IT SOUNDS too good to be true: a more affordable version of Jaguar’s acclaimed F-Type, the desirable sports car that has British drivers scratching at lottery cards every time they see one.
Unfortunately, the new 2-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol F-Type won’t be the bargain of the moment when it goes on sale this spring. It will be priced from £49,900 — markedly more than a comparable Porsche 718 Cayman.
Yet, although it means most drivers will have to continue to dream of owning the shapely coupé or roadster from Jaguar, it’s and intriguing addition to the F-type line-up.
The engine is a four-cylinder, 2-litre Ingenium unit, made by Jaguar Land Rover, that is turbocharged to produce 296bhp at 5,500rpm, and 295 lb ft of torque from just 1,500rpm through to 4,500rpm, when linked with an eight-speed automatic gearbox driving the rear wheels. That compares with 335bhp at 6,500rpm and 332 lb ft at 3,500rpm for the 3-litre V6 engine.
Jaguar promises that the growl of the six-cylinder models or full-blooded roar of the V8 versions won’t be as sorely missed as some may suspect. The engine and exhaust have been tuned, says the company, to give a distinctive, sporty purr. All the while, fuel economy and emissions will give drivers plenty to smile about: it can return a claimed 39mpg (combined) and emits 163g/km of CO2.
Does the more attainable F-Type skimp on performance to prove so efficient? Jaguar says it can accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds, and the top speed is 155mph.
By comparison, a Porsche 718 Cayman costs from under £43,000, can zip from 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 170mph, while fuel economy is 38mpg.
Jaguar’s engineers say that by being over 50kg lighter than a V6 F-Type, the four-cylinder model is the most agile model in the range, and it features a torque-vectoring system to help enhance its roadholding. There will be standard or R-Dynamic trim levels, with the latter gaining larger, 19 inch alloy wheels and a switchable active exhaust.
Driving will report soon on whether the Jaguar’s entry-level sports car is worth every penny.