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  • Spectacular looks; brilliant engines, hellfire-style exhaust note; eight-speed auto is a cracker; mid-range punch; devastating acceleration with the V8;build quality; driver-focused cabin; quick-deploying fabric roof; agile handling for the V6 models;
  • Minimal cabin storage; small boot; V8 isn\'t as agile as the V6 models

OUR RATING
9 / 10



Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

You’ve read all the hype, seen all the pictures, but this is it – a drive of the hugely anticipated Jaguar F-Type.

It’s impossible to overestimate how big a deal this car is – not just for Jaguar but also the world of sports cars.

For a company already lauded for creating some of the most beautiful sports cars of all time, the Jaguar F-Type heralds the company’s return to the heady days of pure style and its first proper two-seat sports car since the legendary E-Type first rolled off the production line in 1961.

Jaguar established itself as an icon of 1960s motoring with a killer combination of singular looks, supercar performance and cut-throat pricing – qualities Jaguar wants to resurrect in the new F-Type.

The F-Type, then, is not only charged with strengthening the brand’s performance credentials and establishing a direct connection to the badge’s illustrious sporting heritage – which also includes the famous C-Type and D-Type sibings – but also transforming Jaguar from a poster child for Baby Boomers into an achievable reality for cashed-up Gen X and Y buyers.

Jaguar, in fact, hopes this younger set will soon be behind 90 per cent of F-Type purchases.

But while the F-Type may well be Jaguar’s sportiest car ever, the competition is fierce and dominated by three very different, but very capable rivals: the rear-engine Porsche 911, the mid-engine Audi R8 and the traditional front-engine Aston Martin Vantage – all exceptional cars with their own unique character and soul.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

The pricing of the Jaguar F-Type, however, also places the base model in proximity to another Porsche – the Boxster. (And the Cayman once the still-to-be-officially-confirmed coupe F-Type emerges before the end of 2013.)

In response, Jaguar has launched the F-Type with three variants that are all supercharged, and all quick: the F-Type, F-Type S and the range-topping F-Type V8 S.

The foundation for the range is the $139,000 entry-level 250kW/450Nm 3.0-litre V6 – good for a 5.3 second sprint to 100km/h and a top speed of 260km/h.

The more powerful F-Type V6S starts from $171,400, but boosts power and torque to 280kW/460Nm respectively. It can launch from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds and has a maximum speed of 275km/h.

Generating 364kW of power and a tyre-shredding 625Nm of torque to the rear wheels, the $202,300 F-Type V8 S is the weapons-grade edition. Its supercharged 5.0-litre V8 will catapult the F-Type V8 S to 100km/h in just 4.3 seconds and on to a top speed that maxes-out at 300km/h.

Jaguar is therefore confident it has the firepower to go head-to-head with its formidable rivals. And after two days sampling the entire F-Type range on the mountain roads around Pamplona and the Circuito de Navarra in Northern Spain, we’re not about to argue.

Visually, the F-Type is beautifully proportioned albeit a lot more compact than we had first imagined. This isn’t a bad thing – it’s lower, wider and shorter than any other current Jaguar, but overall the F-Type is still 6 per cent larger than its 911 rival.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

But those wanting a linear resurrection of the E-Type’s design will be disappointed; modern crash safety requirements prevent the notion of any such design from ever becoming a reality.

Instead, its designers have paid subtle homage to its spiritual ancestor in the ultra-thin LED tail lamps that wrap into the rear wheel arches and the two beautifully engineered centre-mounted chrome tailpipes, mounted inboard (these were sourced from the same Italian manufacturer that produces pipes for Ducati motorcycles) yet delivered without the slightest hint of novelty retro.

The supercharged V8 gets quad exhausts mounted outboard that don’t look nearly as special as the twin-pipe setup despite the variant’s top-shelf status.

The front end is notable for its one-piece clamshell bonnet featuring Jaguar’s signature power bulge and twin cooling vents.

The money shot comes from the rear three-quarters of its profile, where the F-Type shows off its beautifully detailed lines and low-slung tapered shape shamelessly. From the back, the design is so fresh that it looks more like a prototype concept than any fully-fledged production model.

Clever pop-out door handles mean that even getting in to the F-Type is an occasion.

The joystick-inspired gear lever is a deliberate move away from Jaguar’s standard rotary gear selector, signifying a purebred two-seat sports car.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

It’s a simple, uncluttered cockpit where all the F-Type switchgear is understated and functional in its appearance. The switches are finished in soft-feel matte black with highlight accents in satin, chrome and dark aluminium.

We particularly like the optional copper-coloured gearshift paddles and starter button on out test car.

While the standard sports seats provide suitable comfort, the body-wrapping ‘Performance’ chairs are the way to go if you want extra side-bolster.

There’s an optional flat-bottomed leather-wrapped steering wheel that’s suitably thick-rimmed, or you can choose a suede-trimmed round version that looks the business but lacks sufficient cushioning to be comfortable.

The F-Type gets all the usual luxury kit as standard, including automatic climate control air conditioning, electric park brake, stop/start technology, Bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights and auto lights and wipers.

Additional equipment includes an eight-inch touch-screen with satellite navigation (woefully slow), Bluetooth phone and music streaming, front and rear parking sensors and a very tidy 10-speaker 380W Meridian sound system.

Initially it feels a little snug inside, but there’s no shortage of headroom (even with the fabric roof up) or elbowroom inside the F-Type, even for bigger drivers.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

Storage is another matter. There’s virtually no usable space behind the seats and while the boot is also typically small for a sports car, at least there’s no space penalty with the roof down, so with careful packing we managed to squeeze in four compact bags.

So the all-new Jaguar F-Type is easy on the eye, but what does it go like?

Firstly, you should know there aren’t any duds in the F-Type range. All three variants are a treat to drive and all have loads of character.

We started our drive in the base model 3.0-litre V6 version. At a relatively hefty 1597 kilos, this is actually the lightest of the litter despite its all-aluminium chassis.

As a comparison, a Porsche Boxter with optional PDK transmission tips the scales at 1340kg, while the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet weighs in at around 1550kg.

Fine Spanish weather at the international launch demanded we drop the F-Type’s quick-deploying (up or down in just 12 seconds), Thinsulate-lined fabric roof so that the full breadth of its loud, rasping exhaust note could be properly appreciated.

Even when pulling away gently there’s a hint of what’s to come in the aural department – already it sounds special.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

But don’t be fooled by the noise – the eight-speed auto means the F-Type can be quite a relaxed machine at dawdling pace, with seamless upshifts and none of the low-speed jitters of dual-clutch transmissions.

The F-Type does, however, do its best work in dynamic mode and with plenty of revs on the dial – especially on fast-flowing roads. Upshifts are firm and crisp and seem quick enough to rival dual-clutch boxes.

It’s properly quick across undulating terrain and sonic boom-loud from the mid-range. Jaguar has clearly created an inspiring engine note that’s unique to the F-Type V6 models.

It doesn’t take long before confidence builds and you’re piling on the pace, attacking the countless hairpins along with a barrage of rapid-fire, blipping downshifts. Add the F-Type’s on-cue thunder-like ‘crackle’ on lift-off and it’s a truly epic aural experience.

It’s very stiff (torsional rigidity is 10 per cent up on the XKR-S) so you won’t detect excess movement in the body even with the roof down and over bumpy surfaces.

The F-Type’s body control is near-faultless. It has a near perfect 50:50 weight distribution and an eagerness to attack bends with impressive agility.

There’s an uncanny level of traction too, despite an open-differential (the S gets a mechanical LSD) and a genuine connection with the road with this car.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

The base F-Type doesn’t get Jaguar’s tricky Adaptive Dynamics system (standard on the upper two trims) but the standard suspension still keeps the body impressively flat through the bends.

The ride itself isn’t all that supple. It’s not jarring, but there’s an underlying firmness to the suspension that lets you know what the car is doing.

Poorly surfaced roads will cause the F-Type to move around a little under load, especially during cornering. It’s a shortcoming that is sorted out in the V6 ‘S’ model via standard adaptive dampers.

The steering is also accurate and is claimed to be the quickest steering rack ever on a Jaguar. Generally it’s nicely weighted, though we found it a tad too light in the standard ‘Drive’ mode.

Switching over to the ‘Dynamic’ mode not only increases steering weighting, but also gives you more aggressive settings for the throttle and gearbox.

More enjoyable still is moving the shift lever into the ‘Sport’ setting for that proper manual experience via the paddleshifters.

But a word of warning – this is a close-ratio transmission, so you’ll need to be on your game to get the most out of it during full-throttle acceleration from low speeds, otherwise the engine will be bouncing off the rev-limiter quicker than you can up-shift.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

The F-Type V6 S is even more fun. It uses the same supercharged engine as the entry-level car, but as mentioned, power and torque are upped to 280kW/460Nm, respectively.

It also gets bigger brakes and larger 19-inch wheels.

For this, the F-Type V6 S commands a premium of $32,400 but bear in mind that apart from a lift in performance and a louder bark, it also gains some valuable extras like Adaptive Dynamics, a limited slip diff and an Active Sports Exhaust – the latter especially gratifying with an open cockpit.

On track, the V6 S is an impressively well-composed set-up, where the extra torque, deployable rear spoiler and 275km/h top speed proved more useful.

High-speed stability under heavy braking is excellent, so too is its ability to turn in sharply and get on the power early. Its twist-resistant chassis also meant that corner entry speeds are always confidently high.

It offers much of the same joy on mountain roads, only the adaptive dampers allow the F-Type to sit on the road with more poise, especially when pushed hard. Throttle response is instantaneous and there’s loads of grip at both ends.

Our test car was also fitted with the configurable Dynamic Mode, which lets you choose between Normal and Dynamic settings independently for the suspension, gearbox, throttle and steering. We eventually chose the hard-core settings for all but the engine as too many revs, too early in the hairpins proved slightly unsettling and actually retarded the F-Type’s progress.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

Get it right, though, and the V6 S is capable of covering ground at a thoroughly quick pace with an exhaust note to match several members of the ‘supercar’ club.

So far, we think the V6 S hits the sweet spot in the F-Type range, but if you’re after a weapons-grade version of the F-Type, then try the V8 S.

This is an entirely different proposition to its F-Type’s V6 siblings and we’d already heard from various colleagues that it could be a bit of a handful.

Its 364kW 5.0-litre supercharged V8 is a monster. Generating a ground-pounding 625Nm of torque between 2500rpm-5500rpm means mid-range acceleration is devastating.

Jaguar claims 4.3 seconds for a 0-100km/h sprint, but the F-Type V8 S is one of those cars that feel noticeably quicker than the quoted factory figure. Top speed is listed as a thoroughly believable 300km/h.

The V8’s exhaust note is entirely different to that of the V6 models and unlike that of any other Jaguar including the XKR-S.

Just easing the throttle forward is enough to produce a deep burble reminiscent of an American muscle car. Push on and the burble quickly morphs into the sound of a genuine Italian exotic at full stretch rather than something built at Castle Bromwich.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

The V8 engine adds 68 kilos to the base F-Type V6 package and while you can certainly feel the additional load at the front end on turn-in, it still reacts precisely to every input.

The F-Type V8 S swaps a mechanical limited slip diff for an electronic ‘Active’ differential to help get the power down, but you’ll need to tread carefully in the tighter corners, using a more measured approach to throttle delivery if you’re going to keep the rear wheels in check.

Its speciality though, is fast slalom runs across well-maintained mountain B-roads where superbikes usually like to play. It’s combination of explosive in-gear grunt and agile handling makes the Jaguar F-Type V8 S a formidable performance package bordering on supercar status.

The F-Type is a new kind of Jaguar that probably won’t appeal to the traditional Jaguar buyer. There’s far too much drama and excitement for that lot.

On the one hand it’s a beautifully designed and built Jaguar convertible and on the other it’s an ultra contemporary hard-core sports car with enough form and muscle to take on its European rivals.

It’s been a long wait, but 52 years after the iconic E-type was born, Jaguar is finally back in the sports car business with the birth of the F-Type and hopefully, another automotive icon.

The Jaguar F-Type will launch in Australia in August with all three model variants.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

• Jaguar F-Type – $139,000
• Jaguar F-Type S – $171,400
• Jaguar F-Type V8 S – $202,300


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JAGUAR F-TYPE BREAKDOWN

Jaguar F-Type Review
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  • Hans

    Absolutely breathtaking. Great to hear it’s as an amazing drive as its looks. Is this the new benchmark? Could be.

    • franck

      From what I’ve read so far it’s good but ultimately it’s too heavy to compete with the Boxster or 911. Apparently it lacks that handling prowess at the limit.
      The best front engined car will never be as good as the best mid-engined one..it’s all physics Hans.

      • igomi watabi

        I look forward to the day when someone builds the “best” mid-engined car. Of course, it’s far more complex than just “mid beats front”. What about front-mid? And how the heck does a 911 work?
        For the record, this F-Type is utterly gorgeous (well, more so from the back than the slightly over-fussy front) and I woiuld bend over backwards to own one of these. Something I wouldn’t do for a Boxster.

        • franck

          So you’d prefer a car that arguable looks better but drives worse?
          Style over substance ?
          Evo tested this against the slowest 911 and concluded the F-Type has inferior handling. The Boxster has better handling than the 911.

          • Peter

            The F-Type, typically of Jags, has a gorgeous interior. No porsche (save the Panamera, strangely enough which is very flash inside) comes close. The porsches are also a bit cliche and they all look alike, so there is no individuality about having one. On top of that, probably less than 1% of drivers are going to take any of these cars to the track, and less than 10% of those would drive well enough to exploit that tiny advantage that it seems that the 911 cabrio might have over the f-type. So for all but 1 in 1000 owners, this alleged difference in performance characteristics will be nothing but fap value for the porsche – i.e. take a car that isnt as nice to be in for one which you can tell your mates is faster than the jag when driven at the limit by a professional. So yes, I’d take style over substance, in that I’d take the car that is more individual and that I liked to look at and be in, over being one of the sheep dictated to by reviewers..

          • franck

            That’s fine Peter but all your percentages are made up in your own mind. Where are your sources for making such claims?There is nothing statistically accurate about anything you said.

            Many pro racers & enthusiasts drive Porsche. They are not mostly posers, rookie wannabes & sheep as you propose, even though some are for sure. I see many, many Porsches at the track.
            I, & many others think the Porsche looks better, it probably sounds better, certainly drives better and has a proven & better reputation for reliability and durability over the Jaguar.
            No contest.

          • Peter

            Cheers, you are right, I made the percentages up (the use of the word “probably” is a giveaway, right?). But the basis of my estimates are that I have a number of associates and clients with porsches, none of whom have taken them to the track more than once if at all, and most of whom dont drive them hard save once in a blue moon. And I have driven V8 Jags for several years now, and of course would never exceed the speed limit. And many women in Queensland drive convertibles such as Boxter’s and no doubt the F-type, most often from what I see at a snail’s pace along the shopping districts. So I have no hesitation in saying that an infinitesimally small proportion of the cars, whether the porker or the jag, will ever be driven “at the limit”, and that anyone who isnt going to drive “at the limit” who subscribes to the theory that you have to buy one far more expensive car over the other because it is better “at the limit” is just a sheep, or a fool.

          • chris_xxxx

            You are obviously biased towards Porsche. My local Jag dealer has told me that he’s had a lot of interest from Porsche owners. If you’ve read the reviews, they have said that it’s close between the Boxster and F-type and the V8S will blow away the base 911 on price and performance.

          • Cesar

            People have different preferences and look for different things in cars. The F-Type may ‘drive worse’ than a 911, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad drive in its own respect and many reviews have proven that.The Boxster is better handling than this or 911, you say: so does that mean no other cars in this class should ever be considered? Each car has its own charm and appeal and that might be justification enough for someone to choose that over another. Finally, to quote you: ‘it lacks that handling prowess at the limit’. Lets be honest here: odds are you and I (and most people) don’t have the skills to be pushing any of these cars to their true limits, so that point is moot.

          • franck

            Yes let’s be honest here: odds are you and I (and most people) can’t afford to buy any of these cars, so all points are moot.

          • Cesar

            Indeed, so you can stop questioning other people’s motives.

          • franck

            So only I should stop or you and Peter as well?

          • chris_xxxx

            It’s hardly style over substance. It competes well with the 911 (V8S) and the Boxster (V6 and V6S).

  • Monk

    You lucky b@stards

    • Monk

      Typo late in the piece gives the V8 power of 460kW, beating the unfortunate looking new GTS

  • Marka

    I’m not sure that there aim to get younger drivers behind the wheel fits with the starting price of $139K

    • Peter

      The reference to “younger set” follows on from the target of gen X and Y. They mean “younger than 50″ essentially, rather than the baby boomers which had been the traditional Jag market.

      • Marka

        It would be interesting to see what the the dollar spend on a new car is by demographic, but I would think that a vast majority of car buyers who spend over 140K on a new car are over 50

        • Peter

          I hope that’s right coz I will be there in a few years, but I’d been thinking that you start to put the brakes on your car spend after your mid 40′s because you are thinking of other exciting things, like paying for trips when you are retired. If you arent earning, you cant write these things off, not that you can much anyway I suppose. It might just be the GFC influencing me though, which coincided with my mid 40′s.

    • nick

      Maybe in USA where it starts at $69K, a fact Car Advice conveniently ignore.I guess you have to to lick the right spot to get a jolly in new cars.

      • Igomi Watabi

        yawn

  • josh

    its not 460kw.. it’s 364kw.

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au Jez Spinks

      Thanks, guys – we’ve corrected that V8 power output typo.

  • Des KSA

    Tiff has already put a V6S around a track against a 911 cabrio. The 911 won by 3 seconds. Bugger! Can anything really kick a 911′s ar$e? Check it on youtube. And if you don’t know who Tiff is then you shouldn’t be here.

    • Tiffany & Co

      Thanks for the shout out.

    • Phil

      I’d guess that most potential buyers don’t know who Tiff is, and won’t give a toss if a Porsche 911 is quicker around a race track in his hands. They might care that it costs $50-70k less than a 911 cabrio though.

      • Des KSA

        I’m sure you are right Phil. It’s only the Tiffany Dell’s of the world that will miss that extra 5% that the Porch has over the F type. I would rather the extra cash in my pocket too and the F type is just stunnig too.

        • Peopl3mova

          Tiff Needell…

    • Monk

      I bet you liked bands before they became popular and ate at that new restaurant last month too.

    • Mikka

      Price-wise the 911 cabrio would be up against the V8 so that’s the comparison that I’d like to see. Pesonally I’d plump for the V6S.

  • marcel

    stunning

  • Norm

    I’ll start by saying I want one. In Red. It looks…great…however…stunning? “Spectacular looks”? There are some very evocative angles to be sure but catching site of it unawares at the motor no show i found myself underwhelmed. Trust me I wanted to be whelmed…but i just wasn’t. It’s very colour dependent. Silver adds to the front ends ability to appear generic and it doesn’t match the back ends adventurousness. I still want one.

  • roundman

    It is a “jag’, and that is all that counts!!!!!!!!!!

  • lucifer

    Hands out of pockets boys!
    Yep, 3 sec difference is huge around the neighbourhood. Cats and dogs and kids ob bicycles going in all directions.
    Enjoy your licence whilst you can.
    F Type. Boxer, Lambo whatever. Same as buying trousers. I like brown you don’t with cuffs or not.
    If you can afford it and it makes you feel good, it the right car

Jaguar F-type Specs

V6 : 3.0L SUPERCHARGED MPFI - 8 SP AUTOMATIC - PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL - 2D ROADSTER
Car Details
Make
JAGUAR
Model
F-TYPE
Variant
V6
Year
2013
Body Type
2D ROADSTER
Seats
2
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
SUPERCHARGED MPFI
Engine Size
3.0L
Cylinders
SUPERCHARGED V6
Max. Torque
450Nm @  3500rpm
Max. Power
250kW @  6500rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
156.5W/kg
Bore & Stroke
84.5x89mm
Compression Ratio
10.5
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
8 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
REAR WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
3.15
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
70
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
9L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1597
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1308mm
Length
4470mm
Width
1923mm
Ground Clearance
116mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:0  Unbrake:0
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.7
Front Rim Size
8.5x18
Rear Rim Size
9.5x18
Front Tyres
245/45 R18
Rear Tyres
275/40 R18
Wheel Base
2622
Front Track
1597
Rear Track
1649
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Standard Features
Comfort
Automatic Air Con / Climate Control, Sport Seats
Control & Handling
18 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution
Driver
Cruise Control, Mobile Phone Connectivity, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering, Satellite Navigation
Entertainment
Radio Compact Disc Player, Sound System with 10 Speakers
Exterior
Electric Top, Power Mirrors, Rear Spoiler
Interior
Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Side Airbags
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft, Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Heated Front Seats
Control & Handling
19 Inch Alloy Wheels, 20 Inch Alloy Wheels
Exterior
Body Kit
Package
Convenience Pack
Other
Service Interval
24 months /  25,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
9-I-8
Country of Origin
UNITED KINGDOM