The Jaguar F-Type is a 2-seat, 2-door sports car that comes in hatchback and convertible form. Direct competitors include the Chevrolet Corvette, Nissan GT-R and Porsche 718. However, at the top end, the F-Type competes with the Acura NSX, Audi R8, Mercedes-Benz SL and Porsche 911. For 2018, the F-Type gains a new entry-level model and top-level sports trim, updated infotainment system, LED headlights and new seats.
Trims include Base, 400 Sport, Type R and SVR. Three distinct engines are offered. The base model gets a 286-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Sport and some Type R models get a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes either 380- or 400- horsepower. Also offered is a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that makes 550 horsepower in the Type R and 575 horsepower in the SVR. Rear-drive is standard on all save the SVR. The SVR comes standard with all-wheel drive, which is offered on the other models. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic.
Standard features include 18-inch wheels automatic climate control and 8-inch touch screen infotainment system. As you might expect, the SVR gets a load of performance goodies including lightweight exhaust system, active rear spoiler, electronic driver aids and carbon-fiber interior and exterior trim. Prices start as low as $63,000 and climb to $125,000-plus for the SVR.
The new SVR is a performance beast. Its fire-breathing 5.0-liter V8 provides ample acceleration including being able to push the SVR from 0-60 mph in a scant 3.5 seconds. Additionally, the engine proves to be supremely tractable in routine driving, which makes the car more palatable away from the race track. The all-wheel drive system, a rarity in this segment, also helps deliver the power seamlessly to the ground. The exhaust note, ranging from demure to hellacious, can be controlled by a cockpit toggle.
EPA estimates for the F-Type SVR are 15 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. Premium-grade fuel is required. Driven like a regular car in typical suburban commuting, the SVR will return about 18 mpg overall, perhaps 20 mpg if you mix in some gentle highway cruising. Driven like you stole it? Expect mid-teens at best.
F-Type is a large and fairly heavy sports car, meaning it's not quite a nimble as a Porsche 718. Still, it quickly shrinks around the driver and direct steering, tractable throttle and progressive brakes make it a stellar performer. Ride quality is never harsh, even on the SVR, which is simply glued to the road. Interior noise levels are acceptable on all models except for the aforementioned SVR where track-minded tires kick up a ruckus.
Since its introduction in 2013, Jaguar has consistently refined the F-Type's interior, upgrading materials and simplifying the control layout. In updating the F-Type for 2018, Jaguar has crafted an interior that's elegant, refined and functional. Drivers face twin binnacles housing vehicle and engine speed that flank a programmable digital cluster. The center-console screen is larger and responds more quickly to touch input and boasts a much more intuitive infotainment system. Climate controls are simple dials. Buttons and toggles abound and take considerable familiarization.
Front seats are confining -- as they should be. Head and leg room are quite good, perhaps the best in the class. Still, the footbox is tight. Materials are beyond reproach and assembly quality is as expected. One problem that surfaces are seatbacks that squeak and rub against the back of the interior. This is a common malady of nearly all two seaters and is easily rectified with the installation of a few felt pads. Convertibles have a one-touch power-operated top with glass rear window.
Cargo space on convertible models is at a premium with barely enough room for a Sunday golf bag. Hatchback models have more space, but it's still not an F-Type attribute. Interior storage is minimal.
The redesigned Jaguar F-Type is a fantastic sports car. The addition of a new base model and pure performance model complete the lineup and allow the F-Type to compete across two classes. That should help sales. Complaints are few -- once you get past the typical 2-seater, sports car stuff. While competitors are few, the F-Type makes a compelling argument for your premium sports car dollars.