Notably, Jaguar also offers F-Type as a convertible.
Designed as a smaller, sportier and less-expensive offering than the Jaguar XK grand tourer, the F-Type is 3.8 inches longer than Porsche's 718 Cayman but 0.8 inches shorter than the 911. The platform and much of the body are made of aluminum, helping to keep weight in the 3500-3700 pound range depending on model.
Styled under the watch of Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum, whose previous credits include the Aston Martin DB7 and Vanquish, the F-Type features an athletic stance and an oversized front grille that leans forward slightly to convey a sense of motion even when the car is stationary. Around back is a dramatically sloping roofline that contrasts handsomely with the F-Type's muscular, upswept rear haunches. Providing a sense of grace from without and a feeling of openness from within is a B-pillarless design, an elegant touch typically seen only on larger coupes like the Mercedes CL-Class.
Aside from aggressive front air intakes and a set of de rigueur side vents, the F-Type's sheetmetal is clean and simple, with the visual highlights being two "heartlines" that define the front fenders and the muscular rear haunches. Hidden in the rear deck is a spoiler that automatically rises at 70 mph to improve high-speed stability.
The F-Type is offered in four different variants, each with an engine of its own.
The entry-level F-Type uses a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission come standard, and eight-speed automatic is offered at an extra cost.
The F-Type S uses a 380 horsepower, 339 lb-ft of torque version of the standard car's engine. It shifts through either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, and the automatic model is offered with all-wheel drive.
The F-Type R gets a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that churns out 495 ponies along with 460 lb-ft of twist. It's only offered with all-wheel drive and the automatic transmission.
Finally, the F-Type SVR occupies the top spot in the hierarchy with a 575-horsepower version of the supercharged V8. It's also exclusively available with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic.
The base F-Type hits 60 mph from a stop in 5.5 seconds. The range-topping SVR performs the same task in 3.5 seconds. Fuel economy ranges from 23 to 28 mpg on the highway.
To help provide an auditory experience that's appropriate to both spirited driving and relaxed cruising, the F-Type features an Active Exhaust system. Standard on the S and R and optional on the base model, it features electronically controlled bypass valves in the rear section of the exhaust that open under hard acceleration, effectively providing a free-flowing straight-through arrangement. On the highway, the valves close to bring the volume down to a suitably moderate level.
F-Type S models feature a mechanical limited-slip differential, while the R uses an electronic diff with a multi-plate clutch to transfer torque to whichever rear wheel has the most traction. Each of the three variants gets a unique brake setup: the "base model" employs 13.9-inch front discs and 12.8-inch rears, the S is fitted with 15-inch front discs while the R boasts 15.7-inch front and 15.0-inch rear units.
The cabin is defined by a steeply raked dashboard and a grab handle that sweeps down the center console to separate the interior into distinct driver and passenger areas (Jaguar actually refers to the car as a 1+1). A flat-bottom steering wheel, sports seats and simple controls emphasize that the F-Type is fundamentally a driver's car, while hidden central air vents provide a bit of theater by rising up out of the dash when needed.
Standard and Optional Features
The standard F-Type comes with leather and Suedecloth sports seats with partial electronic adjustment, a 10-speaker, 380-watt Meridian sound system, Bluetooth connectivity (including audio streaming) and 18-inch "Vela" wheels.
Aside from its more powerful engine and other performance-related goodies, the F-Type S adds a proximity key, configurable interior ambient lighting, 19-inch "Propeller" wheels and power folding, heated exterior mirrors with integrated LED turn signals and puddle lamps.
The R brings fully power-adjustable sports seats, full leather upholstery, rear parking sensors with touchscreen visual aids, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming exterior mirrors and 20-inch "Cyclone" wheels.
Finally, the SVR adds 20-inch alloy wheels, a specific body kit, a lightweight titanium exhaust, chassis and cooling enhancements, and Suede upholstery in the cabin.
The F-type comes standard with dual front, side and side-curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems.
The F-Type can be compared to a wide variety of roadsters depending on engine selection. Six-cylinder F-Types can be cross-shopped against the Porsche 718 Cayman, Chevrolet Corvette and BMW M4. The F-Type SVR is more closely aligned with the Porsche 911 and the Audi R8.