The much-anticipated Jaguar F-TYPE has finally reached South African shores, heralding a return to the company’s heartland: a two-seater, convertible sports car focused on performance, agility and driver involvement.
The F-TYPE is said to distil the essence of a long line of sports cars dating back to 1938 into a thoroughly modern interpretation of what the marque represents. With a trio of models all featuring supercharged engines and lightweight aluminium architecture, we expect performance to remain at the forefront of what Jaguar offers.
Sports Suspension is fitted to all three models, the two ‘S’ versions adding Jaguar Adaptive Dynamics and a locking differential[l1] , the version on the V8 S an electronically-controlled ‘active’ type. The aluminium body is, at just 261 kilograms, exceptionally light allowing the fitment of the quickest steering rack ever on a Jaguar.
The F-TYPE is powered by Jaguar’s new 3.0-litre V6 in 250kW/450Nm form, increasing to 280kW/460Nm for the F-TYPE S. and 364kW/625Nm for the F-TYPE V8 S. The flagship F-TYPE V8 S is powered by a 5.0-litre engine developing 364kW/625Nm. The three engines all interface with an 8-speed Quickshift close-ratio automatic gearbox with paddle shift function.
Headline performance figures for the V8 include a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.3 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 300km/h.
The braking system of each model differs in line with the performance capabilities, and the V8 S is fitted with 380mm/376mm ventilated discs front and rear respectively. Similarly, wheel diameter and tyre width and profile increase the further along the power curve one travels, with an 18-inch alloy shod with 245/45 rubber the starting point. A wide range of alloys measuring up to 20 inches in diameter are offered as optional equipment.
As the spiritual successor to the E-TYPE – a car which set the standards in its day as far as sheer visual presence is concerned – the newcomer encapsulates the assertive new design language of the brand. Jaguars have always defined sinuous, muscular simplicity and the F-TYPE is no exception.
Taking inspiration from the C-X16 concept unveiled in 2011, the front of the F-TYPE features a new interpretation of the angular Jaguar grille from which flows the muscular clamshell bonnet with its signature ‘power bulge’. Bi-xenon headlamp and integral LED daytime running lights adorn the front of the F-TYPE while the muscular rear haunch and sensual, low tail are Jaguar sports car hallmarks. A deployable rear spoiler adds more than just aesthetic appeal a produces up to 120kg rear downforce.
The cabin’s driver-centric focus is highlighted by the ‘one plus one’ layout and a grab handle sweeps down the centre console on the passenger side, delineating it from the driver’s position. This is reinforced by the use of different trim materials either side of the cabin, with a more technical finish on the driver’s side.
Jaguar claim the choice of a fabric top (available in one of four colours) rather than a folding metal one was deliberate, as it not only represents a significant weight saving but optimises packaging and helps maintain a low centre of gravity for greater agility. The hood itself can be fully raised or lowered in just 12 seconds at speeds of up to 50km/h.
The F-TYPE is a continuation of a sporting bloodline that stretches back more than 75 years and encompasses some of the most beautiful, thrilling and desirable cars ever built.
Jaguar F-TYPE pricing
|F-TYPE 3.0-LITRE V6||R845 000|
|F-TYPE 3.0-LITRE V6 S||R975 000|
|F-TYPE 5.0-LITRE V8 S||R1 385 000|