News : Jaguar F-type breaks cover

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

The much-previewed Jaguar F-type has finally been unveiled, and it’s hoped it will bring a new and younger customer into the fold. The gorgeous styling was previewed by last year’s C-X16 concept are carried over almost unchanged, and there are three engine options: a 3-litre supercharged V6 (with two power outputs), and the supercharged 5-litre V8.

The F-type, which has been in development since – at least – 2006 under the codename X152, is a car that Jaguar engineers and marketeers would like to have launched years ago. Arguably, customers have been clamouring for it since the death of the E-type back in 1975, and it’s one of the first new projects that Ratan Tata signed-off when he took over Jaguar Land Rover in 2008.

The F-type comes at a perfect time: sales of Jaguars increased by 5% (to 54,227) from 2011 to 2012, while Land Rover vaulted from 189,087 to 251,632 in the same period (a rise of 33%). In a new-car market generally acknowledged to be depressed (in Europe and the USA especially), that’s a briliant achievement.

Yet Jaguar’s growth has been at the expense of the sports cars, with the XK falling back while the XF and XJ surged forwards. That’s why the F-type is so important. It’s hoped that the F-type will improve Jaguar’s fortunes in the way the Evoque did Land Rover’s.

It’s available in three forms – F-type (335bhp), F-type S (375bhp) and F-type V8 S (488bhp). It’s a front/mid-mounted powertrain, and drive is to the rear through Jaguar’s eight-speed ‘Quickshift’ transmission – an automatic with the option of manual over-ride using paddles.

They’re all quick; even the V6s aren’t far behind the V8 S, with 0-60mph in 4.8sec and a top speed of 171mph for the V6 S, and 5.1sec and 161mph for the entry-level car. The latter gives the V8 S a maximum of 186mph and 0-60mph in a claimed 4.2sec.

The F-type is the first sporting installation for the company’s new 3.0-litre V6. The all-alloy engine, which packs a Roots-type supercharger and spray-guided direct injection, debuted recently in the XJ, but its sporty power delivery is said to match the F-type perfectly. The S models benefit from a newly developed active exhaust system, which combines with the Jaguar Drive Controller’s Dynamic Mode programme to open a number of bypass valves to enhance sound at the tailpipe. It sounds epic, especially on the V8. CO2 emissions range from 209g/km to 213g/km for the V6s and 259g/km for the V8.

Like the XK and XJ, the F-type makes extensive use of aluminium in its construction – technology that’s now in its fourth generation. Jaguar says the F-type’s body is its most rigid so far (it’s 30% stiffer than any other Jaguar). Aluminium is also used for the front subframe and major suspension castings. Kerb weight for the entry-level 3.0-litre car is a disappointingly heavy 1597kg, but of that a mere 261kg is attributed to the body-in-white.

Sports cars live or die by their styling, and that’s especially true of Jaguars. Naming its new car the F-type is a brave move, inviting comparisons with the immortal E. But design director Ian Callum understands the heritage of the marque perfectly. He says, ‘This is the car that, as a team, we have always wanted to do. I think as designers we have an obligation to please people and make them smile.’

With the coupé due to be unveiled in 2013, the signs are that the F-type is going to sell in great numbers. It’s a proper sports car, and prices will start at £58,500 when deliveries start in early 2013.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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30 Comments

  1. Nice looking if a bit predictable, a cross between the current XK and a V8 Vantage?

    I wonder when Jaguar will produce a non super charged version of the V6 engine, surely that would be perfect for the XF, especially in export markets?

  2. @ Mikey C

    That’s like moaning that your girlfriend looks like a cross between Kate Middleton and Marylyn Monroe!
    Well done Jag, get the publicity going and go get ‘em!

  3. It’s the Pippa Middleton of Jaguars. I like its rear, but the face leaves me strangely unmoved. Anyway I’m not in the target demographic so Jaguar will hardly be worried by my humble opinion.

  4. “It’s the Pippa Middleton of Jaguars. I like its rear, but the face leaves me strangely unmoved. Anyway I’m not in the target demographic so Jaguar will hardly be worried by my humble opinion.”

    What a brilliant analogy (no pun intended), and not just because it’s rather witty, but spot-on. Like Ms Middleton – the younger one – you wouldn’t call the F-Type ugly, but it does seem ever so slightly bland. It’s certainly not a game-changer. And, quite unlike Ms Middleton, it seems to be a bit overweight. Shame.

  5. I think it is asbolutely stunning, i didnt like the head lights and some other things to start with but theyve grown on me I guess – a lot the more I look at it the more I like it, there are ques taken from all sorts of Jaguar in the above pictures, im sorry I cant fault the looks…what can I say, good on them 🙂 please let me have one…alex

  6. Its even more funny that I think of this car…and think of that funny MG concept converible theyve conceptualised…..and the MG….well…dont bother..Jaguar has stolen the show again…I know its a different class…but MG should still be comming up with something stylish…not something messy…or the what shall we do with it next look?.alex

  7. Yes, I’m being picky, but unlike the current XF and XJ, this is uncontroversial and fairly predictable, it’s not pushing any boundaries (unlike the E-type or even the XJS).

    Incidentally, the back end reminds me slightly of the BMW Z1 (rather than Pippa)

  8. @ Keith Adams:

    Ah, yes, the BMW Z8. The only BMW I have actually admired since the demise of the E30 and original 6 Series. That really was a stunner.

    General comments:

    I actually like the F Type and really hope it will bring Jaguar Cars a lot of commercial success. Admittedly choosing a red bodywork for the press image does not enhance the rear profile of it, and I am guessing the fixed–head coupe will look even more stunning. It really is a great effort from Jaguar’s design team as it doesn’t fall into the familiar trap of being constrained by heritage. Good luck to it!

  9. Maserati front end meets Alfa rear end!
    At least its pretty unlike anything the ‘Dangleman’ has done since the Fiat Coupe.
    Its a Jag. It will sell. It will be a great and respected car.
    I’ll never aspire to one so will stick with the Alfa!

  10. Very very impressive.

    As we are going on the line of cheesy analogies when you add in Jaguar’s exceptional customer service you have the beautiful woman who can also cook a great meal! Every base covered.

    Actually the front looks a little Maseratiish to me but I doubt that will bother Jag.

    I can’t wait for the next XF – be afraid Aston, very afraid.

    Would I buy one – no.

    Will the next car be an XF Sportwagon or XJ? Probably!

  11. Good looking car, the front is probably lacking a bit of character with the very generic grille shape, but by no means ugly. I too thought of the Z8 analogy, particular the rear half with the shape of wings, rear deck and lights. But about 1600kg, for such a rather small car? That is seriously overweight in my eyes – the same weight as the fat X350 all alloy XJ… I hope this will be more successfull on the continental markets than the XF, XK and XJ which are all real rarities.

  12. @ 10 *scoffs* – The Z8 s a TERRIBLE car so pointless. Too heavy to be a sports car, not enough pizazz to be a boulevard cruiser.

    My opinion is that F-Type is the spiritual successor to the D-Type. The E-Type in it’s normal guise was too Grand Tourer to be a full on sports car. The F and D are/were the full beans.

    I share the sentiments above. Nice arse, hot body, but ot a face to get to excited about. That said… the back end will be the only thing you’ll get to see – cliche?… yeh, so what..?

    Jaguar is cool again…… 🙂

  13. @Ezeee:

    I will be the first to admit that I have not driven the BMW Z8, and am not ever likely to. The reason why I ‘admired’ it was because of its clean lines which seemed to look both modern and inspired by the classic 508. The attention to detail in terms of the interior design was also impressive.

    Your comments about it being “so pointless” are probably echoed in how short its production life was compared to other BMWs and also why so few were built. Compared to similarly priced rivals from Maserati, Mercedes Benz and Porsche, the Z8 as a design was widely admired although this did not ultimately translate into a high proportion of actual sales. It was the other three that actually achieved a higher proportion of admiring glances into signatures on a cheque; something the new F Type will also achieve.

  14. Looking forward to seeing if some tuning Johnnies bring out a replacement bumper with a pukka oval intake!

    Can you imagine BMW chucking away their twin-kidney on a whim?

  15. Looking forward to seeing some tuning Johnnies fitting a nose with a proper oval intake!

    Can you imagine BMW chucking out their double-kidney on a whim?

    All the same, very nice!

  16. AFAIK, this car & the following coupe aren’t expected to be big sellers nor particularly high-profit cars [although at £58k, you’d expect the latter]. It’s an image product. For many, many years people thought “Jaguar” then thought “Pipe, slippers, thirsty, wafty, rusty, break-down-y, old-fashioned-y” This is a “halo-product” set to change the overall image of Jaguar.

    The Z1 & Z8, incidentally, were hurrendously expensive when new. IIRC, the Z1 was £37k in ’91 !! The Z8 was £80k+

  17. Beautiful in the photographs I guess with all the crash protection legislation it is harder to make a ‘face’ unique. The rear just may take over from the barchetta as being the most beautiful on a car (will reserve final judgement until I see one in the flesh) I love the Jag’esqe way the body flows over the rear wheels – if image is the game then they may just crack it with this one!!

  18. Rear – delightful, front – very Maserati, not a bad thing. The car is good, gorgeous in fact. Will probably steal some of the thunder of the Italian supercars. Hard to follow an E-type so you have to start somewhere else entirely. I think they’ve done it.

  19. Am I the only one who looks at this Coventry cat and thinks ‘blah’?

    My review of this (and other images on the net)leaves me searching for the wow factor I imagined it would, the frount end is very generic, not ugly but nice either, the interior looks very dull, bland to my eye and seemingly a Germanic place to be; and also how many bleadin’ leaping cats do you need to see when you are in the driving seat?

    This is the car that is in my price range, I’m in Jaguar’s stated demographic, I am in the market in 2013 for a new motor and I am have a fondness for British iron, but it just doesn’t make me want to run off to my local dealer at a frenzied pace cheque book in hand.

    That said I will wait to see one in the light of day before I say yay or nay, maybe the coupe has more character…

  20. Jeez, I always love to read the amateur car designer’s comments on a new Jag – if there’s one brand that always divides opinion, this is it!

    Personally, I love it – it’s well proportioned, the rear is exceptional (although I instantly thought BMW at first glance), the way the rear wings flow over the wheels is pure E-type. Strangely the car looks even better with the hood up…..The front does have an ovoid grille – a pure oval would have looked to soft, and retro in comparison with the rest of the car – but I agree that it does have a lot of Maserati styling cues.

    The dashboard is typical modern Jag – no bad thing, and certainly better than the ‘Vegas’ dashboards Mercedes keep insisting on fitting to their cars……

    Would I have one? Maybe, if I had that sort of money……but only of the Alfa 4C didn’t exist….

  21. I agree the new F-type looks very professional, yet slightly bland, sort of what the VW Group would come up with if they were asked to design a Jaguar. Though we don’t know what design restrictions are imposed by aluminium construction.

    In any case it’s probably very good for the company commercially – the first Boxster didn’t quite capture the spirit of the concept but went on to sell boatloads.

  22. @14
    You have obviously zero experince of an E-type.. the original S1 3.8 was every bit the sports car. It’s very much the D-Type for the road it was intended to be if this car is half as good (in relative terms) then it should do well. By the SIII V12 the E0type was somewhat of a bouevalrd cruiser, but the S1 was a seriously hard core sports car and to say other wise is just nonsence, Greaham Hill took one straight out of the showroom in 1961, down to the easter meeting at goodwood and won ( up against 250 ferraris, zagato astons, proper full on sports racers of the time) I’m not sure how much more ‘sprts car’ you want.. I think it was probbly the last car you could just buy and drive sraight to the track and win

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