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First Drive

Jaguar F-Type review: Heritage 60 Edition driven

£123,015 when new
Published: 09 Feb 2021
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • BHP

    575bhp

  • 0-62

    3.7s

  • Max Speed

    186Mph

Well, that’s green…

Sherwood Green, to be precise. Jaguar hasn’t offered it since the 1960s, when it was lovingly brushed onto the E-Type – the car its return is meant to celebrate. This is the Jaguar F-Type Heritage 60 Edition, and it marks six decades since Jag’s most iconic car launched.

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Is that a little tenuous?

We’ll let them have this one. Look at the F-Type in profile – the Coupe, in particular – and it’s very clear it’s a modern-day E-Type in all but name. And it’s not like its name is too far removed, either…

You better be in the mood to celebrate, though, because prices start at £122,500, with the Convertible you see here adding another five grand. Which means the Heritage 60 is a whopping £25,000 more than the F-Type R it’s based upon.

So what does that money buy me?

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Craftsmanship, essentially. While numerous special editions lob in a load of extra equipment to justify the extra outlay, this F-Type is trading purely on appearance, rarity and the fact the finishing touches are applied by Jaguar’s SVO team rather than the end of the regular production line.

Sherwood Green is only available here, and not via the configurator on the stock V8, with the only other Jaguars available in the same colour being million-quid continuations like the XKSS. The Caraway leather is exclusively available here, too. You also get 20in diamond-turned alloys and a gamut of badges to mark that yours is one of 60 cars being made, of which just seven or eight will be sold in the UK. The Coupe/Convertible split will be decided entirely by customer demand, but it’s safe to assume it’ll be roughly 50/50 across those 60 cars.

Tell me what’s underneath the paint and leather.

It’s the same 567bhp 5.0-litre V8, eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel-drive transmission of the stock F-Type R. Which is good news, as this is a truly accomplished car nowadays.

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‘Accomplished’ would have been a ludicrous word to pluck out of the air when the F-Type launched in 2013. Especially if it was the range-topping V8 S. It was mightily good fun, but it could be a fair old handful, especially on the invariably sodden roads of Great Britain. It felt like the spirit of TVR was living on in a car with mildly easier to fathom door handles.

The eight years that have followed have seen the F-Type grow old with grace, though, and Jaguar Land Rover’s incremental yearly updates have seen almost all of those ASBO characteristics ironed out. With an astute AWD system, its power is put down neatly and if you mostly live below 3,000rpm, passers-by barely even know you’re there. If the green-on-tan class of this special edition really appeals – or, indeed, the sophisticated, neckerchief and cigar vibe of a classic E-Type – then the F-Type handles itself accordingly.

And what if I want some of the old silliness?

Well, it can still do that too. Slacken the stability control, push the unergonomic drive mode button into Dynamic and click the gearbox into S (or manual), and there’s still hooligan tendencies here. It’s not as slapstick as V8 F-Types were with rear-drive, but this is an AWD system with a roguish sense of humour. And the noise when you soar past 4,000rpm is very nearly as good as it used to be back in 2013, when this car launched in a slightly less emissions-wary world. Those front driveshafts cast a bigger safety net beneath you, but this is still a car wholly capable of spiking your heart rate.

Someone at Jaguar obviously clocked you can’t really take on a Porsche 911 – at 911 money – by shouting and waving your arms around alone, though, so taught the F-Type some manners. It just tangibly lags behind a Porsche in terms of technology these days, and some of our nagging criticisms of those very first F-Type haven’t been fixed. The Convertible’s boot is still incomprehensively tiny, there’s a distinct lack of modern active safety tech (and a head-up display) and the ride quality remains pretty firm, most notably in Dynamic mode.

So it’s flawed for a £122k car…

Without doubt. Objective judgement isn’t especially kind to the Heritage 60, but then it’s almost certainly not going to be an objective purchase. Eight years on, this remains a car with stunning proportions, and they’re arguably only flattered further by this limited-edition colour scheme.

Choose an F-Type over its myriad rivals – it’s knocking on for 911 Turbo money in this guise – and you’re already making a conscious decision to eschew raw talent for roguish character. But the fact you’re still able to make that choice, and that the F-Type’s dynamics are the best they’ve ever been beneath it all, is something to celebrate.

Score: 7/10

5.0-litre supercharged V8, 567bhp, 516lb ft
0-62mph in 3.7secs, 186mph top speed (limited)
25.6mpg, 252g/km CO2
1,763kg

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