New Jaguar F-Type: The sports car rebooted

Jaguar F-Type
Powerful pussycat: Even the base model F-Type gets 340hp

Baggage. In more ways than one, it's the biggest problem for the all-new Jaguar F-Type roadster.

For starters, there's a Louis Vuitton-load to deal with courtesy of ye olde Jaguar E-Type. The slinky 60s sportster is a true icon and a model some would say was Jag's last pukka sports car.

Whatever, the E-Type is held in preposterous regard and 50-odd years on, the F-Type is more hotly anticipated than a week-delayed episode of Game of Thrones. Jag fans are desperate for this car.

Then there's the F-Type's puny boot, which conspires baggage issues of a completely different kind. But that's a detail flaw. The broader picture penned by Jag with its new roadster, as we'll see, is something of a modern masterpiece.

Back to basics

So let's start with the basics. Front-engine, rear-drive layout. V6 and V8 powerplants. Anything from 340 to 500 petrol-powered ponies. Our test car is the base model with a 3.0-litre, 340hp supercharged V6.

Anyway, it all sounds like a bit of throwback, but there's plenty of cutting edge technology. For starters, the body and chassis are all-aluminium. And not just any aluminium. A new alloy, lighter and stronger, was developed for the F-Type.


It's packed with tech, albeit some of it optional, to aid driving dynamics. There's an eight-speed gearbox, configurable driving modes, active suspension, active aerodynamics, even an active exhaust.

Inside, there's touchscreen functionality, configurable displays and more.

Driving dynamics

But let's start with the tech you can tweak for driving. The eight-speed gearbox is a ZF unit. It's pretty widely used in the car industry currently.

That's because it's really rather good. However, it is a torque converter rather than dual-clutch gearbox. Is it thus suboptimal in an unambiguous sports car like the F-Type?


That's debatable. It's about the most advanced torque converter gearbox currently available. And comes complete with a locking clutch. Add in steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters and you have a 'box that's quick, crisp and responsive when driven in maximum attack mode.

It's actually around town at more sedate speed that the soft, slurry shifts expose the gearbox's architecture. It's not a major issue, but the F-Type would definitely be just a little bit better with a dual-clutch box.

Mood machine

Next up is the Dynamic Drive selector. It's a switch in the centre console that gives you access to three basic driving modes. There's a low grip mode for winter driving, a normal every-day mode and finally a foot-to-the-floor Dynamic mode.

Dynamic Drive

The latter sharpens up throttle response, gives the steering a little more weight, quickens up the shifts from the gearbox and also has the gearbox hold onto gears longer.

You can also knock the gear selector across into manual mode at which point the gearbox will just hold onto whatever gear you're in unless you select a new one. Yup, you can bounce it off the limiter if that's your bag.

Meanwhile, the active sports exhaust involves a flap that opens up at 3,000rpm and unleashes some serious sonic fury. Or if you choose, you can hit the exhaust button and have open at all times. Just don't expect your neighbours to thank for that. It's loud, very loud, with the flap permanently open.

Active everything

Then there's the Adaptive Dynamics tech. It's optional on the V6 models, but standard on the V6S and V8 models. Here, we're talking active dampers on each corner that control pitch and roll rates.

The system is capable of adjusting the dampers up to 500 times a second according to road conditions and driving style. When fitted, it's another parameter you can tweak with the Dynamic Drive selector.


You can also plump for Configurable Dynamics, which exposes the individual Dynamic Drive settings via the main touchscreen, allowing you to tweak Dynamic mode to deliver your preferred mix of settings. Prefer weightier steering and quicker shifts, but don't fancy a firmer ride? Not a problem.


Technology and cars. Increasingly the twain shall meet. Which is handy, because Jeremy (Twitter) is addicted to both. Long-time tech journalist, former editor of iCar magazine and incumbent car guru for T3 magazine, Jeremy reckons in-car technology is about to go thermonuclear. No, not exploding cars. That would be silly. And dangerous. But rather an explosive period of unprecedented innovation. Enjoy the ride.