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Road test | Jaguar F-Type: before the curtain falls

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A worthy successor to the E-Type and the XK, the Jaguar F-Type has already been around for a full decade. The work, which is intended to be an automotive celebration of beauty, always makes hearts race with its features completed by captivating music. Nostalgic for a time when the coupé was the essential aspirational object, it will leave us in 2024, taking with it a fundamental chapter in Jaguar’s history. We took the wheel, to better understand.

Design


PHOTO PROVIDED BY JAGUAR

There is an extraordinary harmony in the lines of this Jaguar F-Type R, especially the line of the roof which blends with the stern.

It is to the Scottish Ian Callum that we owe the first iteration of the design of this F-Type. A leader in the automotive world, he worked at Aston Martin, among others, where he sculpted the DB7 and Vanquish. The F-Type was therefore already in good hands during its genesis. Jaguar has tweaked the coupe’s front end for 2021, lowering its look below the bodyline with thin horizontal headlights, a styling approach used on other models from the brand. Admittedly, this posture perhaps removes a bit of uniqueness from the drawing, but the rest of the work remains magnificently evocative. The focus is obviously on the front portion with the elongated hood. There is an extraordinary harmony in these lines, especially the feature of the roof which blends into the stern. The curve of the rear wings, which fill the side mirrors, ensure an exciting sculptural appearance.

On board


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The interior of the Jaguar F-Type

Faithful to an approach trying to marry classicism with the modernity essential to a vehicle of this caliber, the F-Type does not do too much. Admittedly, it is the mood of English leathers that welcomes us, which encourages us to flush them out to appreciate their texture. They are – almost – everywhere in this small cabin, highlighted by beautiful stitching. Attention is focused on the driving position, delimited by a triangular handle on the passenger side. The retractable central nozzles add a bit of theatricality to a rather conventional rendering. On examination, we detect some hard plastics that we no longer find in the competition, a sign of the age of this F-Type. Besides, we obviously have to accept concessions. Storage space is limited, accessibility is a little complicated by the width and height of the door sills and the low roofline limits front and side visibility.

Under the hood


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The Jaguar F-Type is entitled to two V8s.

Gone are the days when this F-Type could be powered by V6s and a four-cylinder not worthy of the mandate. Jaguar has abandoned them to offer only V8s in all its liveries. The 5 L of displacement always supercharged by volumetric compressor allows powers of 444 hp or 575 hp, depending on the amount paid. It was its standard version that was tested, ensuring an initial punch characteristic of this type of torque-rich mechanics. However, it is his musicality that dictates the experience. The very serious and rhythmic sound fills the cabin when the exhaust valves open, letting out notes worthy of the greatest riffs by Jimmy Page. It’s irreverent, but also well contained, because the intensity is adjusted on demand. We should also note the excellence of the eight-speed transmission which punctuates the short breaks with poise and smoothness.

Behind the wheel


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The damping is very well balanced to negotiate with uneven surfaces, which reduces the fatigue often associated with sports after long journeys.

Jaguar has for some time made the transition to all-wheel drive for its F-Type. We can nevertheless always order it with propulsion, a variant driven by the eight-cylinder entry. The livery tested transmits its torque to the four wheels with good efficiency, but makes its dynamism less playful, it is inevitable. The steering would benefit from being slightly livelier on corner entry, an observation that could be partly attributed to the hardware added to the front. Despite everything, the coupé plays its role as a grand touring vehicle wonderfully. The damping is very well balanced to negotiate with uneven surfaces, which reduces the fatigue often associated with sports after long journeys. It is in this spirit that this F-Type must be analyzed, much more than on its pure performance. When a long undulating curve is borrowed, one perceives many movements despite an obvious stability, the result of a high weight and a chassis focused on driving on the road.

Embedded technologies


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The Jaguar F-Type’s infotainment system

There is nothing transcendent here. The 12.3-inch horizontal screen, well incorporated into the dashboard, is relatively effective. Its definition is average, but it allows you to navigate with ease in the menus by touch. Jaguar has also had the intelligence to avoid going to the side of the tactile keys, which greatly reduces distractions. Fully digital measuring instruments complete the offer with a refresh rate that betrays the age of the system. The steering wheel controls for customizing the data displayed are also unintuitive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are present, but not wirelessly and you will have to pull out your old USB cable. Active safety is reduced to its simplest expression. Blind-spot sensors are optional and there’s no adaptive cruise control, an omission that’s hardly acceptable for a vehicle of this price.

The verdict


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The Jaguar F-Type R has done a wonderful job of fueling automotive passion with a passionate approach.

Misunderstood by some, adored by others, the Jaguar F-Type will have left its mark by stimulating the senses, a quality that very few modern cars can claim to have. A love letter to post-war English coupés, it has succeeded in a magnificent way in maintaining automotive passion with a passionate approach. Admittedly, the accessibility barrier remains high and competition is fierce in its segment, but it is difficult to find such a magnetizing car that transcends its obvious shortcomings. What’s more, it remains one of the best-suited two-seater coupés for everyday use with great attention paid to comfort. With its thundering V8s, it undeniably belongs to another era. This is what, alas, pushed her towards the exit door. Now let’s hope that Jaguar keeps a coupe in its electric turn, for the pleasure of the eyes and as a duty of memory.

Notebook

Everything for design

From the retractable door handles to the retractable rear spoiler, the designers of the F-Type have done everything to preserve the purity of this car’s design.

A practical tailgate

The F-Type Coupe’s rear trunk isn’t very bulky, at 283 L, but has the advantage of being accessible via a tailgate that lifts quite high.

To have the hair in the wind

While the convertible becomes an endangered species, the F-Type still offers the option in exchange for an average of $3,500, depending on the livery chosen. It increases the total weight by just 10 kg.

The clock does not lie

Almost a second separates the 444 hp version from the 575 hp 0-100 km/h version (4.6 s against 3.7 s).

All-wheel drive, therefore a four-season vehicle?

With its all-wheel drive, the F-Type can undoubtedly be considered an all-season vehicle. However, it would be wise to leave it parked in the event of a storm because of its low ground clearance and the width of its tires.

Technical sheet

  • Model tested: Jaguar F-Type Coupe P450 R-Dynamic AWD
  • Engine: Supercharged 5.0L DOHC V8
  • Power: 444 hp at 6000 rpm
  • Torque: 428 lb-ft at 2500 rpm
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic with manual mode
  • Engine architecture: longitudinal front engine, all-wheel drive
  • Consumption (EnerGuide): 12.1 L/100 km (premium gasoline)
  • Price (with options, freight and preparation): $119,150 (starting price $99,250)
  • Competitors: Chevrolet Corvette, BMW 8 Series, Lexus LC and Porsche 911
  • New in 2023? No major changes



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