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The Jaguar F-Type revealed

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September 27, 2012

Jaguar unveiled the F-Type at an exclusive event on the night before the Paris Motor Show

Jaguar unveiled the F-Type at an exclusive event on the night before the Paris Motor Show

Image Gallery (31 images)

We had to be content with just a single picture last week, but Jaguar has hit us with the entire F-Type narrative in time for the Paris Motor Show. We now have views from every angle and a little bit of extra context to compare the new roadster with the venerable classic it succeeds.

A little bit of unscientific opinion mining shows that our readers – at least the ones commenting – are as disappointed with the F-Type as we are. A handsome Jaguar in its own right, the F-Type simply isn't poised to make the same leap to greatness as its old man. For some it appears to share about as much DNA with the E-Type as an adopted child shares with his brother-in-law.

Of course, Jaguar, which revealed the car at an exclusive event a day before the Paris Motor Show, sees it differently. The pouncing cat calls it the "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." Interestingly, while Jaguar alludes to the E-Type and other classic sports cars with that quote, we didn't see those cars cited specifically in Jag's press materials, outside of a brief mention that the F-Type is its first two-seat sports car since the E. We take that to mean even Jaguar realizes that this design couldn't wrestle its way into the same conversation as the E-Type.

One of the more distinctive features of the F-Type is its 'shark gills'

While the E-Type is absent, Jaguar does mention that the new car is influenced by the C-X16 concept car. The influence is immediately noticeable up front. The mesh grille and its thick bissecting bar provide a reinterpretation of the grille used on current-generation sedans like the XJ and XF. Perhaps the most striking aspect of the front-end, the "shark gill" air intakes on either side are positioned to give the F-Type a memorable face, making it immediately recognizable in the rear-view mirror. When compared to the soft, pure face of the E-Type, we'd say the gills are a little like knife scars on an otherwise handsome prisoner.

Beginning at the center slat in those shark gill vents, one of two sets of defining "heart lines" flows upward through the vertical bi-xenon headlamps, sets a hood-fender border and moves onward over the flanks and shoulders, disappearing quietly on the quarter panels. The second heart line bulges out from the edge of the door, framing the rear drive wheels and melding into the rear fascia. In back, the F-Type features a kinetic spoiler that raises when the speedometer hits 60 mph (96.5 km/h). The V-6 models get a center-mounted twin exhaust, and the V-8 model gets a quad exhaust.

The Jaguar will hit the US market in summer 2013

Enough about looks ... onward to substance. In order to give the F-Type the lithe, reactive handling it needed to "return to its heartland" of sporty two-seat convertibles, Jaguar put its experience with aluminum construction to use. The F-Type utilizes Jag's fourth-generation lightweight aluminum architecture coupled with aluminum wishbone front and rear suspension. The F-Type also uses more composites than any previous Jag. Weight is kept as low as 3,521 pounds (1,597 kg), and Jaguar promises its efforts pay off in a quick, balanced, agile ride.

“We are creating a new generation of Jaguar sports car so it has to be credible from both a performance and design point of view," explains Mark White, one of Jaguar's chief engineers. "It has to deliver; it has to be a great handling car with a stiff, rigid platform underpinning; and it has to look every inch an icon. For our team the greatest satisfaction was delivering a structure that underpinned the desired performance attributes - ride, handling and agility – by increasing stiffness and at the same time reducing weight."

Helping to increase the car's on-street performance, Jaguar minimized the front and rear overhangs to keep weight planted in the wheelbase and give the car a "wheels pushed to the corners" feel. It also placed the battery and windshield wiper fluid tank in the trunk, optimizing front-to-rear weight distribution.

Of course, all the aluminum and weight tricks in the world can't guarantee an enjoyable ride on their own - you need a little something spinning the rear wheels. Jaguar offers three different options. The F-Type is motivated by a new 340-hp 3.0-liter supercharged V-6. The F-Type S sees that same engine tuned up to 380-hp, and the F-Type V8 S enjoys a 495-hp output courtesy of Jag's 5.0-liter supercharged V-8. All three engines work with an eight-speed Quickshift transmission with a central, joystick-style SportShift selector and paddle shifters on the steering wheel. An Intelligent Stop/Start system helps to save fuel.

The V8 S hits 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 4.2 seconds before rolling to a top speed of 186 mph (300 km/h). The F-Type S, which is the sole model with a Dynamic Launch feature designed to optimize acceleration from rest, does its thing in 4.8 seconds and 171 mph (275 km/h). Base model owners are staring at 5.1 seconds and 161 mph (259 km/h).

Jaguar separates driving equipment from passenger with a strategically placed grab handle

Inside, Jaguar organizes the cabin in an asymmetric, "one + one" style that puts emphasis on the driver position. The two sides of the cabin have several subtle points of differentiation, including more technical trim on the driver side and a central passenger grab handle that serves as a sort of barrier. Driver controls are inspired by aeronautics and grouped by function. In order to promote the utmost of driver interaction, Jaguar has gone a little retro, replacing certain controls typically handled by the touchscreen with old school fixtures. Three different audio systems are available, including 380-watt and 770-watt systems from Meridian. A fabric roof, which deploys in 12 seconds, separates cabin from atmosphere.

The F-Type will launch in the U.S. by mid-2013. We're certain to hear a lot more about this convertible and other sports cars now that the Paris Motor Show has opened to the media.

Source: Jaguar

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
17 Comments

nice looking but not in the same league as the iconic E Type.

robinyatesuk2003
27th September, 2012 @ 06:22 am PDT

Why are people trying to compare this to an E-Type? It's NOT an E-Type - it's not even competing in the same segment as an E-Type did. The E-Type was the pinnacle of Jaguars sports car 'division', it was the biggest and best roadster it could build at the time. If anything, the current XKR-S should be regarded as the spiritual successor to the E-Type. This car is going to be aimed headlong at the Porsche Boxster and top Z4's and AMG SLK's. If this car was competing in the same segment 40 odd years ago when the E-Type was around, it would be up against MG's and Austin Healeys!!

The E-Type is - and always will be - regarded as one of the most beautiful cars ever conceived: even 50 years on it can barely be touched and rests easily in the top 3 most beautiful cars ever in any true petrolheads list. And yet Jaguar is getting slated that in these oppressive, crash protected, envirocentric, regulatory strangled times - it can't come up with a car to overcome those barriers and match the beauty of the iconic, timeless E-Type??

Give me a break! I think it is a damn handsome looking car, and hopefully will drive just as well as it looks. Fair play Jaguar - with your current crop of motors, you are definitely on your game in my opinion, and sincerely hope the company continues onwards and upwards!

(oh, and though I wouldn't be in the market for an F-Type anyway - the XF Sportbrake is actually genuinely on my shortlist of 2 to replace my current 3.0 Audi A6 Avant!!) ;0)

Garry McGovern
27th September, 2012 @ 01:34 pm PDT

Looks like a Maserati...

Mike vC
27th September, 2012 @ 02:14 pm PDT

Whatever the model, the science behind it remains the same. Reducing wind resistance, therefore the shape of cars in categories will always be similar.

Dawar Saify
27th September, 2012 @ 04:39 pm PDT

Hit the nail on the head Garry.

It is yet another beautiful car I will never own. Such a shame we have but one lifetime and so have to pick our priorities.

Scion
27th September, 2012 @ 06:31 pm PDT

Yes Garry, that was my impression as well. Like someone sent an MG to Italian boarding school.

Alan Belardinelli
28th September, 2012 @ 12:59 am PDT

Is it just me, or does it resemble the Nissan GTR too much from the front?

Emilio Maldonado Reyes
28th September, 2012 @ 01:03 am PDT

Hmph.. looks like a Miata to me.. or a Z series Beemer..

Doc Rock
28th September, 2012 @ 03:39 am PDT

An EF version would be interesting, combustion engines rarely put more than 20% of the fuel energy into the drive shaft. An Electric F Type could probably outperform all these models, except for range. Batttery technology ever moves forward, and in the not too distant future we may see the first nano-scale kinetic flywheel batteries. The physics at nano-scale is fascinating! A flywheel battery can be charged rapidly and delivers close to 100% of it's input as output. Power density tends to be several times better than chemical storeage, which is why NASA have conducted so much research on this topic.

Off peak electricity goes to waste most of the time. so an E-F Type Jag would be doing it's bit to conserve our planet.

Alastair Carnegie
28th September, 2012 @ 04:42 am PDT

Mike, you are right....put the three-prong fork on the front grille and voilá! You have a Maserati...!!!

Charlie Channels
28th September, 2012 @ 06:46 am PDT

Of course people are comparing it to the E-type, because Jaguar in their wisdom chose to call it the F-type! After E comes F. The spiritual successor blah blah blah. If Jaguar are going to allude to it then they invite comparisons. And while it's OK, it's nothing uniquely different but judging by the comments above more a cobbled together design of other cars.

The other thing to note is the E-type was an absolute bargain when it was released, way cheaper than the competition despite the technological advancements it had.

Simon
28th September, 2012 @ 09:32 am PDT

I echo Mike vC, my first impression was "Maserati" (not that the resemblance is a bad thing). It is a nicer car than I will ever drive or own, but on the other hand I have no desire to do either.

Bruce H. Anderson
28th September, 2012 @ 09:43 am PDT

This automobile looks like a convertible bloated motorcar instead of a sleek convertible sports car...

I challenge anyone to place one of these next to a 1971 E-Type in BRG with it's top down and watch where the crowds form....

Current sports cars wanna-be's might be faster but they pail in comparison to driving an E-Type, a Lotus 7 or the others that defined what a true "Sport Car" is...

It would be like comparing a 997cc Mini to a BMW Mini...

CaptD
28th September, 2012 @ 11:35 am PDT

I guess an E-Type would consume a lot of fuel, compared to this beauty, and the new one will not rust as easy, in a wet climate like the UK.

If I got one for free, I'd love it, just I'd love owning an E-Type, but the older model needs lots of care, and a mechanic who can maintain it well.

A friend came into a lot of money, in a lottery, as a young Volvo worker, and he spent almost all of it on a then new E-Type with mink seats! When the rest of the money was gone he had to sell it, but he must have had a great time, driving through the city at night in his white E-type, with white mink-covered seats!

That is not just environmentally questionable, but Animal Rights groups would have a fit!

Tord S Eriksson
28th September, 2012 @ 01:00 pm PDT

Yawn... indestinguishable from any other two seater sports car on the road. Design innovation is dead.

John Hagen-Brenner
28th September, 2012 @ 01:41 pm PDT

Very Nice.. Is there a hard top F-type( I prefer it)

Gargamoth
29th September, 2012 @ 03:25 pm PDT

My first impression was of an updated Toyota MR2 or Honda S2000. This is just too small to be a Jaguar.

Cecil Hutchins
3rd October, 2012 @ 10:37 am PDT
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