Jaguar introduced the F-Type convertible roadster in 2014 as a super-luxury car to compete with Porsche 911 and Maserati, based, in part, on the classic 1960s E-Type roadster.
Model year 2015 brought a coupe version and a choice between the original 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine and a 5.0-liter supercharged V-8. The Adaptive Dynamics System was added to the 2015 V-6 S model for better control of body roll.
For 2016, three models are available, including my tester, the new F-Type R, with 12 possible combinations using new “Instinctive” All-Wheel Drive or rear-wheel drive, a new six-speed manual or original automatic transmission, and convertible or coupe body style.
Base models of the F coupe and convertible have a standard 340-horsepower version of the V-6, while the F-Type S brings a standard 380-horsepower version with higher top speed.
Prices range from $65,000 for the base model F-Type to $103,600 for the F-Type R.
The F-Type R features the 550-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8, and brings a new convertible model to replace the 495-horsepower F-Type V-8 S.
The 2016 F-Type is the first Jaguar sports car to use Electric Power Assisted Steering to provide power assistance as needed, reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. A lightning-fast “QuickShift” eight-speed automatic transmission delivers optimum power and torque at all speeds.
Instinctive All-Wheel Drive, available with the QuickShift transmission, works with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics to decide exactly where to deliver power for optimum traction and stability, for confident handling in the most-demanding conditions. Standard Winter Mode also helps improve traction in slippery conditions by modifying gear changes and throttle response.
Intelligent Stop/Start is standard, and improves fuel economy in stop-and-go driving by shutting off the engine when the vehicle is stopped at a red light or intersection – leaving the accessories on – then restarting the engine in approximately 300 milliseconds when the brake pedal is released. EPA fuel economy estimates for the F-Type R are 15 mpg city/23 highway/18 combined.
The F-Type’s infotainment system has been upgraded with the all-new Jaguar InControl remote, InControl Protect, and InControl Apps connectivity and telematics functions, allowing operators to check fuel level, lock doors, start the engine, and operate the HVAC via apps downloaded to their smartphones. Upgrades include crisper graphics and a more-responsive eight-inch touchscreen, and new gauges and dials.
Multimedia connections, including iPod or MP3 players, are managed on the eight-inch color touch screen along with climate control, GPS navigation, audio choices, Bluetooth connectivity, and the optional Configurable Dynamics System on S and R models.
A powerful new 770-watt Meridian surround sound system, satellite radio, keyless entry and 14-way power-adjustable seats are added for 2016. Coupe models gain a power tailgate and a standard panoramic glass roof. The hood has been reshaped for AWD models, with new body-color air vents placed farther forward and apart than the vents on RWD models. A unique body kit for AWD models includes the vents, along with body-color extended side skirts and trim around the quad exhaust tips. All-wheel drive models also add “AWD” badging on the rear.
Crystal-clear SiriusXM Satellite Radio and HD Radio are standard, and with the standard Meridian sound system designed for the F-Type soundscape, Digital Signal Processing and Cabin Correction ensure consistent sound and superb audio reproduction through 12 speakers, including deep-bass subwoofers.
The F-Type headlights are swept back, their elongated shape melding into the aerodynamic lines of the vehicle with the J-Blade LED running lights creating a distinctive signature. The slim LED taillights also sweep around from the side of the vehicle, conveying a feeling of width and dynamic proportions.
F-Type R brings a unique personality to the interior, with Dark Technical Weave Aluminum on the center stack and console; “R” embossed on the headrests; a flat-bottomed sport steering wheel with Ignis (flame) colored paddles; and Configurable Lighting, which includes Phosphor Blue, Pale Blue, White, Coral or Red on the door-grab handles, center console and instrument cluster.
Dynamic Mode sharpens throttle response, shifts more quickly at higher speeds, stiffens the suspension, and visually emphasizes the sportier performance by changing the lighting on the door handles and center grab handle to vibrant Red.
A Carbon Fiber Roof option for $3,200 replaced the standard panoramic roof with a strong, light roof with a deep, high-grade lacquered finish. A Black Pack for $600 enhanced the sporty appearance of my tester with a Gloss Black grille and surround, side power vents and mesh, hood louvers and mesh, bumper beam, window surround and rear valence.
Driver-selectable Active Exhaust with manual control, standard on my tester, uses Active Bypass Valves which open during higher rpms to allow exhaust gases to exit more directly, resulting in a deep, dramatic sound. A button on the console allows the driver to disengage the system, if desired. If the car’s looks don’t get your attention, the Jaguar growl will.
Several visibility and driver-assistance features were included in a Vision Pack for $2,100. Adaptive Front Lighting improved nighttime visibility by swiveling the headlights up to 14 degrees outward and up to 7 degrees inward during cornering, while the Intelligent High Beam switched between low and high as necessary, without driver input.
Working together, the Front Parking Aid, Reverse Park Camera and Reverse Traffic Detection gave audible tones and visual guidance on the touch screen to help maneuver during parking or backing out of a parking space. The Blind Spot Monitor alerted to the presence of vehicles in an adjacent lane with a flashing light in the outside mirror, working with Closing Vehicle Sensing to warn of a vehicle approaching too quickly from behind to allow a safe lane change.
A Carbon Ceramic Matrix Braking System added $12,000 and included the ceramic brake rotors, yellow calipers, and stunning 20-inch Storm forged-alloy wheels with diamond-turned highlights on five trident spokes and the rim.
Aside from the more-exciting aspects of the Jaguar F-Type, some ordinary equipment is standard – rain-sensing wipers, fog and reverse lights in the rear bumper, auto-dimming heated/power outside mirrors with memory, garage-door opener, 12-volt power outlet, steering-wheel-mounted controls, emergency brake assist, antitheft engine immobilizer, and front and side air bags with passenger sensors for size and weight.
Cargo capacity was 11.65 cubic feet, large enough for a weekend’s worth of luggage or two golf bags, and the power tailgate opened with the touch of a button. A small cubby in the center console, a medium cubby between the headrests, two cupholders and two small map/bottle pockets were the extent of cabin storage.
My F-Type R was a fun-to-drive, exciting, eye-catching, comfortable, powerful, agile sport coupe. We got lots of stares, double-takes, picture taking, thumbs-up, and comments.
With $18,900 in options and $995 freight, total sticker price of my tester was $123,495.
The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 2007. Contact her at email@example.com.