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.

Impressive figures?

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.

Keith Adams


  1. A bit like the 4 cylinder Discovery – rather pointless when it costs almost as much a 6 cylinder car. As noted it will probably make the car far more accessible in China, just a real shame it doesn’t translate into making the F Type more affordable in the UK. Also odd that there is a huge gulf in the cost between a 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder XE, XF or F Pace but only this small margin here?

    • A bit different, in that the 4 cylinder Discovery was gutless, slow and thirsty, whereas these modern Turbo 4s are still powerful and fast.

      There are “soundtrack” issues though (the 4 cylinder Cayman sounds far worse than the previous 6 cylinder one)

  2. One think to mention though – the F Type is so more eminently better looking and aspirational than the TT – in fact recently I have seen more F Types than new TT’s as well as Porsche Cayman’s which I say is good.

  3. I’m not sure the TT-Rs is completely comparable, ultimately it’s still a Golf underneath, and is top model of a cheaper car. Similarly the most expensive F types look a bit uncomfortable against the more premium models sold at that price point

    The F type is an important halo model for Jaguar, it connects the brand to its E type heritage, but (for better or worse) it’s saloons and now especially SUVs which pay the rent!

  4. I agree that the Audi TT isn’t the most worrying competitor. The styling is too compromised by the underlying front-wheel-drive platform. If you’re goign to consider a TT, you might as well consider a Cooper Works Mini.

    I think the Porsche Cayman is more of a worry. It’s very nice looking and is instantly recognizable as a Porsche, a brand with better, more recent credentials than Jaguar in the racing of sports cars. It’s cheaper and faster, and, for all Jaguar’s trumpeting of their expertise with aluminium, significantly lighter. In fact, Porsche have to hobble the performance of the Cayman to stop it from undermining the 911.

  5. Nice looking but far too expensive to be considered a traditional British sports car (the title of the article). JLR badly need to get the 3.0 straight six into production and improve their performance/value/refinement proposition.

  6. Pedant: Since when is 4 cylinders not ‘multi-cylinder’?

    That aside, I’m sure it’s an excellent car (although that much power from such a small engine is scary!), and if I was looking for that sort of car, I’d definitely look closely at it.


  7. Got to love that rear visibility – oh wait..

    Although I have to admit it’s nice looking but why’d we need 300hp? It can’t weigh two tonne so it’s over 150bhp/tonne.. Which is into “wrapped around a tree” territory… And mostly it’ll be doing between 30-80mph at most.

    Although I could find a use for those exhaust system valves.. Automatic switching between long & stub exhausts (aka behind front wheelarch) at 70+mph for better efficiency (less backpressure) at speed but still quiet around urban areas..

  8. £2300 saving over a V6 is pretty meagre. As others have said, this looks expensive compared to the 718 Cayman (£43k). The car still looks great, but £50k is a lot to pay for looks alone.

    I’ll take a fully-depreciated one in 15 years to replace my XK8 🙂

  9. Agree with the comments made in respect of its starting price – when I started reading the press release I thought this new variant might have an on-the-road price nearer £47,000 to bring it more in line with the Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman. If I was looking to buy one, which I’m not, I would probably stump up the extra £2,300 for the more intoxicating V6 engine and forget about any options.

    Going through the online sales brochure I see it now adopts Land Rover colours, with the exception of Ultra Blue which is exclusive to Jaguar. No problem with that, but its a shame there is no longer a metallic red or burnt orange option (which Land Rover does offer).

    Despite all this I still love the F-Type and it still has great presence.

    • That red is really nice, and I saw one in a dark blue.. Didn’t look much bigger than ’81 cavalier SRI and even the 130 was quick..
      We’re still doing the same speed limit so why 3x the power?

  10. Those saying that they would choose the V6 should note that the V6 is a sunset solution because of ever tightening emission and energy efficency demands and as with the new Porsche Boxer, Volvo V90 / XC90 etc a 4 cylinder turbo is the solution for sub 300hp car now.

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