F Type picks up where its predecessor left off. It occupies a place the XK and XJS models desperately tried to recapture, but never did.
F Type is made from Aluminium. The body sits low on 19” alloys with a tail the sweeps up gracefully to meet LED tail lights carved into slits. Staring at the rear wheel, the ribbons of light run along the side and across the rear, bathing each corner in an eye-catching light show.
E Type’s hatch design has been recreated in the F Type with a 21st century power-operated twist. It has an elegant swoop towards a rear end where a spoiler electrically deploys at 100kph. Like the door handles, the spoiler sits flush with the bodywork until needed.
Door handles house a discrete ($1,200) keyless entry button. When it senses a key nearby, it flicks the trailing edge of the handle outwards to be easily grabbed. At speed, or when the F Type is locked, they sit flush, waiting to be called upon once again.
E Type’s iconic grill and headlights have been reimagined for the F Type. LED headlights are standard on the R Dynamic. The muscular bulging bonnet gives the front end a 007 look. At any moment you expect a rocket launcher to pop up, and lasers to shoot from the DTRLs.
Remember, Jaguar cars have been used in bond films for decades. That’s the kind of street cred most of us would never admit to loving the hell out of, but secretly, we adore it. Who doesn’t want to don a tux, then drive to a casino in Monte to down a vodka martini in a single gulp?
The bijou cabin has just enough space for a driver and a friend, and a bottle of champers.
It has a completely different feel to other Jags and Rangies. The ambience is more premium racer than luxury cruiser, and this is not by accident. F Type is Jaguar’s sports car. It is not a GT car, there simply is not the space for luggage for a long road trip, even though a bespoke 5 piece set is available. With the luggage in the boot, there is no room for a spare.
The 310L boot gains another 98L if you ditch the luggage cover. Almost all of the boot is taken up with a space-saver spare tyre if you choose that factory option. If you do have a flat, the tyre you take off won’t fit back in. I suggest you leave it at home and call the auto club if you get into strife. Have a G and T while you wait.
Driver instruments are old-school dials with an LCD between them.
There are 3 memory positions for the power adjusted steering wheel, power heated/cooled seats, and power mirrors. Seat controls are on the door rather than the seat itself, and look much cooler where they are easily seen.
Our centre console had a carbon fibre make over, with buttery-soft Windsor leather for the seats. The option pack also covers doors, dash, and console with the same buttery glory. It feels like being inside a full-length Dior glove. Carbon fibre on the console and dash looks cool, but why bother?
DAB costing an extra $640 sounded great when it worked but the stations frequently had no reception. Touch Pro infotainment includes an 8” touch screen which looks spookily like the old Ford SYNC II system. It responds fairly quickly but the ( $1,060) reversing camera needs tweaking. It was more like a series of still pictures rather than a continuous movie display.
Facts and Figures
Engine: 2.0L 4 cylinder, twin scroll turbo, 2210kw,400Nm, 7.2L/100k
Transmission: 8 speed quickshift auto
Warranty: 3 yr/100,000km (extension packages available)
Price: $114,812 ($150,002 as tested)