F IS FOR FAN­TAS­TIC – JAGUAR F-TYPE 2.0-LITRE

Jaguar F-Type 2.0-litre

In Flight Magazine - - IN THIS ISSUE -

JAGUAR HAS BEEN VERY BUSY DE­VEL­OP­ING THE LIKES OF THE F-PACE AND EA­GERLY-AWAITED E-PACE SUVS IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, BUT THE BRAND WILL AL­WAYS BE SYN­ONY­MOUS WITH GOR­GEOUS SPORTS CARS. BERNIE HELL­BERG AT­TENDED THE LO­CAL UN­VEIL­ING OF THE BRAND’S LAT­EST IN­CAR­NA­TION OF THE F-TYPE AT KYALAMI IN­TER­NA­TIONAL RACE TRACK IN MIDRAND RE­CENTLY.

The F-Type sits at the heart of the Jaguar range, and un­til now had packed ei­ther a glo­ri­ous-sound­ing V6 or bur­bling V8 en­gine un­der its rak­ish bon­net. But, in a move that might sound like heresy to some, the F-Type is now gifted with a four-cylin­der 2.0-litre tur­bocharged en­gine as well, mak­ing it – ever so slightly – more at­tain­able.

It’s not any old 2.0-litre lump ei­ther. With the new unit it’s the most pow­er­ful four-cylin­der en­gine we’ve seen in a pro­duc­tion Jaguar to date, de­liv­er­ing an im­pres­sive 221 kW.

Rear-wheel-drive only, and with an eight-speed au­to­matic gear­box (there’s no man­ual op­tion), the new en­gine will pro­pel the F-Type from zero to 100 km/h in 5.7 sec­onds, with a top speed elec­tron­i­cally limited to 250 km/h. To put that in per­spec­tive, the auto V6 is only marginally quicker from a stand­ing start, tak­ing 5.3 sec­onds to hit 100 km/h.

It should be more af­ford­able to run as well, says Jaguar, with a com­bined fuel econ­omy of 7.2 l/100 km, which is a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment of over the equiv­a­lent V6 (8.4 l/100 km) and CO2 emis­sions of 163 g/km com­pared with 199 g/km for the au­to­matic V6 coupé.

Nat­u­rally, the trimmed-down F-Type – it is 52 kg lighter than the V6 – is lighter on the pocket too. The “en­try-level” 2.0-litre

coupé starts at R914,202, as op­posed to the cheap­est 3.0-litreV6 which en­ters at R1,040,206, with the con­vert­ible adding R77,800 on top of the base price.

A REAL LOOKER

The F-Type has bags of pres­ence, even when it’s stand­ing still, with beau­ti­fully ex­e­cuted lines. It is, sim­ply put, a fan­tas­tic-look­ing car. We drove the coupé at launch, but spend­ing our own money, we’d prob­a­bly go for the soft-top just for the sheer thrill of driv­ing with the roof down.

The en­tire F-Type range gets some sub­tle styling tweaks, with re­designed bumpers and op­tional full LED head­lights, while there are now slim­mer seats and, for the 2.0-litre car, a sin­gle­tailpipe ex­haust.

There is also a range of driver-as­sist fea­tures avail­able, in­clud­ing au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, traf­fic sign-as­sist, lane keep­as­sist, and Jaguar’s adap­tive speed-lim­iter sys­tem.

SU­PE­RIOR IN­TE­RIOR

Slide into the F-Type, and you feel ad­e­quately co­cooned. Jaguar has man­aged to keep the in­te­rior of the F-Type un­clut­tered – the cen­tral air vents dis­ap­pear into the dash when not re­quired, and a frame­less rear-view mir­ror adds to the premium feel.

The F-Type fea­tures Jaguar’s lat­est In­Con­trol Touch Pro in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, pro­vid­ing con­trol over nav­i­ga­tion, mu­sic, phone, cli­mate, and var­i­ous ad­di­tional driver aids.

The boot is pretty com­pact – more so in the con­vert­ible, where it’s just big enough for two overnight bags – so if you’ve got more stuff to pack in the back, you might want to go for the coupé.

ROAD RAT­ING

Any such mis­giv­ings are for­got­ten, how­ever, as soon as you press the start but­ton and the F-Type fires into life.While there’s not quite the same drama as when you start the V6 or V8, it will still raise a smile.

We drove the R-Dy­namic ver­sion, which sits on slightly larger 19” wheels, rather than the new, light­weight 18” wheels that come with the stan­dard model, but more im­por tantly comes with a switch­able ac­tive ex­haust. Flick it into Dy­namic mode and that smile will grow into a grin as the F-Type growls and rum­bles as you ac­cel­er­ate, then spits, and crack­les res­onate from the ex­haust as you lift your foot off the pedal.

This au­ral ex­pe­ri­ence has been en­hanced – or man­u­fac­tured, depending on how you want to look at it – by some in­ge­nious sound aug­men­ta­tion that comes through the F-Type’s loud­speak­ers, but we’d take this over a more se­date ex­haust note any day.

FI­NAL SAY

The Jaguar F-Type 2.0-litre is achingly gor­geous to look at, and Jaguar’s got it pretty much spot on with the en­gine at its heart as well. It pro­duces a great (al­beit en­hanced) en­gine note and, while it might not be quite a match for the slightly pricier V6, it de­liv­ers an in­cred­i­bly fun drive thanks to the F-Type’s lighter weight and tuned chas­sis. More agility for less money will al­ways win in our books.

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