By on May 22, 2013

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More than 50 years after the E-Type was launched, Jaguar has brought its successor, the F-Type to the market. You might wonder why such a long gap between both the cars. Well, the British automaker was developing the F-Type way back in the 1980s but the project was delayed time and again, finally being cancelled after Ford bought the company. In 2000, Jaguar showcased the F-Type concept but that too did not make it to production. Now the F-Type is finally on sale and is offered with an option of 3 engines, the base V6, mid level V6 S and top end V8 S. The F-Type is priced right between the Porsche Boxster and Porsche 911 Carrera, thereby sitting in no man’s land.

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The styling of the F-Type is gorgeous. While it may not be a design breakthrough like the E-Type, the exteriors are very attractive and draw a lot of eye candy. The highlight at the front is the large grille with chrome lining and big air vents on either side of the bumper. There are some E-Type cues too but not very excessive. The door handles pop out of the doors when you need them, this helps the vehicle to remain aerodynamic.

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The rear of the F-Type is by far the most attractive part of the car. The rear is simple, minimalistic yet so visually pleasing. The small tail lights give an E-Type deja vu, while the rear stance is extremely sporty with twin centre tail pipes on the V6 models and quad pipes (two on either side) on the V8 model sitting on the rear bumper. The rear spoiler electronically retracts at speeds over 95 km/hr and generates 120 kgs of downforce. It stays closed otherwise to keep the lines at the rear clean.

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The interiors of the F-Type are a mix of sporty and luxury. The cabin is very well laid out and features excellent quality all around. You sit low but the seats are extremely supportive offering tremendous comfort. The centre console borrows some cues from the E-Type like the AC switches which take inspiration from aircraft switches. There is a grab handle for the co-driver on the centre console, it does look a bit out of place. The steering wheel feels nice to hold and the dashboard has been designed keeping the driver in mind, as every control falls into the hands of the driver easily. Being a Jaguar, there has to be some gimmick, like the centre AC vents which rise up when you turn on the air-conditioner.

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The F-Type is powered by three engines. The 3.0-litre V6 produces 340 PS of power and 450 Nm of torque. This engine offers good performance even though it is the base variant. Zero to  60 mph  takes  5.1 seconds, top speed and top speed is limited to 161 mph. The V6 motor is quite driveable and power delivery is linear. The V6 S engine gets an additional 40 horses and 10 Nm of torque, reducing the 0-60 sprint to 4.8 seconds. Top speed  gained 10 mph.

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The V6 S engine has the best balance of performance and dynamics. It has 50:50 weight distribution and both V6 S and V8 S models get active exhaust note, which amplifies the sound with a touch of a button. The V6 S feels much faster than the additional 40 horses would suggest. It pulls quickly to high speeds and even manages to offer good in-gear acceleration times. A drive around the Navarra Circuit in Spain clearly showed the good balance of the F-Type, it turns in eagerly and the steering wheel is a delight, offering tremendous feedback. There is slight bit of understeer, but very negligible.

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The top end variant is the V8 S which gets the fire breathing 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 engine, producing 495 PS of power and 625 Nm of torque. This engine takes just 4.2 seconds to nudge past 60 mph from zero and has a top speed limited to 186 mph. In terms of performance, the V8 S F-Type is the quickest and feels terrifically fast with an exhaust note to match. The quad pipes emit pure melody and there are cracks, burbles and the likes every time you down shift. Step on the accelerator pedal and the F-Type responds immediately, pulling quickly to high triple digit speeds with furore. It simply feels quicker than it actually is.

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However the heavier engine means the V8 S equipped F-Type is not as nimble. This model has 51:49 weight distribution and doesn’t glide through corners like the V6 S. The handling is good and so is the steering but the F-Type is not an all out track car. The Porsche 911 Carrera is more track focused. The F-Type weighs a good 150 kgs more than the Porsche and those motors handling the door and AC vent pop out mechanism add to the unnecessary weight of the car. Jaguar says the F-Type is 6% bigger than the Porsche while weighing 3-4% more. It is however unfair to compare the Jag with the Porsche, as the F-Type is an all new car, while Porsche has been tweaking and bettering the same car for 50 years now.

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Mated to all engines is a 8-speed automatic gearbox which is quick with shifts and is very refined too. One can manually change gears through the SportShift gear lever (no rotary knob here) or steering mounted paddle shifts. In Sports mode, the gearbox won’t upshift and will hold the gear till you manually change-up. In Dynamic mode, the F-Type becomes more eager with better acceleration, more weight on the steering and faster shifts. The suspension too becomes stiffer and all that contributes to the vehicle offering more driver oriented performance. There is even a launch control mode, which reduces traction control to facilitate maximum acceleration. All this works very well and transforms the F-Type in a very fun to drive car. There is even a Configurable Dynamics option which lets you tweak throttle response and steering weight. You can also time your lap and measure G-forces, quite Nissan GT-R like.

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The brakes on the F-Type are fabulous, they shed speeds at an instant. Pedal feel is splendid too and in spite of heavy braking on the circuit, there was very little signs of brake fade (almost negligible). Ride quality is surprising good and despite those low profile rubber, the F-Type absorbs bumps with authority, transferring very little to the occupants. The car remains glued to the road at high speeds and even with the roof down, it never feels affected by the wind.

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The roof comes down in 12 seconds and the use of a soft top helps in reducing weight and bettering packaging. A wind deflector should be offered as an option. The boot is small at 200.5-litres but can swallow a golf bag. It is also bigger than most of its rivals.

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The Jaguar F-Type has quite a lot to offer the sports car buyer. It looks really smashing in flesh and has interiors which are comfortable and feature rich. The ride quality is excellent and so are the brakes. All engines offer very good performance and offer a smashing exhaust note, which is reason enough to buy the F-Type. The vehicle handles well, it jinks into corners with good precision. Although the F-Type is not as track focused as its chief rival, the vehicle does offer a fun experience behind the wheel which makes it so desirable.

Faisal Ali Khan is the editor of MotorBeam.com, a website covering the automobile industry of India.

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64 Comments on “2013 Jaguar F-Type Review...”


  • avatar
    noxioux

    “Active Exhaust Note” is the pure essence of all that is douchebag.

    It’s a pretty car with just enough soulless appliance added to spoil it. Just the sort of thing that looks good with a diamond tennis bracelet.

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      Almost every single “sports car” on the market today has an engineered exhaust note, from the Mazda Miata (hell, the Miata probably started the whole “fake exhaust note” movement) to the big and burlies at Ferrari (who relentlessly tune their exhausts for the proper sound.

      In this vein, the F-Type is no more or less douche-y than anything else with a similar price-tag. Which means it’s pretty douche-y, anyway.

      I’d still hit it.

    • 0 avatar

      If there’s anything more douchebaggery than the Exhaust Note, it’s the motorized air vents. I wonder: WHY IS THIS NECESSARY?

      Motorized spoilers however…

      • 0 avatar
        niky

        My 626 had motorized air vents.

        In 1996.

        I have been eternally befuddled by how such useful items have gone missing from “cheap cars” since then, leaving us to suffer from having either sweaty palms or freezing fingers (since most vents are by the steering wheel)… whereas more expensive and complex superfluous extras like power-folding side mirrors and power-open tailgates have become the norm.

        The XF also has motorized air vents, that shut closed when the car is off. It’s a Jag thing, and it’s not surprising to see it on the F-Type. The electric motors probably add all of three or four pounds to the car.

    • 0 avatar
      twotone

      It looks very nice in the photos, but I would like to see a “top up” photo as well. Many soft tops ruin an otherwise nice looking convertible. I’m surprised they put a rag-top on such a nice up-scale car rather than a convertible hard top (e.g. SLK, SL, etc.). Sure, it saves weight, but it seriously reduced all-season useability. Most people who will shop this car are more concerned about comfort than a few pounds saved.

      • 0 avatar
        JuniperBug

        Pretty sure that the soft top has more to do with keeping the car’s svelte shape, as opposed to creating a deep, oddly-shaped well for a metal roof and its attendant mechanism to fold into. I’m really not sure how a canvas top ruins a car’s all-season usability, and I live in a place that sees significant snowfall and -30 degree temperatures. The effect of road salt on such an expensive car would be far more likely to keep me from winter driving this than any perceived failings of a canvas top would.

        • 0 avatar
          Type57SC

          I have a hardtop convertible and wouldn’t consider buying a softtop.

          The rear of this is very Z8.

          The center of the steering wheel looks really big in the photos. I really don’t like those big centers.

          The front looks nice and has a nice refined style to it.

          The handles are rather ridiculous. A convertible is not really about drag and there are lots of cool tricks to be played with forced air to reduce the drag much more than the gimmicky handles. hopefully they are more sorted than the tesla ones.

      • 0 avatar
        kkt

        The ragtop saves trunk space. It’d be nice to take this car off for a weekend and have enough room for a suitcase with a change of clothes.

  • avatar
    EAS34

    This post is riddled with grammatical mistakes…

  • avatar
    Joshua Johnson

    I recently drove the V8 S variant at an event hosted by the local dealer, and that car is absolutely exhilarating to drive. It produces and sheds speed fantastically well. Driving it back to back with the Carrera S, however, it was apparent that the brakes, while very good, still have a ways to go. Additionally, the 911 was incredibly nimble through a chicane section of the course. That is not to say that the F-Type was a whale, it was just not as quick due to the extra weight and the uneven distribution of that weight. Overall, I was very impressed with the car. The fit and finish was top notch, the exhaust was phenomenal for being a factory system, and the car tracked fairly well for what it is.

  • avatar
    TR4

    Too bad it only has a girly automatic transmission. Does it have a lighted driver side make up mirror also?

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      Much girlier than the automatic-only 911 GT3? :p

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        niky….

        …or girlier than the new 911 Turbo?

        Is the only decent 911 left the Carrera or Carrera S?

        ———————-

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        the GT3 is a track car. The whole point is going as fast as possible. If they could build in an autopilot capable of lapping the ‘Ring faster than their test driver they’d do that do. For a street “sports” car, a manual really ought to be offered. Perhaps not in the “take no prisoners” 500hp V8, but at least as an option in the base model. If the bailout babies Jag’s targeting can’t drive stick, do what BMW did with the M5 (and Chevy did with the ‘Vette, and P with the 911), and do the rev matching for them.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      @niky @NMGOM

      I’m sure you realize the difference between a torque convertor automatic (Jaguar) and a dual clutch (Porsche).

      And I’m with TR4. I’d take a manual and gladly suffer the indignity of a few tenths of a second lost or the 1.5 mpg fewer I’d get.

      • 0 avatar
        niky

        Yup. You can torque brake a torque-converter automatic without roasting a $20,000 clutch pack.

        That said, the GT3 does have a clutch pedal, specifically for launching the car, but most DCTs are rubbish compared to a good torque converter auto in traffic, since “slipping the clutch” is a big no-no.

        A modern torque converter will slip when you want it to, on launch and on hard shifts to cushion passengers from the shift-shock… and has electronic locking to prevent it feeling like a bowl of sludge at cruising speeds. Not that a manual option would not be welcome, but I don’t see a torque-converter auto as anti-thetical to this kind of vehicle.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    How many gelders to the hectare does the optional petrol engine generate? Will it accelerate faster to 120 nautical klicks?

    This is America, your funny metric measurements only confuse us!

  • avatar
    vaujot

    “It is however unfair to compare the Jag with the Porsche, as the F-Type is an all new car, while Porsche has been tweaking and bettering the same car for 50 years now.”

    Is that a subtle joke? The current 911 is about as similar to the original 901 as the Jaguar F-Type is to the E-Type. The current 911 still has a boxer engine while the Jaguar went from inline-6 to V6 and V8 but that’s about all where the current 911 is closer to the 911’s original incarnation than the F-type is to the E-type.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes but then if you consider the fact that Porsche has been making sports cars continuously without a gap, you realize its a good effort by Jag, since there was 39 years of difference between the ending of E-Type production and commencement of F-Type production.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The F-Type is undeniably beautiful and seemingly competent but it will have an uphill battle ahead from the established competition. At $81K base for the V6 S model (and $90K with even modest options) it will be a hard sell against the SLK55 ($68K) and even the Boxster S at $61K base. The F-Type may be good but but for les money both Porsche and Mercedes have not only more predictable resale values but also offer a lot in terms of performance and luxury.

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      carguy…

      Yup. I agree. And the Boxster at least gives you a decent manual transmission….

      ————-

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      This is a beautiful car. If I could afford it (sigh), resale would be the least of my concerns.

    • 0 avatar
      ccd1

      The Boxster S is $62K base. The comparable F Type is $69k. You will easily spend $7k to outfit the Porsche to the same level the Jag comes stock. Don’t think for a second the Porsche is actually less money.

      The F-Type S and V8 compete with the 911 and 911 S and the Jag is cheaper than either of those models.

      I will grant that the Jag could have been more aggressively priced and should have been. It is a new model trying to carve out market share from established players, primarily Porsche. Compared to Porsche, Jag has a depreciation problem. The best Jag is a used Jag given the way they depreciate. Second the Jag is substantially heavier than either the Boxster or 911. The F Type is kind of in the middle ground between full on sports car and GT. That can either be a great marketing strategy or No Man’s Land.

      I would love to have Porsche face real competition which would force them to better price their products. But it remains to be seen if the F Type has what it takes to put that kind of pressure on Porsche.

  • avatar
    cirats

    Am I the only one that doesn’t see this car and the 911 as being such direct competitors as the author? They would appear to me to attract very different types of buyers/douchebags. As much as this may be marketed as a performance sports car, this new Jag seems like it would compete more directly with something like the Mercedes convertibles and probably Jag’s own other offerings.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      On paper perhaps but I agree Porsche 911 buyers and Jaguar buyers are not mutually inclusive. I also see this as an SLK competitor.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Right. A lot of the people that drive the 911 do so because of its legacy and the unique driving experience that it provides. Those who only care about the Porsche badge usually gravitate toward the Cayenne. This F-Type, on the other hand, is probably going to be more of a fashionable thing, where the majority of customers don’t appreciate or take advantage of the engineering that has been put into it. And even though I’m sure Jaguar knew that going in, it still didn’t stop them from building what looks like a very capable sports-car. Commendable.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    These should make nice toys after the traditional Jaguar 5yr/80% depreciation.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      I’d gamble that the take rate on leases vs. buying will be 90/10.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Ah but after the lease it up these hit the block/dealer lots. Jaguars honestly have about a 70% depreciation rate in the first few years unless this recently changed. So in a few years you might be able to find a low miles leased example and if you can swing a nice warranty they’d be a nice buy in the mid 20s. SLKs (and Z4s) last I checked don’t do much better in 5 year depreciation, but there is more of a retail demand for them vs a Jaguar. Alot of this probably has to deal with the superior Teutonic dealer network.

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        I like it and am considering it, would prefer the hardtop though, but I can tell you with certainty, if I did get one I would 99.99999% for sure lease it. Ditto for Range Rovers.

        The depreciation is great though, I think you can pick up nicely loaded, 2011, low mileage XJs for under $50K, which is a steal.

      • 0 avatar
        ccd1

        I’ve been looking at the XKR which is a $100,000 car new. A three year old XKR has depreciated by 50%.

  • avatar
    E46M3_333

    The back end looks like a BMW Z8, which is to say, it looks good.

    The Corvette designers could learn something. It IS possible to make the rear end of a sports car not look like $hit.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I wonder who decided that the flappy paddles and the start button should be orange. I like it, but it doesn’t really fit with the rest of the interior.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    This looks more like a Ferrari California competitor to me, though oddly similar to the new Lutz-Karma above it on the main page.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    A coupe with a manual transmission would be nice. When I was shopping for my retirement present to myself, lack of a manual kept the XK8 off my short list.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Every time I see this car pictured, I think, “the new MX-5!”

    Why is the center console sooooo wide? It’s intruding into the driver’s legspace – no need for that.

    Good thing Jags don’t hold their value in my area. I might check out a used one of these in 2 years, when dealers are asking for 40% of the MSRP of a new one.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Agree on the center console – this seems to be a theme in many vehicles. I test drove a Volvo S40 and basically ruled it out due not being able to get my feet/legs comfortable due to a combination of small pedals plus a wide console. It almost like Volvo makes cars for women only. Thus the wife had no problems fitting in and is very happy with her (slightly smaller but sportier) C30 hatchback.

      And the writer seriously wants us to believe he noticed the 51:49 weight distribution difference? I call BS! I doubt anyone at the controls would notice such a small change with what must be a grand touring type suspension setup.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I haven’t been in a S40 post MY2007, but I wonder if they exist to help sell the S60 which i think you’d find a bit more comfortable.

      • 0 avatar
        niky

        If you’re driving all variants back-to-back, as we sometimes get to do, yes… yes you can notice the difference. Especially on the racetrack, which is where Faisal drove these cars.

        A BMW 520i drives much differently from a 530i, which drives much differently from a 530d, with that heavy diesel slung over the front axle. (Well, before they started using aluminum diesel blocks). And none of these cars have the same kind of “sporting” suspension set-up as the M5 does. (BMW claims “50:50″ for all three, but the truth is, the lighter models are closer to 49:51)

        Same goes with the Genesis 2.0T and the 3.8 V6. There’s a mere 1% difference in weight distribution between the two, and the 2.0T feels noticeably lighter in the noise and livelier.

        The difference sounds slight on paper, but those percentage points add up to a whole lot of pounds extra over the front axle.

  • avatar
    7402

    From pic 4 it looks like Jaguar has committed the horizontal version of the vertical sin it committed with the early “flat floor” E-Type. Big feet will not fit. The photo makes it look like I would be sitting practically sideways.

    As with all Jags, buy one of these used when it’s 2-3 years old and sell it at 4-5 years or whenever it starts smoking from the exhaust (whichever is first).

    Pretty though.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I would be a Magnificent Bastard driving one. Red with a stunning blonde. Sir William would approve.


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