News : Four-cylinder F-Type revives the traditional British sports car
The popular Jaguar F-Type has received a shot in the arm with the addition of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium engine under the bonnet. Before you shriek ‘no way’ and insist that a Jaguar sports car should pack a multi-cylinder engine, this one has 296bhp and heralds the arrival of the first four-cylinder petrol Ingenium.
The new 1997cc petrol engine isn’t only powerful, but it packs a very impressive 295lb ft of torque, developed between 1500-4500rpm. Jaguar claims that the new variant will have a suitably sporting soundtrack, which will be necessary given how high a bar the V6 and V8 versions have already set.
Performance promises to be good enough on paper. Jaguar claims a 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds, the same time as the manual rear-drive V6 coupe. The maximum speed is electronically limited to 155mph.
The fuel consumption looks potentially interesting – an official combined figure of 39.2mpg allies with a CO2 emissions output of 163g/km CO2. That should make it fiscally efficient – especially compared with something like an Audi TT-RS. But the German car is altogether quicker than the Jaguar.
Will it sound right?
Higher-spec R-Dynamic versions will come with a switchable active exhaust, while standard models will feature automatically opening valves to become more vocal above pre-determined revs. All F-Types fitted with the 2.0-litre engine come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive – a disappointment, as there will be a call for manual versions.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder F-Type will start from £49,900 – still a sizeable chunk of cash, and only marginally undercutting the manual rear-drive V6 coupe which starts from around £52,265. A big problem for Jaguar is that the Audi TT-RS is so much faster, and has a similar price tag. Jaguar once represented value for money but, on paper, this car struggles on that score.
But it’s a modern classic Brit sports car
The lower price point, reduced running costs and gorgeous styling make this version of the F-Type an intriguing proposition – despite its high price. It will be more accessible than the standard car, and it does do wonders for Jaguar’s overall CO2 average across the range. It’s following in the footsteps of Porsche in this respect.
It also serves as a glamorous debut vehicle for the four-cylinder petrol Ingenium – and will make the F-Type work for those markets – such as China – that hammers multi-cylinder cars fiscally. It goes on sale this spring – order books are open now.