Jaguar is rumoured to be planning a facelift and new engine options for next year. However, new models from Porsche and BMW mean there are fresh alternatives to the F-Type out there right now. 

So is the three-year-old F-Type still the sports car to buy? Here are all the details, how much it costs and what the critics make of it.

Design

The F-Type is offered in two different body styles – a hard-top coupe version and a more expensive convertible using a fabric roof.

It's a three-year old-design, but Evo says it's still "immensely appealing" and head turning.

For the magazine, the car is at its best in coupe form, the roofline feeding down into the pronounced rear haunch with more drama than the flat deck sitting behind the convertible's fabric roof. That's not to say the convertible is boring – the rear end is still squat and features the wide shoulders and E-Type evoking taillights.

In conclusion, Evo says that while there are some aspects that aren't perfect – the heavy handed body kits on the most powerful models singled out – it's a seriously attractive car and has that "one last look" quality to it.

Interior

The F-Type's cabin is biased towards whoever is sitting behind the wheel – the dashboard and centre console are subtly turned in their direction while a large handle on the opposite side of the console portions it off to whoever is in control - giving the car a cocooned, cockpit-like feel.

But it can make the passenger feel a little shut out, says CarWow, although they'll at least enjoy the ride as the seats are supportive and comfortable. Leather as standard means the interior trim is luxurious and soft to the touch, but while there's nothing immediately wrong with the way it looks, the likes of the Porsche 911 and Mercedes-AMG GT have more modern-looking cabins.

A touchscreen infotainment system kitted with satellite navigation is also a standard feature, as well as Bluetooth connectivity and a DAB digital radio.

Autocar recommends coupe buyers consider forking out £1250 for the optional sunroof. "It's as panoramic as it gets", declares the mag, and transforms the cabin into a light filled, airy place to sit.

Coupe buyers will also get more luggage space. The car's boot is still pretty shallow, but with 315 litres, it's more practical than the 196 litres of the convertible.

Engines, drivetrains and performance

Alongside the two body style choices, the F-Type comes with a large amount of engine and drivetrain options, making up a fairly broad range. There are two V6 engine options as well as two V8s, plus you have the choice of all-wheel drive and manual or automatic gearboxes on many cars in the range.

F-Type V6

The entry-level F-Type comes with a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 engine making 335bhp. It's one of the more straightforward options as it is only available equipped with rear-wheel drive, but there's a choice of gearbox and while the car has a top speed of 161mph, the automatic's 5.1sec dash to 62mph from standstill is quicker than the 5.5secs quoted for the manual.

F Type V6 S

The second V6 option uses the same 3.0-litre powertrain but with the wick turned up to 375bhp. Top speed increases to 171mph and the 0-62mph times are slashed to 4.8secs for the automatic and 5.3secs for the manual. An all-wheel drive system – which throws in the automatic gearbox, too - is optional. Although it will grant extra traction in turns, it's slightly slower off the line, hitting 62mph in 4.9secs.                       

F Type R

The F-Type R is the cheaper of the two V8-powered cars and gets a supercharged 5.0-litre engine packing 542bhp under the bonnet. While the choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive remains, automatic gearboxes are standard on these cars. A four-second 0-62mph time is claimed for the rear-wheel drive car, with the all-wheel drive slightly quicker at 3.9secs. Top speed is clocked at 186mph.

F Type SVR

The range-topping Special Vehicles Operations F-Type SVR also gets the 5.0-litre V8, but now with 567bhp. As such, it's the only F-Type in the range capable of 200mph and 0-62mph is dealt with in 3.5secs. All-wheel drive is standard.

It's twice the price of the standard car, but for the money, you get a lot more than just a few extra horsepower, Car magazine says. There's a whole sheet of tweaks that add up to a big difference, such as a new exhaust system for extra bark, as well as a fairly extensive aerodynamic package.

F-Type four-cylinder

Jaguar announced a new, entry-level model to its F-Type sports car range at the New York Motor Show.

The base-level F-Type, expected to rival the Porsche Cayman 718 and Renault Alpine A110, is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with its 296bhp and 295lb ft of torque sent to the rear-wheels. Zero to 62mph comes in 5.4secs, although its maximum 155mph top speed is around 45mph down on the range-topping SVR model.

Downsizing the engine "pays dividends at the fuel pumps", says Evo. The 2.0-litre unit has a claimed fuel economy of 39.2mpg and CO2 emissions 163g/km, which the magazine says is "a decent step up from the V6’s 33.6mpg and 199g/km". 

The four-cylinder F-Type has undergone substantial weight saving over other models in the range, adds Autocar, as Jaguar has managed to lighten the front axle and improve the weight distribution. 

It also features a tweaked suspension system to cater to the car's adjusted weight distribution, the mag continues, "as has the power steering". 

Jaguar will open orders for its new F-Type variant later this spring, with prices starting from around £49,900. 

Fuel economy and running costs

How efficient the F-Type is and how much it costs to run won't be of prime concern to its prospective buyers, but given the car comes with a stop/start system as standard, it's clearly something Jaguar has thought about.

The entry-level V6 model with an automatic gearbox produces 199g/km CO2 and comes with a claimed 34mpg fuel economy. Opt for a manual gearbox and it's slightly less efficient – 234g/km and 29mpg, so you'll pay significantly more tax as it edges into the £500 annual rate band, compared to the auto's £270 charge.

The V6 S automatic produces 203g/km and averages a claimed 33mpg, while the F-Type R comes in with 26mpg and 255g/km, placing it in the most expensive tax band – you'll pay a £1,120 first-year rate.

Prices

Prices at the very bottom end of the scale begin at £51,775 for the standard V6 in coupe form factor. The convertible equivalent is a little under £5,500 more at £57,260, while opting for the automatic gearbox is a £1,790 premium – a pattern repeated across the range.

The more powerful 375bhp S variants kick off at £60,775, although throw in the all-wheel drive system, including automatic gearbox, and prices jump up £6,640.

V8-powered R cars start at £86,825, with the range topped out by the SVO spec version – a mere £110,000 before any options and in hardtop form.

Reviews

Even though it's a few years old, the F-Type continues to impress, with Auto Express calling it a worthy rival to Porsche's 718 Cayman and Boxster.

While the magazine focuses on the convertible, it promises drivers that no matter what version they choose, they will get a "thrilling driving experience" and that the F-Type satisfies the needs of both driving enthusiasts and the style conscious.

Auto Express's pick of the bunch is the V6-powered F-Type S fitted with all-wheel drive, which may cost a chunk more than its rear-drive counterparts, thanks to the £5,000 premium, but is "definitely worth the money".

Top Gear, however, says the convertible V6 S Cabrio is the best to drive, although the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 R is hard to look past. Compared to convertible versions, the car's solid roof adds structural rigidity and a stronger chassis while the tweaked suspension makes for a vehicle that's "more harmonious, better balanced, and allows you to use more of its power, more of the time".

The addition of the V8 engine makes it a more entertaining proposition compared to the likes of a 911, thanks to the "epic soundtrack that continually erupts from the four exhausts", it adds.

Evo feels the same, adding that the V6 S is the one to go for in the convertible range, but hard-top buyers should definitely pluck for a V8 powered F-Type.

Rivals

The F-Type faces stiff competition in a market packed with highly rated choices. To see how it does, What Car? pitted it directly against two of them: the Porsche 718 Cayman S and the BMW M2.

The two rivals are much newer cars and it shows, says the mag. Both offer fresher, more engaging drives at smaller price tags, the BMW undercutting the F-Type's starting price by almost £10,000.

However, "finishing third in this company is no disgrace", given that the car is three years old and its opposition is relatively new, and its catwalk looks, appeal and engine note will still be enough to convince many buyers.

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