Last year Jaguar was kind enough to bring their C-X16 concept to Los Angeles Auto Show. That was the first and only time I have ever seen the concept in person and I immediately fell in love with it. Everything about the C-X16 from its looks, technology, and performance seemed to bring back exactly what the industry has been missing for a long time. The C-X16 was not about any one particular thing, but about bringing together all the aspects that truly encompass what the soul of a sports car should be.
Naturally when I realized that the C-X16 concept would in fact be produced I was excited to see what the final product would be like. I knew certain aspects of the concept would likely not make it into production, such as the radical interior design and the “KERS” like electric motor boost system. What I did not expect is that the production version of the C-X16, now officially known today as the ”F-TYPE“ would be a convertible. At first, I was disappointed by this. I am not by any stretch an “anti-convertible” person but admittedly I fell in love with the shape of the concept as a coupe, not a drop top. Although it only took a few short moments of looking through the pictures for my disappointment to melt away in to a gooey puddle of admiration. The F-TYPE is the most beautiful convertible I have ever seen, hands down.
While I still hope that a coupe version of the F-TYPE will be realized in the future. I have absolutely no problem with what Jaguar has done here. Furthermore, Jaguar has exceeded expectations by offering more performance options than what the concept had originally proposed. The C-X16 concept offered a 3.0 liter V6 engine making 380HP. The F-TYPE offers that same power train but in addition there is a step below and above that mark. The base F-TYPE will have a supercharged 3.0 V6 engine making 340HP, the F-TYPE S will have the 380HP V6 (also supercharged), and finally Jaguar announced there will be an F-TYPE V8 S featuring a supercharged 5.0 liter V8 making 495HP with a 4.2 0-60 time and top speed of 186mph.
All three engine options will be paired with an eight-speed “quick shift” transmission with a sequential gear shift selector in the center and paddles on the steering wheel. Both “S” models will come equipped with limited slip differentials but while the V6 engine will have a mechanical differential, the V8 will come with an electronic unit. It was also announced that both of the “S” models will come with an “active exhaust” system which will open special valves under hard acceleration (after 3,000rpm) which will allow the exhaust follow to bypass the mufflers for a glorious roar. While that sounds awesome I would be willing to bet that Jaguar leaves that feature out of models bound for the U.S. due to our strict smog and exhaust dB laws.
The last important number is the price. Inevitable mark-ups aside, the Jaguar F-TYPE will start at about $69,000. That number is a bit high for a six cylinder but considering all that you get, it is likely worth it. With the base V6 starting at that price I would venture to guess that the top of the line V8 S will probably start somewhere in the low six-figure neighborhood which also puts the F-TYPE squarely in “dream car” territory. Personally, I think that territory suits this car just fine..
F-TYPE V6 & V8 rolling footage:
JAGUAR F-TYPE UNVEILED AT THE PARIS AUTO SHOW 2012
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
- The F-TYPE is an all-new, two-seater, Jaguar sports car
- A front-engined, rear-wheel drive convertible, the F-TYPE is engineered to deliver pure dynamic driving reward and stunning performance
- Visually, the F-TYPE’s exterior demonstrates a new sports car design language for Jaguar, with cleaner lines delivered through the discreet use of technology such as deployable spoiler and door handles
- The F-TYPE’s interior features a driver-focused philosophy, with engaging controls encased in dramatic architecture. Unique technical grains tailor the trim materials, further differentiating the dual-cockpit cabin
- Three models will be available – F-TYPE, F-TYPE S and the F-TYPE V8 S. They are powered respectively by Jaguar’s new 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine in 340PS and 380PS outputs and its 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol producing 495PS
- The range-topping F-TYPE V8S will reach 60mph in 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of 186mph. The 380PS V6 F-TYPE S will reach 60mph in 4.8 seconds and 171mph, the equivalent figures for the F-TYPE are 5.1 seconds and 161mph
- All engines drive through an eight-speed ‘Quickshift’ transmission, a centrally mounted SportShift selector offering full manual sequential control, as do the steering wheel-mounted paddles
- Both the S models have a limited-slip differential – the V6′s mechanical and the V8′s electronic – to maximise traction and driver reward
- The S models also have an ‘Active exhaust’ system and an optional Configurable Dynamics programme. This allows the driver to tailor a number of the dynamic features to personal taste and includes lap timer and G-meter functionality
- The F-TYPE is constructed around the fourth generation of Jaguar’s acclaimed lightweight aluminium architecture using industry-first technology
- Torsional and lateral stiffness have been prioritised to maximise handling agility. Around that rigid aluminium structure, every system – steering, brakes, powertrain – has been optimised for immediacy of response to driver inputs
- All-aluminium double wishbone front and rear suspension systems provide precise body control, with adaptive damping adding a further layer of dynamic capability
“Jaguar is a founder member of the sports car segment with a rich sporting bloodline stretching over 75 years, and in the F-TYPE we’ve reignited that flame. The F-TYPE isn’t designed to be like anyone else’s sports car. It’s a Jaguar sports car – ultra-precise, powerful, sensual and, most of all, it feels alive.”
Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar
The new Jaguar F-TYPE represents a return to the company’s heartland: a two-seater, convertible sports car focused on performance, agility and driver involvement. The F-TYPE is a continuation of a sporting bloodline that stretches back more than 75 years and encompasses some of the most beautiful, thrilling and desirable cars ever built.
The engineering ethos underpinning the F-TYPE is centred on Jaguar’s industry-leading expertise in the use of aluminium. Featuring the most advanced iteration of Jaguar’s acclaimed rigid and lightweight aluminium architecture to date, the F-TYPE has ideally balanced weight distribution that allows its involving rear-wheel drive dynamics to be explored to the full. Utilising extensive Computer Aided Engineering programmes, the attention to detail involved in the F-TYPE’s creation even extended to the development of a new, lighter, aluminium front subframe.
In order to maximise the benefits of its advanced structure, the F-TYPE features all-aluminium double wishbone front and rear suspension and a quick-ratio steering rack for ultimate responsiveness. The aluminium architecture has been optimised to provide the stiffest possible underpinnings for the suspension with rigidity gains of more than 30 per cent in key areas compared to any other Jaguar application.
Three variants will be available at launch – F-TYPE, F-TYPE S and F-TYPE V8 S. Each is distinguished by the power output of its supercharged petrol engine with all engines featuring stop/start technology to maximise efficiency.
A new 3.0-litre V6, developed from Jaguar’s highly acclaimed 5.0-litre V8, is available in either 340PS or 380PS variants, powering the F-TYPE and F-TYPE S respectively. Both applications exhibit the same free-revving, willing nature that encourages the enthusiastic driver to explore the full extent of the engines’ abilities.
The V6 models are joined by a newly developed member of Jaguar’s V8 engine family. Producing 495PS and 625Nm of torque in the F-TYPE V8 S model, it has an astonishing torque-to-weight ratio of 375Nm/tonne, accelerates to 60mph in 4.2 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds) and on to an electronically limited top speed of 186mph (300km/h) while emitting 259g/km of CO2.
The 380PS V6 F-TYPE S covers the 0-60mph sprint in 4.8 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds) and has an electronically limited top speed of 171mph (275km/h), with CO2 emissions of 213g/km.
The 340PS V6 F-TYPE accelerates to 60mph in 5.1 seconds (0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds) and on to an electronically limited top speed of 161mph (260km/h), while emitting just 209g/km of CO2.
An active exhaust system, which is standard on the S and V8 S models, adds another dimension of driver-engagement. Valves in the exhaust system open under load from 3000rpm which allows the exhaust note to build to a thrilling crescendo at the redline.
The F-TYPE has a set of eight closely-spaced, sporting ratios in its Quickshift transmission, giving greater driver control. The V6-powered S model also includes a Dynamic Launch feature, which optimises acceleration from rest.
The company’s eye to the future is encapsulated in the assertive design language that deliberately challenges preconceptions. Jaguars have always defined sinuous, muscular simplicity and the F-TYPE is no exception, its shape being defined by two ‘heartlines’ forming the front and rear wings.
Taking inspiration from the C-X16 concept unveiled in 2011, the front of the F-TYPE features a new interpretation of the bold angular Jaguar grille from which flows the muscular clamshell bonnet with its signature ‘power bulge’. The all important heartline begins its journey in the blade dissecting the shark-like gills on either side of the grille before leading the eye to the top of the front wing, emphasised by the bi-xenon headlamp and integral LED daytime running lights, into the door and towards the rear of the car where it gracefully disappears.
Its journey is taken up at this point by the second heartline which swells out to form the muscular rear haunch before sweeping dramatically around the sensual low tail, made possible by the inclusion of an active rear spoiler which deploys at speed to reduce lift by up to 120kg. Full LED rear lamps create a new Jaguar sports car signature by reinterpreting classic cues from the past and, by wrapping around to the trailing edge of the rear wheelarch, emphasise the powerful stance of the car and its rear-wheel drive sporting potential.
The focus on driver involvement and sporting performance in the F-TYPE is emphasised by the ‘one plus one’ layout of the asymmetric cabin. This is evidenced by the grab handle which sweeps down the centre console on the passenger side, delineating it from the driver’s position. Further differentiation is provided by the use of different trim materials either side of the cabin, with a more technical finish on the driver’s side.
Taking inspiration from cockpits of fighter airplanes, the controls are ergonomically grouped by function. Further aeronautical inspiration can be found in the joystick-shaped SportShift selector controlling the eight-speed transmission. The air vents on top of the dashboard will only deploy when instructed to by either the driver or complex control algorithms, staying tucked discreetly out of sight in other circumstances.
“With the F-TYPE, the Jaguar engineering team focused on delivering greater dynamic driving reward than ever before. To make that a reality, every engineer has had very tough targets to hit: every one of those targets has been met and, in many cases, exceeded, making the F-TYPE a car that delivers precisely the key sporting attributes that we intended.”
Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar