Jaguar’s major success with its F-Pace, E-Pace and I-Pace SUV/crossover lineup has prompted speculation on whether sports cars had any future in the company’s model portfolio. But Jaguar fans can now breathe a sigh of relief at the news that the famed British manufacturer is not only sticking firmly to its sports car heritage, but is bringing us a widely updated F-Type coupe and roadster for 2021.
Ever since the demise of the legendary E-Type, Jaguar aficionados have been looking for its successor and the company has certainly brought us some wonderful products over the past few decades. Most agree, though, that the F-Type is the closest to that original groundbreaking sixties sports car. Anyone who has driven both cars would have to admit in all honesty that the F-Type is a far better car in just about every possible respect.
Jaguar describes its new design F-Type as ‘a purer, more sculpted and assertive expression of the definitive Jaguar sports car’ and few will argue with that. Although low and sleek, the car has a muscular appearance and in fact, the V-8 models feel a lot like the best of the American muscle cars. In traditional fashion, the car uses a front engine, rear-wheel drive configuration.
A range of engines includes a thrifty 296-horsepower 4-cylinder turbo, a 380-horsepower supercharged V-6 and an uprated 5.0-litre supercharged V-8 with 575-horsepower (F-Type R). The V-8s and V-6s have a nicely aggressive growl to them and provide exceptional response and flexibility. This engine note can be adjusted with a switch so that the ‘crackle and pop’ overrun sounds are there for the asking.
The F-Type R model also boasts all-wheel drive to get all that power safely to the road.
The F-Type is easier to get into than many rivals and once behind the wheel, drivers enjoy the usual feast of Jaguar craftsmanship and luxury ambiance. This is a two-seater car, plain and simple, and there was no attempt to shoehorn in the rear ‘shelf’ seats that are usually a waste of space in cars like this. The seats are very comfortable and supportive and grip driver and passenger securely during tight cornering. As with all serious performance cars, there’s a big tachometer at the central point of the 12.3-inch instrument display. The F-Type features advanced infotainment features and a full suite of electronic safety aids.
The F-Type has always been great fun to drive, especially the V-8 versions with their visceral power and grippy handling. The 2021 car take the whole Jaguar sports car experience a stage or two further, adding features and styling cues that should make it a sleeper for many years to come. The future may well bring electric versions but traditionalists will be hard to part from their attachment to cars like the 2021 F-Type.
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: Two-place sports coupe or roadster
ENGINE: Four, six and eight-cylinder options
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual override
PERFORMANCE: Zero to 100 km/h in approx. 3.5-secs (V-8)
FUEL ECONOMY: Not yet available
PRICE: From $73,000 MSRP