Jaguar F-Type


Debut: 2013
Maker: Jaguar
Predecessor: No



 Published on 1 May 2013
All rights reserved. 


F-Type has always been the missing link in the bloodline of Jaguar sports cars. After building a handful of C-Type and D-Type for motor racing in the 1950s, Jaguar turned its vision to a proper road-going sports car. The E-Type set new standards for design and speed in 1961. It was considered the most important sports car in the world before the arrival of Porsche 911, and more than 72,000 units were sold worldwide. Somehow, Jaguar failed to repeat its success in the subsequent XJS and XK8 as they grew larger and more luxury-oriented. A couple of attempts to revive the spirit of E-Type did not materialize – in the late 1980s, a prototype F-Type was built but it got rejected by new owner Ford; in 2000, a small roadster concept bearing the F-Type name was unveiled in Detroit motor show. Again it failed to get production green light. Ironically, the closest thing to revive the E-Type philosophy was Aston Martin DB7. It was originally designed by TWR as a proposal for Jaguar. Unfortunately, Jaguar was not interested at all, so TWR modified the design and built it for Aston. The rest was history. Incidentally, the guy styled that car is exactly the same one as today's F-Type: Ian Callum.


Seeing the new Jaguar F-Type, it is easy to understand why Ian Callum has been highly respected in the circle of automotive design. As everybody knows, it is no longer possible to replicate the beauty of 1960s in the presence of new safety regulations (hence a high bonnet) and modern requirements for aerodynamics (hence a high tail). However, Callum still managed to envelop the boundary better than most other designers. The F-Type looks remarkably sporty thanks to a wide and short stance. Its shoulder width is 120 mm broader than that of Porsche Boxster, while the combined length of its front and rear overhangs is 50 mm shorter. In addition to the monstrous-size 19 or 20-inch wheels, no wonder it delivers an unusual sense of grip and stability.

Don't get me wrong, it is not just about He-Man muscular. Callum also injected a great deal of subtlety and elegance into its body surface. Most notable is the subtle curve extending from the rear fenders to the slim taillights. It makes the tail look lighter and sleeker than actually is. In my opinion it is a clever touch to replicate the E-Type without sacrificing modern functions - well, it does need a tiny pop-up spoiler to minimize aerodynamic lift, but so does a Porsche Boxster. The front end is also worth praising. The vertical headlights draw your attention to the sharp crease lines pressed on front fenders, which are mirrored by the vertical blades on bumper. The part-rectangular, part-oval front grille occupies the right position and area. There is a high level of coordination and harmony achieved among its various design elements. The result is a car that looks beautiful right at the first sight and is likely to endure the test of time.


Inside, the story is not as remarkable. As I mentioned before (see XK), Callum doesn't design interior as good as exterior, and this tradition continues at the F-Type. In my opinion, its instrument pod, center console and switch gears could be more special. The use of materials could be classier, especially the plastic gearshift paddles. The steering wheel doesn't need to be shared with XJ if not for cost saving. As it is, it doesn't feel as desirable as a Mercedes SL or Porsche 911 / Boxster / Cayman. Nevertheless, overall speaking it is still pretty well finished, at least good enough to survive until the mid-life facelift 4 or 5 years later. In terms of functions, this cabin works flawlessly. You sit low in the cabin (20 mm lower than the case of XKR-S), surrounded by a snug environment and supported by a comfortable seat. Unless you are taller than 6' 3", you will find it offers enough room. All major controls and switches have a tactile feel.

The luggage space is not so good. There is no space left behind the seats for hand-carry luggage. The trunk is also small at 196 liters only, blame to the fact that the battery and water tank for windscreen washer are packed under the boot to improve weight distribution. If you play golf, you had better to choose the larger XK instead.



Speaking of weight distribution, the V6 versions of F-Type would achieve a perfect balance of 50:50 with two occupants on board, or a slightly less desirable 52:48 unloaded. I would prefer a little bit rear-biased weight distribution, but considering this is a conventional FR roadster with a front-mounted gearbox, I would say it is pretty good.

Like XK and XJ (but unlike XF), the F-Type's body is an aluminum monocoque, comprising of 141 aluminum pressings, 18 high-pressure die castings and 24 extrusions. The parts are jointed together by riveting and bonding. Apart from the plastic trunk lid and under-sill structures, nearly everything is made of aluminum. Unfortunately, the car still weighs about 250 kg more than the comparable Porsche Boxster S and 911 Carrera, showing plenty of room to improve in the future. On the plus side, its torsional rigidity is said to be 10 percent stiffer than XKR-S, which is evident on the road as it shows no scuttle shake and flexing at all. The chassis rides on classic double-wishbone suspensions at all corners. The control arms and knuckles are constructed in aluminum, of course. Jaguar's adaptive damping and Dynamic Drive control system is standard except on the cheapest model. Surprisingly, the steering is still hydraulic-assisted, but it is geared to 2.5 turns lock-to-lock, which is far more direct than previous Jaguars.



There are 3 models to choose from: V6, V6 S and V8 S. We start from the flagship model first. Its 5-liter direct-injection supercharged AJ-V8 is taken straight from XKR and XFR, just has it maximum output reduced by 15 hp to 495 hp, probably due to the more restricted exhaust routing in the smaller engine compartment. Peak torque remains unchanged at 461 pound-foot. As the car is nearly 100 kg lighter than the XKR, its performance is even more aggressive – Jaguar estimated a top speed of 186 mph (300 km/h), acceleration from 0-60 and 0-100 mph in 4.2 and 8.9 seconds respectively. While I won't use the term "supercar" to describe it – too many people misuse it these days – it is unquestionably very fast. How fast? Think of an Audi R8 V10 Spyder, a BMW M6 Cabriolet or a 911 Carrera S in its fastest PDK and Sport Chrono tune. Like all F-Type models, it employs a compulsory ZF 8-speed automatic. An electronic-controlled active differential is responsible for splitting its tremendous power between the rear wheels.

The V6 S model is probably the sweet spot of the three, as Jaguar implied. Its 3.0-liter supercharged V6 is derived from the AJ-V8, so it needs counter-rotating front and rear balancer weights to cancel the end-to-end vibration resulted from its 90-degree V-angle. Like the AJ-V8, it is equipped with dual-continuous variable valve timing, spray-guided direct injection and a 4-lobe Eaton TVS supercharger. The only difference is higher compression ratio (10.5:1 vs 9.5:1), which should benefit low-rpm delivery. Output is rated at 380 hp and 339 lbft, enough to register 171 mph top speed and 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds. In other words, it is about as fast as a Porsche Boxster S PDK. Because it is not as powerful as the V8, a mechanical LSD is considered sufficient for the job.

The cheapest V6 model is the detuned version of V6 S. It produces 340 hp and barely less torque at 332 lbft. Performance is not reduced too much, but to enable a keener price it sacrifices LSD of any kind as well as the adaptive damping and dynamic drive control system.


Speaking of price, the V6, V6 S and V8 S are sold at just under £60,000, £70,000 and £80,000 respectively. The V8 hits right to the heartland of Porsche 911 Carrera 3.4, while the V6 duo rests somewhat higher than the level of Boxster S / Cayman S and somewhat lower than the 911 range. Jaguar calls it a sweet spot in the market. I call it an excuse to hide the high costs of its bespoke aluminum construction. The point is, Porsche managed to make the Boxster S / Cayman S duo lighter without resorting to full aluminum chassis, faster in the real world without employing forced induction yet still undercuts the F-Type by a large margin, even after options. Perhaps the new Jaguar is not as brilliant as it first appears.

Road tests confirm my suspicion. In isolation, the F-Type is really fun to drive. The V6 S offers plenty of pulling power and a throttle response matching a normally aspirated motor. Its exhaust note sounds pretty special when the bypass valve opens to a crackling overrun. The ZF auto responds quickly and smoothly, so the car is easy to drive fast as well as to cruise on highway. In Dynamic mode, the suspension feels taut and the chassis feels well balanced. Approaching limit, it understeers gently. Keep pushing, it runs into a mild oversteer, which is easy to correct. The quick steering adds to the sense of agility. This car is definitely sportier and more fun to drive than the likes of Mercedes SLK55 or SL500.

However, when compared against a Porsche Boxster S or 911 Carrera, you will find it lags behind in many areas. For example, the Porsche's flat-six is smoother, more willing to rev and sounds even more exciting when being stretched. The PDK gearbox reacts keener to driver's input. In terms of ride and handling, there is no comparison. The Porsches feel lighter and more agile thus they are more precise to control in the twisty. They also ride better on rough surfaces. Strangely, the Jag's hydraulic steering does not offer more feel than Porsche's electrical rack. In fact, the latter feels more communicative at times.



The lesser V6 model is slightly less enjoyable because it lacks the sportier exhaust note of the V6 S, while the passive dampers return a firmer ride on poor roads.

Meanwhile, the V8 S is a very different animal – it is virtually a beast! The V8 sings a lot crazier and provides a completely different level of performance. The way it accelerates between bends is brutal. In fact, its tremendous power seems too much for the chassis to cope with at times. The chassis balance is not as good as the V6 S due to the extra 30 kg over the front axle. Such weight also makes its steering weightier and less sensitive. If you drive without self-discipline, you can easily overwhelm its balance and grip. When its tail breaks away, it oversteers quite dramatically, so the electronic safety net is absolutely necessary to turn on. This is a modern hot-rod, something that can be as exciting as it is scary. It reminds us the late TVR.

The F-Type might not be as perfect as Porsche, but it is no less attractive. It looks stunning beautiful. It goes fast, it drives good enough and it has its own character. The sports car world will be more interesting with its presence.
Verdict: 
 Published on 27 Mar 2014 All rights reserved. 
F-Type Coupe & F-Type R


Beautiful, advanced and fast, Jaguar F-Type roadster enjoys a good start and helps the renaissance of Jaguar. However, as I pointed out last year, in dynamic aspect it still lags behind Porsche Boxster, Cayman and 911 by considerable margins. Perhaps the new F-Type Coupe could reverse the situation.  By sealing the bath tub with an aluminum roof or panoramic glass, its chassis torsional rigidity is lifted by 80 percent to 33,000 Nm/degree (though Cayman is even more impressive at 40,000+ Nm/degree), allowing the double-wishbone suspensions and hydraulic-assisted steering to work as they originally intended to. It also allows front and rear springs to be stiffened by 4 percent to sharpen handling further.

Such changes might sound subtle, but in reality the difference is huge. The F-Type Coupe turns far sharper, keener and more precise than the coupe. Its steering feels more direct and communicative, finally as good as a hydraulic rack should be. The ride might be firm
probably too firm for a Jaguar but it overcomes speed bumps crisply thus rarely unsettles the handling. Body control is even better, with little roll and pitch to speak of. Understeer and oversteer are better suppressed, too, thanks in no doubt to the better use of suspension geometry. This is what the F-Type should have been from the outset. In other words, its full potential is finally released!



As before the 3-liter supercharged V6 in either 340 hp or 380 hp tunes will contribute to the majority of sales, but by far the most exciting has to be the new range-topper, F-Type R. It adopts the 550 hp version of the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 from XKR-S thus is 55 hp stronger than the V8 S Roadster. While the V8 Roadster has more grunt than its chassis can handle, the R Coupe does not suffer from the same problem. Yes, its driving experience is still dominated by the engine, no matter from the mad exhaust or the breathtaking acceleration (0-60 takes only 4 seconds flat! while top speed is governed at 186 mph). With so much power and torque available from a wide band, you can effortlessly slide its tail in any bends and at any gears. It is still some kind of a hot rod and needs your respect, but now the combination of stiffer chassis, improved grip and a second generation active differential, which works in conjunction with torque vectoring by braking, allows you to control its power slide at will, hold the slide at your desired angle and for as long as you want. Not just one bend, you can slide through a series of S-bands in succession without sweating, a testament of brilliant chassis balance. Not even a Porsche 911 can manage power slide so well! This mean, although the Jaguar is more engine-led than Porsche, it is even more exciting to drive – just in a raw way.

All out, the F-Type R recorded a Nurburgring best of 7:39, a second quicker than 911 Carrera S. The Porsche does beat the Jaguar in terms of ride comfort and cabin quality, but the Jag strikes back in exterior design. Both are priced at about £85,000. Jaguar finally has something to match the mighty 911!

Verdict:
 Published on 28 May 2015
All rights reserved. 
F-Type AWD, manual.


Although its sales numbers are still modest, Jaguar shows many good signs about its future. Its F-type and XE generate strong interests and steady increase of income. Profits (and more investment from Tata) is fed back to improve its cars, which will increase its income again. When the F-type was launched 2 years ago, its line-up was limited to a convertible body, one transmission and 3 engines, much simpler than its Porsche rivals. Last year, coupe body and F-type R were added to the choices. This year, its customer portfolio gets broader again with the introduction of AWD and manual transmission.

The AWD system uses a center coupling with multi-plate clutch, located behind the ZF 8-speed automatic transmission, to engage the front differential. As the front prop-shaft goes through the engine sump, the engine needs to be raised by 10 mm compared with the RWD model, and this in turn requires a slightly reshaped bonnet to accommodate. Normally, the F-type is driven purely by the rear wheels. In case the rear wheels slip, computer will signal the center coupling to engage the front axle, which could get up to 50 percent of all torque. This means, the F-type AWD keeps the rear-biased sporty handling most of the time, but at the limit it finds extra traction and security. Sounds very much like Nissan GT-R. In reality, the system also works very well. If you live in the snowbelt or you can't stand the tail-happy character of the original car, especially the 550 hp F-type R, the AWD will be a perfect choice. To keen drivers, however, the highly playful RWD model is still the definitive choice. It is also 80 kg lighter and has a slightly lower center of gravity, so its handling is slightly sharper. Moreover, the car already got safety nets in the form of stability control, torque vectoring by braking and active differential.

Another addition, if less significant to most customers, is a 6-speed manual gearbox. If comes from ZF, no wonder the gearshift is so familiar. Shift quality is generally good, if not as good as the best Japanese gearboxes. What it adds is not speed but driver involvement. It must be said that the manual gearbox cannot be matched with AWD, as it would be too costly to develop considering the small demand. The AWD and automatic combo is different, because it will be used in larger scale by XE and XF.

Apart from these changes, the F-type has some revisions this year. Like XE, it gets the company's first ZF electric power steering system, replacing the old hydraulic setup. Does it hamper communication from the front wheels? No, on the contrary. Remember, the old steering was never renowned for feel (see our original review), so the new rack actually improves on that, plus it is more precise. A welcomed improvement.

With the introduction of 550 hp F-type R Coupe, some questioned why the V8 S convertible still ran a 495 hp motor. That's why Jaguar has finally replaced the latter with F-type R Convertible. Mind you, the Coupe's stiffer chassis always makes better use of the huge horsepower advantage. The open-top is more romantic, but it is more suitable to the lesser V6s.
Verdict:
 Published on 18 Jun 2016 All rights reserved. 
F-Type SVR


Sometimes I wonder what market position Jaguar F-type aims at. Originally it was conceived to rival Porsche Boxster/Cayman in the region of £50,000, which was a nice fit below the larger and more expensive XK. But then the XK retired, and Jaguar started stretching the smaller car to cover higher and higher segments. A couple of years ago, F-type R lifted it to the level of £85,000, with performance to match. Now with the involvement of Special Vehicle Operations (SVO), the new F-type SVR takes the fight to an even higher segment. It asks for an eye-popping £110,000. In return, you get equally eye-popping performance, say, 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds and a genuine 200 mph top speed. The fact that it is the fastest Jaguar since XJ220 may not touch you, but what really makes a point is that it is the cheapest 200 mph sports car you can buy in Europe, and that title is expected to cover globally when the 205-mph Dodge Viper dies next year. For a similar ticket to the 200-mph Club, you need to buy a Porsche 911 Turbo S (£145,000), Porsche 911 R (£137,000), Aston Martin V12 Vantage S (£138,000) or Audi R8 V10 Plus (£135,000), although Nissan GT-R and Mercedes-AMG GT S get very close.



The question is, can the car originally designed to the standard of £50K deliver the necessary dynamics and refinement to meet the expectation for a £110K, 200-mph machine? SVO has its work cut out. The SVR is modified based on the F-type R AWD to take advantage of its extra traction. Its supercharged 5-liter V8 gets remapped ECU and a freer flowing titanium-Inconel exhaust to extract another 25 horsepower, making a total of 575 hp. Peak torque is also lifted slightly to 516 pound-foot. The ZF 8-speed automatic transmission is recalibrated to speed up gearshifts a little. Yes, all these sound not much compared with the already high baseline, so SVO also tries to cut some fat from the car. The aforementioned exhaust alone is 16 kg lighter. In addition to lightweight forged alloy wheels (13 kg) as well as the optional ceramic brakes (21 kg), and carbon-fiber roof (4 kg), the whole car is 50 kg lighter. However, this is by no means a GT3 alike. Its interior retains all the leather and equipment so that it feels properly luxury in the usual Jaguar way. After all, a stripped-out cabin would make little difference to a car already weighing 1.7 ton.

As the power boost is rather small, to enable the 200 mph top speed the SVR needs to reduce drag. Its nose is reshaped to include a deeper and wider lip spoiler to mask more of the front wheels. The additional vents aft of the front wheels release pressure built inside the engine compartment yet help engine cooling. The latter is also improved by larger intakes and redesigned bonnet louvers. The new under-floor tray smoothes air flow underside and feeds the new diffuser. As the new exhaust features 2 longitudinal silencers instead of a single transverse silencer, a deeper venturi can be built between the exhausts, enhancing the effectiveness of diffuser. However, the most obvious change is the addition of a tail spoiler, which makes the SVR look significantly more striking than other F-types. It seems to be fixed, but actually can rise and extend rearward at above 70 mph, just not retractable into the body. Overall, Jaguar said aerodynamic lift is reduced by 45 percent when the spoiler is extended, whereas drag is reduced by 7.5 percent when the spoiler is lowered.



However, on the road it is difficult to tell if the SVR is any more powerful than the F-type R. The extra power is too small, and the exhaust note, though a little more hard-edged, does not make a big difference. After all, the F-type R is already hugely powerful and accompanied with one of the most dramatic exhaust noise. Likewise, the gearbox might be a little quicker to change ratios, but it is not different enough to make a strong impression. What you can tell is the car does afford better traction off the line, thanks to a set of wider tires. Don’t get me wrong, the SVR is very fast in straight line. It might be even quicker than the official 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds suggested. 0-100 mph should start with a “7”, faster than any Aston Martins. Faster than even an XJ220 actually. The problem is, its power delivery, sound and transmission response are all too familar to the F-type R, so subjectively it doesn’t feel remarkably faster. The extra top speed is rarely accessible on public roads.

Comparatively, changes to the chassis are more noticeable. Both front and rear wheels get slightly wider Pirelli P Zero tires with bespoke compounds. The suspension is beefed up as well. While springs are unchanged, the dampers and anti-roll bars have been retuned. The anti-roll bar up front is softened while the rear gets stiffer, so the car affords better front-end grip and therefore reduces understeer. Stiffer rear knuckles reduce camber change in hard cornering thus enhance grip and traction. In addition to a retuned power steering, the SVR feels pointier, sharper on turn-in and more neutral at the limit. Like Ferrari but unlike Aston, its quick-ratio steering in combination with the sharper turn-in could feel nervous in the beginning. Spend enough time with the helm and you will eventually get used to it, feeling confident with your subtle inputs.



Ride quality remains quite stiff at low speed, but it improves dramatically at speed. Overall, it rides slightly better than the F-type R.

With AWD fitted mandatorily, the SVR feels a lot more secured when being driven hard in the twisty. There is much less movement at the tail as the AWD system reshuffles torque to the front axle when the rear spins. You can still induce power slide by using its deep reserve of torque, but the slide is now more benign, fully under control, unlike the rear-drive F-type R which could give you some scary moments. The SVR gives you great confidence thus allows you to access its performance deeper.

Good though the SVR is, there are many cars at this price being lighter, more agile and just as quick in the real world. Some of them are thoroughbred sports cars and many of them feeling more special. The SVR is no ordinary, but when you can have an F-type V6 for fifty grand, you deserve more with £110K.
Verdict:
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout
Suspension features
Tires

Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
F-Type V6
2013
Front-engined, RWD
Aluminum monocoque
Aluminum
4470 / 1923 / 1308 mm
2622 mm
V6, 90-degree
2995 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT
Supercharger
DI
340 hp / 6500 rpm
332 lbft / 3500-5000 rpm
8-speed automatic
All: double-wishbone
-
F: 245/45ZR18
R: 275/40ZR18
1597 kg
162 mph (c)
5.1 (c)
-
F-Type V6 S
2013
Front-engined, RWD
Aluminum monocoque
Aluminum
4470 / 1923 / 1308 mm
2622 mm
V6, 90-degree
2995 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT
Supercharger
DI
380 hp / 6500 rpm
339 lbft / 3500-5000 rpm
8-speed automatic
All: double-wishbone
Adaptive damping
F: 245/40ZR19
R: 275/35ZR19
1614 kg
171 mph (c)
4.8 (c) / 4.2* / 4.7**
10.3* / 10.9**
F-Type V8 S
2013
Front-engined, RWD
Aluminum monocoque
Aluminum
4470 / 1923 / 1319 mm
2622 mm
V8, 90-degree
5000 cc
DOHC 32 valves, DVVT
Supercharger
DI
495 hp / 6500 rpm
461 lbft / 2500-5500 rpm
8-speed automatic
All: double-wishbone
Adaptive damping
F: 255/35ZR20
R: 295/30ZR20
1665 kg
186 mph (limited)
4.2 (c) / 3.6** / 4.0***
8.9 (c) / 8.4** / 9.4***




Performance tested by: *R&T, **C&D, ***Autocar





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout
Suspension features
Tires

Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)

0-100 mph (sec)

0-150 mph (sec)
F-Type Coupe V6 S
2014
Front-engined, RWD
Aluminum monocoque
Aluminum
4470 / 1923 / 1309 mm
2622 mm
V6, 90-degree
2995 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT
Supercharger
DI
380 hp / 6500 rpm
339 lbft / 3500-5000 rpm
8-speed automatic
All: double-wishbone
Adaptive damping
F: 245/40ZR19
R: 275/35ZR19
1594 kg
171 mph (c)
4.7 (c) / 4.3*

10.7*

-
F-Type R Coupe (AWD)
2014 (2015)
Front-engined, RWD (4WD)
Aluminum monocoque
Aluminum
4470 / 1923 / 1321 mm
2622 mm
V8, 90-degree
5000 cc
DOHC 32 valves, DVVT
Supercharger
DI
550 hp / 6500 rpm
501 lbft / 2500-5500 rpm
8-speed automatic
All: double-wishbone
Adaptive damping
F: 255/35ZR20
R: 295/30ZR20
1650 kg (1730 kg)
186 mph (limited)
RWD: 4.0 (c) / 3.5* / 3.7**
AWD: 3.9 (c) / 3.6***
RWD: 8.1* / 8.1**
AWD: 8.4***
-
F-Type SVR Coupe
2016
Front-engined, 4WD
Aluminum monocoque
Aluminum
4475 / 1923 / 1311 mm
2622 mm
V8, 90-degree
5000 cc
DOHC 32 valves, DVVT
Supercharger
DI
575 hp / 6500 rpm
516 lbft / 3500-5000 rpm
8-speed automatic
All: double-wishbone
Adaptive damping
F: 265/35ZR20
R: 305/30ZR20
1680 kg (with ceramic brakes)
200 mph (c)
3.5 (c) / 3.0**

7.1**

16.7**




Performance tested by: *C&D, **R&T, ***Autocar





AutoZine Rating

F-Type Convertible V6 / V6S


F-Type Coupe V6 / V6S


F-Type R Convertible


F-Type R Coupe


F-Type SVR



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