Since its launch, the F-Type has proved the most convincing Jaguar sports car since the legendary E-Type. While various sporting models introduced between these two pandered too much to the soft touring market, the F-Type looks right, feels right and is quick and capable.
Today’s supercharged 3.0-litre V6 and 5.0-litre V8 coupe and convertible F-Types brought tantalising power and performance to a finely crafted chassis, and pricing crept increasingly upmarket.
Small engine, dynamic performance
Now there’s a new entry-model F-Type featuring a 211kW turbo-charged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. It’s 52 kilograms lighter than the 250kW V6, particularly over the front axle, aiding nimble handling, while fuel consumption is cut by 16 per cent.
But don’t dismiss the performance capability and tuneful engaging character of this F-Type based on the number of cylinders. Launch response is impressive with 400Nm of torque delivered from just 1500rpm, compared with the V6’s 450Nm which doesn’t arrive until 3500rpm.
With its eight-speed auto gearbox and lighter kerb mass, the four-cylinder produced a 0-100km/h time of 6.1 seconds and 0-400 metres in 14.3 seconds. To put that into perspective, those times are 0.8 and 0.4 seconds respectively faster than the original 3.8-litre six-cylinder E-Types as recorded by English magazine Autocar.
Optimum blend of performance and economy
Modern materials and technologies, such as ceramic ball bearings in the twin-scroll turbocharger and an electro-hydraulic valve-train providing variable valve lift and duration, deliver an optimum blend of performance and economy.
The 2.0-litre model continues with Jaguar’s all-aluminium body and suspension construction. Interestingly Jaguar acknowledged the muted tones of a typical four-cylinder and has engineered active intake and exhaust systems that deliver just the right amount of background grumble during forceful acceleration and the expected bark when downshifting.
The eight-speed auto deals equally with gentle shifts in stop-start traffic or rapid-fire changes under full load, but can hesitate during kick-down. The solution? Click the sports mode button to ensure the right gear for this Jaguar to pounce.
Alternatively, drivers can take manual control via steering-wheel paddles. On our test, fuel economy averaged 9.2L/100km against a government figure of 7.2L/100km.