First Drive: Jaguar F-Type 2.0-litre Coupe
We get behind the wheel of the 2.0-litre F-Type and see if it still feels like a proper Jaguar.
WHAT IS IT?
The F-Type has been with us for some time now, and has become a permanently rooted part of the Jaguar line-up. Normally it is fitted with either a V6 or V8 engine, but now a new turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine has been added. Many will argue that such a small engine doesn't belong in a car of this calibre, but we're approaching with an open mind.
The obvious change is the engine, and despite its rather small capacity, thanks to being turbocharged it can still produce a substantial 295bhp. Even more impressive is that it develops 400Nm of torque.
A bonus of having a smaller engine is the fuel consumption is much better. It can achieve 39 mpg on a combined cycle – which is around 16 per cent better
than the V6-powered version, and it emits just 163g/km of CO2.
There's also a host of safety kit available on the F-Type, including autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition and lane-keep assist. The interior has been fettled too, with the addition of some lightweight sports seats and a rather snazzy Touch Pro infotainment system, the latter being a huge step up in terms of usability and responsiveness over the previous generation. As usual, the four-cylinder is available in either the Coupe or Convertible F-Types.
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
The F-is known for being a very quick sports car, and this new version is no slouch.
On the face of it, the F-Type has changed very little. Slot yourself behind the wheel and the odd element has changed, but it feels and looks very familiar – and that's no bad thing.
The sports seats do provide a little more comfort than the units they have replaced, but you could be sat in pretty much any other F-Type – until you start the engine, that is. It's no V6 shrill or V8 roar, but the throaty hum from the four-cylinder is still lovely.
Up and running, the F-Type feels slightly sharper than those powered by either a
V6 or V8. Throw the car at some twisty bits of Norwegian road and it sticks to the road like glue. This is due to the four-cylinder's 52kg weight saving over the equivalent V6-powered model, something you can definitely feel. There's no turbo lag, and it feels quick, taking just 5.4 seconds to hit 60mph.
The ride is very impressive and copes well with any potholes or bumps it encounters.
HOW DOES IT LOOK?
The F-Type has always been a seriously good-looking car in both Coupe and Convertible guises. This tweaked car is just as pretty and stands out even further in the Ultra Blue paintwork our test car had. Add some redesigned bumpers and LED headlights into the mix and you have a stunning looking car.
Details such as a chunky exhaust pipe add to the cars sportiness, while a chrome window trim adds some elegance too.
WHAT'S IT LIKE INSIDE?
Jaguar has always made some sumptuous interiors for its cars, and the F-Type is no different with plush leather and lots of aluminium trim.
It feels very driver-focussed with the whole centre console slightly facing towards the drivers side. The driving position and view out of the windscreen are excellent – something that has always been very good on the F-Type.
WHAT'S THE SPEC LIKE?
Prices for the F-Type four-cylinder start at £49,000. Don't think you get some 'base' model for that though. You get a plethora of safety equipment as standard including autonomous emergency braking – a system that can detect a collision and apply the brakes should it need to.
Jaguar's latest infotainment system called Touch Pro is also standard and is miles ahead of its predecessor, being much easier to use. It also contains satellite navigation, media connectivity and Bluetooth. You can also get live traffic updates – handy for keeping away from those rush hour jams.
Many die-hard Jag fans won't be enthused by the idea of fitting an F-Type with a 2.0-litre engine. However, given its additional poise and sharpness, as well as better levels of economy, there's no reason why this four-cylinder shouldn't be considered a proper Jaguar.
Model as tested: Jaguar F-type 2.0-litre Coupe
Max speed: 155mph
0-60mph: 5.4 seconds