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Car Review

Jaguar F-Type review

£56,880 - £128,105
710
Published: 20 Jan 2023
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Slightly sharper looks, slightly sharper chassis... but otherwise refreshingly old-school. The F-Type doesn't cause any upsets. Phew

Good stuff

Sharper yet civilised to drive, great V8 engine, still feels special

Bad stuff

Pokey interior, lacks the tech of some rivals, very much an old horse now

Overview

What is it?

One of a dying breed, apparently. After nearly 10 years on sale (a lifetime and a half in car years) the Jaguar F-Type has arrived at its last dance: the special edition to celebrate 75 years of Jag’s sports cars, revealed in October 2022, will be the final act. Then that’s it. Finito. Kaput. The end.

In truth the F-Type has done well to last this long, last getting a significant update late in 2019. You’ve probably spied the squinting headlights already, and if the bottom half of the internet is any kind of barometer, you might not like them very much. But please, reserve full judgement until you’ve seen one of these in person. This remains a wildly good-looking car in both coupe and convertible shapes, and the rest of its styling has largely been left well alone. Wise.

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Tell me about the engines.

You’re in for a treat, as the F-Type’s big attraction sits a few feet back from those lights. There used to lie a V6 engine, but it’s gone – in the UK market at least – replaced by a new tune of supercharged V8. Yep, Jaguar bucked all current motor industry trends and upsized the mid-range F-Type’s engine. Whatever will the climate change protestors think?

At least they’ll be marginally appeased by the ongoing existence of the entry-level four-cylinder F-Type ‘P300’, whose 296bhp 2.0-litre turbo engine continues untouched. A couple of years back it garnered 42 per cent of F-Type sales, but Jag shook up the status quo with the arrival of the 444bhp 5.0-litre V8 ‘P450’. As you do.

Sitting atop the line-up is the also-V8 567bhp F-Type R ‘P575’, which is the range halo now that the wild SVR has long gone off sale. But not before donating its engine tune and suspension components to the R.

Wicked. Although I hear it’s auto only now…

Afraid so. An eight-speed automatic transmission is all you’re getting these days, with the F-Type manual dropped from sale in 2019 after a mere seven were sold. Sad, but we’ll cope: the ZF-derived paddleshifter is superb and was always our favourite anyway.

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The P300 and P450 are rear-driven as standard, the latter getting all-wheel drive as an upgrade if you’re willing to part with another £6k, give or take a few bob. Meanwhile the P575 R is AWD only.

The F-Type’s most recent update also saw some tweaks inside, with an updated media system and new, fully digital instrument display that cycles between single and double dials or a big widescreen map just like the one Audi pioneered six years ago with the TT’s Virtual Cockpit.

And the price of all this is…?

Prices start at £62,235 for the coupe and £67,825 for the convertible, topping out at £108,065 for a drop-top F-Type R. So once again, the F-Type lives in a curious middle ground slap-bang between both Porsche Caymans and 911s, seemingly a rival to both with a broad spread of power outputs. It’s got the Alpine A110 and Toyota Supra to fret about these days too.

Will there be another F-Type SVR, to bait the next 911 Turbo or GT3? “SVO are continually committed to amplifying performance attributes and bringing more SV vehicles to market in the future,” was the official company line a couple of years back. Doesn’t look like that branch will bear fruit before the tree is chopped down, however. Pity.

Our choice from the range

What's the verdict?

The F-Type has been a great sports car for nearly a decade now, albeit in its own little segment

The F-Type is a great sports car. It has been for nearly a decade now. Great if you relish a mildly brutish coupe or cabrio with a large engine up front, less good if you want something stuffed to the gunwales with technology.

It continues to sit in its own little segment, though, priced between Caymans and 911s while doggedly offering something a little different to both. And with neater, more trustworthy handling than ever, a charismatic V8 engine and a sheen of extra modernity inside, it’s not much harder to recommend than it was back in 2013. Whatever you think of those headlights.

The Rivals

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