Only five were ever built. A fine slice of Nineties Bentley
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The Top Gear car review:Jaguar F-Type Convertible
For:Engine noise, performance, handling, sense of occasion
Against:Not very practical, easy to end up spending lots
What is it?
Jaguar’s long-awaited and much-hyped F-Type. It launched in 2013 as this convertible, with a coupe following in 2014.
Both unashamedly nod to the E-Type that has defined Jaguar’s history and regularly tops ‘greatest British car ever’ lists. While probably not as beautiful and certainly not as significant, the F-Type is categorically a better car. At least in objective terms.
Jaguar Land Rover’s continued model development means the F-Type has gained technology, engines and styling tweaks throughout its life so far. All the better for keeping it relevant as Porsche evolves its Boxster and 911 ranges, clearly the cars Jag has in the centre of its cross hair.
The result is a dizzying array of models. As we write, there are three different engines offering six different power outputs, while some models offer a choice of a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearboxes, others letting you select an all-wheel-drive system instead of standard rear-wheel drive.
New for 2017 is a 296bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, as Jag succumbs to downsizing like everyone else. It’s a direct rival for the Porsche 718 Boxster. Above that you’ve three supercharged V6s – offering between 335 and 395bhp – and a pair of supercharged V8s. There’s the R, with 542bhp, and the SVR, with 567bhp and a 200mph top speed if you go for the coupe. The convertible offers 5mph less, but gives you greater access to one of the most ludicrous soundtracks on sale. We’d swear this much volume from a road car is illegal.
So, everything from a Boxster S to a 911 Turbo is considered and rivalled. How successfully you’ll find out next…