Car news

11 January 2017

First look: the new Jaguar F-Type

Facelifted F-Type gets new tech and '400 Sport' model for 2017
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This is the newly refreshed Jaguar F-Type. And to make it clear from the outset, the most important takeaway from the newly refreshed Jaguar F-Type range is that the supercharged V6 now makes 400bhp. Without a manual gearbox.

The newly minted (and imaginatively titled) ‘400 Sport’ is the new sweet spot in the F-Type range – or at least it would have been, were it available with a manual gearbox.

As you may have already gleaned, there’s another 20bhp on offer from the supercharged 3.0-litre, which would have been lovely to team with the six-speed manual. Not that we’re harping on or anything.

The 400 Sport also benefits from a “Super Performance braking system” and “Configurable Dynamics”, which we assume means “good brakes and adjustable drive modes”. Jag says the 400 Sport will only be available for one year, hopefully to be replaced with the manual-only 425 Sport. Hey, we can dream.

The whole lineup has undergone a refresh and rebrand, with the ’S’ models now wearing the ‘R-Dynamic’ appellation, despite offering the same maximum of 380bhp, while the R and SVR V8s don’t have to go through the whole ‘Artist Formerly Known As’ malarkey. The R-Dynamic model encompasses both the 340bhp and 380bhp trim levels, adding special alloy wheels and gloss black paint to the bonnet vents, front splitter, rear diffuser and side sills.

New multi-mode LED headlights grace the entire model range changing the intensity and focus of the beam to suit city and country driving and avoid damaging the remodelled, variant-specific bumpers.

Inside, Jag’s fitted ‘Slimline’ seats with magnesium-alloy fittings, which are apparently more comfortable than the old ones and a full 8kg lighter. Perhaps much more important is the extra two inches of space that the new seats free up behind the seatback, allowing the lankier among us to fit in the super coupe.

A brand-new satnav also graces the F-Type range, which could offer such innovative features as responding to human touch and managing to maintain a Bluetooth connection for more than 38 minutes at a time. In all fairness, though, we’ve trialled this system in other JLR products, and it’s actually good.

The new ‘infotainment’ (hooray for portmanteaux!) system uses a 4G data connection to look up petrol stations and will calculate if you have enough in the tank to reach the destination on your satnav. Handy stuff, indeed. It’ll also access street view for destinations you haven’t been before, showing a 360° view so you have an idea of where to go when you arrive.

It can also learn your regular commute, then read traffic feeds to suggest faster ways home and send ETAs to your mistress in Camden… er, your business partner in Slough. For that business meeting you have.

Like the new AMG GT, the F-Type has an ‘onboard technician’ function that records lap times, throttle position, g-force and so on, which can go on your phone or on social media, as is the way of things these days.

So, what do you think? Are these trinkets and toys enough to make the F-Type the best everyday supercar? Or is it still the 911?

Tags: convertible, jaguar, amg gt, jaguar f type svr, jaguar f type, sportscar, jaguar f type s, jaguar f type 400 sport

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