A sleeker, more sculpted front end, luxurious new materials, enhanced technology and a new R edition with a boost in power define the new look Jaguar F-TYPE, with the 2021 edition due to arrive here mid-next year.
The new king of the model range is the F-TYPE R, which in essence replaces the SVR edition, which is no more, delivering a 423kW 5.0-litre supercharged V8 AWD monster capable of a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 3.7 seconds.
The upgraded chassis also scores new springs, dampers, anti-roll bars and rear knuckles to enhance ride and stability, while the Quickshift transmission has been meticulously re-calibrated to offer faster, crisper gear changes.
Constructed at Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich plant in the UK, the Australian F-TYPE range will will kick off with the R-Dynamic Coupe and Convertible, powered by a 221kW turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder in RWD configuration, from $126,400 plus on-roads.
Unlike the UK though, Australia will get to keep its supercharged 280kW 3.0-litre V6, in RWD format, which will find its way into both the R-Dynamic variants (from $173,100 plus on-roads), and the F-TYPE First Edition Coupe, priced at $205,300 plus on-roads.
The First Edition F-TYPE coupe, which features an exterior design pack, black contrast roof, unique 20-inch wheels, and 12-way Windsor leather performance seats with monogram stitching is also sure to be popular.
The new F-TYPE R Coupe, will be priced at $263,300 plus on-roads. All models will receive a new 12.3-inch HD virtual instrument cluster, enhanced Meridian audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to enrich the driving experience.
“Design the most beautiful sports car, with purity, proportion and presence that’s unmistakably Jaguar: that was the challenge we set ourselves,” Jaguar design director Julian Thomson said.
“The new F-TYPE is more dramatic than ever, with even greater clarity of purpose in every line, surface and feature, and embodies true Jaguar design DNA,” he added.
“Jaguar has been making sports cars for more than 70 years, and that rich heritage has inspired the team to create something truly extraordinary.”
Other changes include super-slim pixel LED headlights, sweeping direction indicators, a new clam shell bonnet, new front bumper and subtly enlarged grille. The rear haunches house new slender rear lights, with the unmistakable LED chicane signature.
Inside, beautiful details include monogram stitch patterns in the seats and door trims, Jaguar Leaper motifs in the headrests, and subtle ‘Jaguar Est.1935’ markings on the centre console finisher, glove box release button surround, and seat belt guides.
Even before the drive begins, the F-TYPE delights the driver with the visual theatre of flush, deployable door handles and deployable air vents. Pressing the start button brings the car to life with its hallmark exhaust flare is as purposeful as ever.
All engines feature switchable active exhaust systems, and if you choose the 423kW supercharged V8 you get the new quiet start function, which ensures a more subtle, refined sound, with electrically-actuated bypass valves, so you don’t wake the neighbours.
It can of course be over-ridden, so you can go full noise from the get go. The distinctive crackle and pop on the overrun synonymous with F-TYPE, remains, with the sounds meticulously tuned to suit the range of powerful four, six, and eight-cylinder engines.
Raising the output of the all-wheel drive F-TYPE R’s supercharged V8 to 423kW and 700Nm (up from 405kW and 680Nm respectively) delivers truly outstanding performance in all weathers and in all conditions, while retaining its inherent day-to-day usability.
It’s been influenced by the Jaguar XE SV Project 8, with tweaks across the engine and gearbox courtesy of that very special limited edition model, now finding their way onto the F-TYPE to boost it’s driving capability, and driver experience.