Jaguar’s F-Type coupe is the most performance-focused, dynamically capable of all Jaguar sports cars – it’s the sports car lover’s sports car.
For model year 2016, the F-Type coupe adds a powerful, efficient 380-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine to the midlevel S model, and a broad range of upgrades, depending on the model chosen.
The core DNA remains: perfect proportions and outstanding design with refined power and lightweight aluminum construction.
Sophisticated driving technologies include a limited-slip differential and the Jaguar Sport Suspension with Adaptive Dynamics.
Three models are offered for 2016: F-Type (340-hp., rear-wheel drive with automatic or manual), F-Type S (380-hp automatic with RWD or all-wheel drive, or manual with rear-wheel drive), and F-Type R (550-hp. automatic with AWD), with 12 configurations possible.
Prices range from $65,000 to $106,450 before options. Choosing AWD adds $7,500, an automatic transmission adds $1,500, and a convertible top raises the price $3,100.
The F-Type is the first Jaguar sports car to use Electric Power Assisted Steering, which provides power assistance only when needed to help reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, compared to hydraulic systems that constantly use power. The electric system provides immediate response and connected feel. The technology also compensates for temperature differences to ensure consistent feedback to the driver through the wheel.
F-Type also receives enhancements in interior appearance and technology, starting with new dials and gauges and an upgraded infotainment system, and featuring InControl Remote, InControl Protect, and InControl Apps connectivity and telematics functions for added convenience and safety.
InControl Remote allows the driver to check fuel levels or door-lock status while away from the vehicle, by using a connected smartphone. The driver can also lock or unlock the vehicle from anywhere in the world.
In vehicles with an automatic transmission, the smartphone can be used to start the engine and bring the interior temperature to the desired level before passengers enter. A beep-and-flash feature helps locate the vehicle in a crowded parking lot or on a busy city street.
InControl Protect automatically alerts an emergency call center with the vehicle’s location if an accident occurs in which supplemental safety restraints are engaged; or an emergency call can be made manually by pressing the SOS button. Roadside Assistance is also available at the touch of a button, which connects to a Jaguar operator and sends information on the vehicle’s location and status.
Android and Apple smartphones connect to InControl Apps via a dedicated USB port, for seamless access to compatible third party apps stored on the device through F-Type’s touch screen. InControl functions are standard on all 2016 F-Type models.
F-Type also brings more standard equipment for 2016, including a top-of-the-line 770-watt Meridian surround sound audio system with 12 speakers, satellite radio and HD Digital Radio, Smart Key keyless entry and pushbutton start – highlighting the unique deployable door handles – and 14-way fully power-adjustable seats.
A standard panoramic glass roof on the coupe models brings lots of light to the striking interior and has a manual shade for privacy or shade when desired. S models, the one I drove for this review, and R models now include standard Configurable Dynamic Mode, a three-spoke flat-bottomed racing-style leather-wrapped steering wheel, and driver-selectable Switchable Active Exhaust.
Configurable Dynamics with “Dynamic-I” Information Display allows the driver to define which parameters are modified using Dynamic Mode, controlled via the Dynamic-I display system, which displays G-forces, lap times, and throttle and brake inputs on the eight-inch capacitive touch screen with clear, crisp graphics.
Driver-selectable Active Sport Exhaust (with center-mounted dual chrome-tipped exhaust pipes) employs electronically controlled bypass valves, which open under certain speed and throttle conditions to improve flow and deliver a deep, rich exhaust note. The driver can also manually control the bypass valves for an even richer, more exhilarating sound.
Standard Sport suspension with Adaptive Dynamics offers a greater degree of ride quality and vehicle handling by controlling the vertical movement of the wheels in relation to the chassis using an onboard system. This system keeps the tires perpendicular to the road on turns for better traction and control, and helps eliminate body roll during cornering, acceleration, and braking.
This car is way beyond fun to drive. It’s actually quite exhilarating, especially with the manual gearbox, which was easy to shift.
It wasn’t easy to keep a low profile in this car, either. My tester was an eye-catching Ammonite Gray Metallic ($600) with Performance seats in Jet Premium leather with Red Stitch interior, base price $80,300. It came with a new six-speed manual transmission, developed for the F-Type especially for enthusiasts and purists, paired with a 380-horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine, riding on 20-inch silver Tornado Alloy wheels with 10 machined spokes ($1,500).
The center console armrest was redesigned to allow optimum movement of the wrist, elbow and shoulder during gear changes, and the shifter knob sits at an ideal height and position for road or track driving. The brake and throttle pedals were also positioned for easy heel-and-toe shifting.
A $3,100 Extended Leather Package brought Jet Premium soft-grain leather upper fascia, center console and door panels, windshield pillars, sun visors, header rail and headliner. Redzone seat belts for $350 added an extra pop.
A Premium Plus Vision Pack for $3,900 brought dual-zone automatic climate control, air-quality sensor and filter; programmable garage door opener; valet mode; heated seats and steering wheel; power tailgate; adaptive front lighting with cornering lights and intelligent high beams; front and rear parking sensors with cross-traffic detection and rear parking camera; blind spot monitor; and auto-dimming exterior door mirrors.
F-Type comes with lots of standard equipment, including Intelligent Stop/Start and GPS navigation with Traffic Messaging Channel, technology for delivering traffic and travel information to the driver, which can be integrated directly into the navigation system to be used in route calculations.
Leather and Suedecloth Sport seats with 14-way power adjustment and electrically adjustable memory for the steering column, seats and heated, power-fold body-colored door mirrors with turn signals are standard on all models.
My F-Type S added Jaguar High Performance Braking with black calipers; Gloss Black and Chrome exterior trim; Chrome Grille Surround; Rain Sensing Windshield Wipers; Automatic Bi-Function HID Xenon Headlights with signature LED Daytime Running Lights, Positional Lights and Turn Signals; LED Tail Lights, Fog and Reverse Lights in the rear bumper; Deployable Rear Spoiler (rises at speeds above 70 mph to reduce lift by up to 264 pounds, retracts below 50 mph); and F-Type badge on the rear left hand side.
Dual Color Configurable Ambient Interior Lighting with five available colors (automatically turns red when Dynamic Mode is engaged), JaguarSense Overhead Light Console operation (touch/proximity sensitive to respond to a gentle touch or gesture), Intelligent Venting System (vents hidden in the dashboard, slowly slide up when needed), and Aluminum Veneer Console Finisher in a Dark Hex pattern with “S” graphic added a “wow” factor to the interior.
The instrument panel had analog dials with central TFT display and a trip computer with message center. Additional amenities included an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror, covered front cupholders, a USB port, auxiliary input, iPod connectivity and a power outlet in the center console, Bluetooth connectivity, air particle and pollen filtration, cruise control with automatic speed limiter, sport carpeted floor mats, tire-pressure monitoring system, and Jaguar tire repair system.
Safety features included dynamic stability control, winter driving mode, antilock braking, electric parking brake, two stage unlocking, drive-away and remote control central locking, engine immobilizer, and perimeter intrusion sensing and alarm sounder.
Passenger protection consisted of a smart air bag system with two front air bags, seat-mounted side air bags, Occupancy Classification System, Emergency Brake Assist, and Electronic Brake-force Distribution.
The 11 square-foot trunk had an entrapment release lever (and enough room for at least two bags of golf clubs).
Total sticker price was $94,595, including options and $995 destination charges.
The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 2007. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.