Jaguar F-Type

The Sound of Violence!

When we heard the news that the F-Type's first drive was coming shortly, we were glad. In the back of our minds, some of us thought that Jaguar is for elderly customers and so expected a normal ride. But when we landed in Pamplona to lay our hands on the F-Type on the Navarra Circuit, we were surprised because the car positioned well over our expectations! The car is a combination of the three classical models: E-Type, C-Type and D-Type. Launched at the Paris Motor Show, the all-aluminum F-Type is the return to Jaguar's 50 years of heritage. The two-seater convertible sports car is focused on performance, agility and driver involvement.

When I personally attended New York Auto Show, ArabWheels had a small word with Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director. He told us, "Jaguar is a founder member of the sports car segment with a rich sporting bloodline stretching over 75 years, and in the F-Type we've reignited that flame. The F-Type isn't designed to be like anyone else's sports car. It's a Jaguar sports car - ultra-precise, powerful, sensual and, most of all, it feels alive."

Driving Impressions

We had the opportunity to drive the three variants. We started in an ascendant manner by driving the V6, 340 hp on the rural roads of Spain. We arrived to Navarra Circuit where we had 4 to 5 laps around the track with the V6 S, powered by 380 hp. The pinnacle V8 powered by 495 hp was driven the next day after we did around 400 km with previous models. Although the weather was not quite helpful as it was raining, it was still off the hook to drive the V8. To state my opinion, which is quite objective, the V8 can hardly be driven on a daily basis, but if I had the grants I would surely get the V6 S to drive it on the majestic mountainous roads of Lebanon!

Exterior

The dynamic visual begins with the formidable grille, which takes the form established by Jaguar's bold saloons, the XF and XJ, and reshapes it to create a sports car signature, as seen in the stunning C-X16 concept. The grille shape is softer and wider and leans slightly forward to create a suggestion of motion even when the car is stationary. The mesh in the grille and side vents is a new, hexagonal design which gives greater form and depth in comparison to the previous diagonal motif.

The grille is flanked by twin 'shark gill' openings, intended to give as much visual impact as possible and ensure that the F-Type has instant 'rear view mirror' recognition on the road. It is from these vents and the grille that the essential form of the car flows and begins to take shape. The one-piece clamshell bonnet stretches back from the leading edge of the grille, incorporating the signature Jaguar bonnet bulge and twin vents.

The blade dividing the shark gill openings at the front of the car marks the beginning of one of the 'heartlines' that define, in just two bold strokes, both the profile and plan view of the F-Type. This first heartline runs up the face of the gill and forms the sharp top crease of the wing line, which, when viewed from the driver's seat, provides not only a visual clue to the potency of the engine under the sculpted bonnet but allows the car to be placed more accurately in a corner.

The F-Type features a hidden rear spoiler which rises at speed in order to balance front and rear lift. The spoiler rises at below 100 kph and then lowers to fit flush when the speed drops below 64 kph. Further discreet aerodynamic aids are provided by a front splitter and a sculpted rear valance to ensure the car's balanced weight distribution is echoed in the way it cleaves the air.

The tailpipes provide an opportunity to differentiate between the V6 and V8 variants. V6 models feature a twin center tailpipe treatment in a nod to past Jaguar sports cars. The biggest and boldest exhaust finishers ever fitted to a Jaguar, these are stamped from one piece of stainless steel creating an unbroken gleaming surface. The V8 model is marked by the use of the signature quad, outboard-mounted tailpipes as seen on XKR and XFR models. A different rear valance allows for the changed exhaust positioning.

Further detail differentiation between the three variants is found in the trim used to highlight elements of the exterior design. The V6 model is marked by satin black trim elements in the grilles, vents, front splitter and rear valance while the two 'S' models receive gloss black finishes in these areas. The V6 model sits as standard on 18 inch alloys, with 19 inch and 20 inch wheels optional, these being standard for the S and V8 S respectively. The range-topping V8 S also receives additional aerodynamic addenda - front vanes beneath the shark gills and flat side sill extensions - to aid its stability at the very high speeds of which it is capable.

Fitting with its intent as a focused sports car, the F-Type is equipped with a fabric, rather than metal, convertible roof. This not only represents a significant weight saving but optimizes packaging and helps maintain a low center of gravity for greater agility. The hood itself can be fully raised or lowered in just 12 seconds at speeds of up to 50 kph. Its multi-layer construction includes a thick Thinsulate lining for optimal thermal and sound insulating properties.

Drivetrain
Three variants are available on the all new Jaguar F-Type: V6, V6 S and V8.

F-Type V6
The 340PS V6 F-Type accelerates to 100 kph in 5.3 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 260 kph, while emitting just 209g/km of CO2.

F-Type V6 S
The 380 hp V6 F-Type S covers the 0-100 kph sprint in 4.9 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 275 kph, with CO2 emissions of 213g/km.

F-Type V8
Producing 495 hp and 625 Nm of torque in the F-Type V8 S model, it has an astonishing torque-to-weight ratio of 375Nm/ton, accelerates to 0-100 kph in 4.3 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 300 kph while emitting 259g/km of CO2.

An active exhaust system, which is standard on the S and V8 S models, adds another dimension of driver engagement. Valves in the exhaust system open under load from 3000rpm which allows the exhaust note to build to a thrilling crescendo at the redline.

The F-Type has a set of 8 closely spaced, sporting ratios in its Quickshift transmission, giving greater driver control. The V6-powered S model also includes a Dynamic Launch feature, which optimizes acceleration from rest.

Interior
The focus on driver involvement and sporting performance in the F-Type is emphasized by the 'one plus one' layout of the asymmetric cabin. This is evidenced by the grab handle which sweeps down the center console on the passenger side, delineating it from the driver's position. Further differentiation is provided by the use of different trim materials either side of the cabin, with a more technical finish on the driver's side.

Taking inspiration from cockpits of fighter airplanes, the controls are ergonomically grouped by function. Further aeronautical inspiration can be found in the joystick-shaped SportShift selector controlling the eight-speed transmission. The air vents on top of the dashboard will only deploy when instructed to by either the driver or complex control algorithms, staying tucked discreetly out of sight in other circumstances.

The cabin architecture reflects its role as a 'one plus one' sports car, focused upon the driver and their interaction with the electronic and mechanical components that come together to create an experience far greater than the sum of its parts.

Jaguar pioneered the use of a touchscreen interface for controlling the majority of its cars' functions but with the F-Type it was important that there were more physical interfaces and touchpoints for the driver. The heating and ventilation functions have been separated out from the touchscreen and now have physical controls beneath it.

Rotary dials control the climate for each side of the car and feature a screen at their center to indicate temperature and status. This also allows the controls to fulfill a dual-purpose - in cars fitted with heated seats, pushing the left or right hand rotary controls alters their functionality allowing them to control seat temperature. A row of toggle switches below the dials echoes Jaguar sports cars of the past and control further climate functions.

Sports seats featuring electric adjustment of the recline and height functions with manual control of fore and aft movement (the latter in order to save weight) are the standard specification. Optional Performance seats can be supplied with additional side bolstering and prominent wings for greater support during high speed cornering. Both variants can also be specified with full electric adjustment which includes adjustable lumbar and side support.

Verdict
Three models are available: F-Type, F-Type S and the F-Type V8 S. They are powered respectively by Jaguar's new 3.0 liter V6 supercharged engine in 340 hp, which is comparable to a tiny wild cat. The 380 hp output is comparable to a baby jaguar and its 5.0 liter V8 supercharged producing 495 hp is similar to the mature tiger. If you don't respect it, it will bite you!

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