A Jaguar F-Type with a four-cylinder engine may sound a little underpowered – DAVID HOOPER has been finding out if it is.
ANYONE who knows me will tell you I’m not known for travelling light, so you can probably imagine the look of dismay on my face when I opened the boot of the Jaguar F-Type to see how much I could fit into it for a few days away!
It was tiny, just a few inches deep across most of its width, apart from a moderately sized rectangular-shaped crevice which I knew at a glance my usual bag wouldn’t fit into. But, with careful packing – and a smaller bag – I managed, and despite its unusual shape, I did manage to get quite a bit of clobber into it. There are actually 207 litres of space, which compares well with the 130 Litres in a Mazda MX-5 for example.
The Jaguar F-Type is one of my favourite cars, although the Fuji White paintwork and grey roof wouldn’t be my choice of colour combinations. Our test car featured the new four-cylinder 2.0-litre Ingenium modular engine, instead of the six or eight cylinders its larger siblings boast, so I was looking forward to some good mpg figures with my top down motoring.
My son dismissed it as “boring”, but that was before he sampled its 300PS and 400Nm of torque – admitting eventually that it was anything but! And thanks to a little button on the centre console which opens up the Active Sports Exhaust and allows some popping and banging on the over-run, it still sounds great too.
Once out of the urban Jungle, this powerful little cat can accelerate from rest to 62mph in 5.7 seconds, and can maintain its flat-out pace of 155mph until it runs out of road – or fuel! Although I couldn’t explore the car’s upper limits on UK roads, I certainly got the impression it wouldn’t break sweat cruising at high speeds all day long.
We however, did break sweat, thanks to the hottest June weather on record, but insisted on driving to South Wales with the roof down and the sun cream lathered on.
Dropping the roof is done in a few seconds by pressing just one button on the centre console, and can be done up to 30mph, so if you get caught in a shower, you don’t have to stop completely.
You sit low in the F-Type, the cockpit cocoons you and you get the sense of a proper sports car. Its superb chassis dynamics and big tyres provide all the grip you could wish for on dry roads, and the handling inspires confidence, although a lighter right foot is prudent in damp conditions.
The eight-speed gearbox is silky smooth, and the gears can be controlled either by flappy paddles behind the steering wheel, or by the gear selector, which works in the correct way – push it forward to change down and pull it towards you to change up – so many of its rivals do the opposite which is against the car’s braking or accelerating dynamics, so bonus points here to Jaguar.
Our test car featured £5,000 worth of extras, including the Cirrus Ebony interior, Black Design Pack, front parking aid, rear view camera, heated seats and, ironically in the middle of summer, the Cold Climate Pack which included a heated steering wheel! This all took the price tag north of £60,000, which is an awful lot of money for a two-seater, but it is one that is a delight to drive, and turns heads wherever it goes!
THE VITAL STATISTICS
MODEL: Jaguar F-Type Convertible R-Dynamic
ENGINE: 1997cc, 300PS four-cylinder petrol engine, driving rear wheels through 8-speed auto gearbox.
PERFORMANCE: Top speed 155mph. 0-62mph in 5.7secs.
ECONOMY: Combined: 35.8mpg.
Wheel World test average: 28.7mpg
CO2 EMISSIONS: 179g/km.
FUEL TANK: 63 litres.
INSURANCE: Group 45
WARRANTY: 3 years/100,000 miles
• All data correct at time of publication.