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2015 Jaguar F-Type Overview
Jaguar doubles the size of the F-Type lineup for 2015 with the addition of a new F-Type 2-door 2-seat sports coupe, which joins the existing F-Type convertible, introduced a year earlier. Available at three trim levels and powered by a trio of supercharged V6 and V8 engines, the new coupe displays the same muscular exterior design as the convertible and draws a few of its styling cues from the iconic E-Type sports coupe and convertible of the 1960s and '70s. Like the E-Type, which Enzo Ferrari called the most attractive car ever made, the F-Type features a long rounded front end, as well as a cabin sitting well back on the chassis and a sloping, fastback-style rear end. Since the E-Type disappeared from showrooms in 1974, Jaguar has focused on producing luxury-oriented vehicles like the the XJ and the XK, making the F-Type coupe and convertible the automaker's first true sports cars in 40 years.
Although there are a few similarities between the E-Type and the F-Type, especially when it comes to exterior design, there are a number of differences as well, starting with the modern-day F-Type's wide-mouthed black grille framed by twin "shark gills" on either side. The sculpted hood features twin air intake openings as well, while the sweptback LED headlights include J-shaped daytime running lights. The uniquely shaped side windows taper off as the low cabin roofline descends to the back end, which includes a liftgate made of composite materials with available power open/close. Narrow wraparound LED taillights and dual or quad chrome exhaust pipes add to the sporty feel.
To save weight, most of the F-Type's body shell, including the hood, side panels and roof, are made from high-strength aluminum, which also helps ensure torsional rigidity. In place of the aluminum roof, owners can opt for a panoramic glass roof on the coupe. The convertible gets a retractable hardtop made of composite materials, which lowers and raises in 12 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. Other exterior features include flush-design door handles, which retract when not needed to ensure optimal air flow along the sides, and a hidden rear spoiler on the coupe, which automatically rises at 70 mph and lowers at 50 mph to keep the rear end firmly planted.
Jaguar offers the new F-Type sport coupe at Base, S and R trim levels, and the convertible in Base, S and S V8 trims. Base trims get a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, which drives the rear wheels through a ZF 8-speed Quickshift transmission. Standard in all F-Type trims, the Quickshift transmission features close-ratio gears to optimize rev range and Sport and Dynamic driving modes, as well as a manual shift mode with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The base V6 produces 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, and pushes the Base trims from 0-60 in 5.1 seconds. Jaguar limits top speed to 161 mph. Thanks to start/stop technology, which has generally become standard equipment on high-end sports cars, fuel economy numbers check in at a fairly respectable 20 mpg city/28 highway. The Base trims also come equipped with a sport suspension, a sport exhaust system with dual exhaust pipes and a performance braking system with 13.9-inch disc brakes in the front, 12.8-inch discs in the back and silver calipers. The Base trims ride on 18-inch alloy wheels.
Stepping up a notch, S trims receive the same 3.0-liter supercharged V6, although Jaguar tweaks the supercharger, boosting horsepower to 380 and torque to 339 lb-ft. The 0-60 sprint takes 4.8 seconds, and top speed rises to 171 mph. Fuel economy numbers drop just 1 mpg, to 19/27. The S trims include a Dynamic Launch system, a sport suspension with Adaptive Dynamics, a limited-slip differential, an Active Sport exhaust system with dual exhaust pipes and a high-performance braking system with 15-inch discs in the front, 12.8-inch discs in the rear and black calipers. Owners can add optional Super Performance or Carbon Ceramic Matrix braking systems. The S trims get 19-inch alloy wheels.
The S V8 convertible continues to receive a 5.0-liter V8 with a Denso engine management system and an Eaton twin-helix supercharger. It delivers a healthy 495 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, and makes the jaunt to 60 in 4.2 seconds. Top speed rises to 186 mph, while fuel economy numbers drop to 16/23. The S V8 includes an electronic active differential, Active Sport Exhaust system with quad exhaust pipes, 20-inch alloy wheels and super-performance braking system with 15-inch front discs, 14.8-inch rear discs and black calipers.
At the top of the heap, the F-Type R coupe makes the run from 0-60 in just 4 seconds, thanks to its tweaked 5.0-liter supercharged V8, which pumps out 550 hp and a a stellar 502 lb-ft of torque. The extra horsepower and torque come from such features as Bosch engine management, spray-guided direct injection, dual independent variable cam timing and a Roots-type twin vortex supercharger with 2 intercoolers. Top speed again checks in at 186 mph, and fuel-economy numbers match those of the S V8 at 16/23. The R also gets a sport suspension with Adaptive Dynamics, as well as an active differential with torque vectoring, a switchable Active Sport Exhaust system with quad pipes and the super-performance braking system with 15-inch front discs, 14.8-inch rear discs and red calipers. The R Coupe also comes equipped with 20-inch alloy wheels.
As you might expect, the F-Type's ride and handling mark a distinct departure from the more sedate, luxury-oriented rides of its other Jaguar stablemates. The F-Type's tight suspension and tied-down driving dynamics make this a true sports car, with tight handling and a ride that's firm and even at times overly harsh. However, there's virtually no body lean, squat or dive on even the twistiest roads. Jaguar did not equip the F-Type with a Comfort driving mode, so drivers have little leeway in easing up on the ride's firmness. Similarly, rather than opt for the increasingly common electrically assisted power steering, Jaguar retains hydraulic-assisted steering on the F-Type, ensuring optimal feedback and responsiveness, which the increasingly beefy tires help to maximize road grip on all type of surfaces. In creating the F-Type, Jaguar specifically targeted such competitors as the Porsche 911 Carrera, and for the most part the F-Type easily runs with vehicles of that caliber and class.
Inside the 2-seat cabin, Jaguar does include a number of luxury-oriented features, rather than a stripped-down sport design. Base trims, for instance, come equipped with leather and Suedecloth sport seats with 6-way power adjustment, a GPS navigation system, halo interior illumination with mood lighting and a 10-speaker 380-watt Meridian audio system. S trims add a Smart Key system with keyless start and a configurable ambient interior lighting system with 5 color choices, while the S V8 and R also include heated front seats, a heated 3-spoke leather-wrapped flat-bottom sport steering wheel, aluminum interior trim, dual-zone climate control, reverse parking sensors and a 12-speaker 770-watt Meridian audio system with HD radio and SiriusXM satellite radio.
The driver-focused interior layout places all controls within easy reach of the driver, with easy-to read instrument gauges and dials. An 8-inch touchscreen on the center console provides easy access to the navigation and infotainment systems. Cargo space checks in at a fairly tight 11.65 cubic feet in the coupe and just 7 cubic feet in the convertible. Safety features include Dynamic Stability Control and antilock brakes with brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution. An optional Vision Pack adds such features as adaptive rotating headlights, a blind-spot monitoring system, Reverse Traffic Detection and a parking assist with audible alerts.
Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in Florida.