Now Jaguar builds an all-wheel-drive F-Type

Jaguar is tar­get­ing the Porsche 911 with its new AWD model

The Star Early Edition - - NEW MODELS -

JAGUAR has con­firmed that the all-wheel-drive ver­sion of its F-Type R Coupé sports flag­ship will premiere at the Los An­ge­les Mo­tor Show later this month.

And that’s just one of the “per­for­mance en­hance­ments'' – Jaguar’s words, not ours – that will take the F-Type range from the cur­rent six de­riv­a­tives to 14, when the 2016 range goes on sale in the third quar­ter of 2015.

All of which dove­tails neatly with the company’s stated in­ten­tion of chal­leng­ing the Porsche 911 on its own turf. Ex­pect to see all-wheel drive avail­able on all the V8 vari­ants and pos­si­bly the top V6s as well, and a six-speed man­ual ‘box as an op­tion on V6 mod­els, which would also make pos­si­ble a new en­try-level ver­sion.

The quoted power of the 5-litre V8 is un­changed at 405kW, as is its (elec­tron­i­cally limited) top speed of 300km/h, while its claimed 0100km/h sprint is down from four seconds flat to 3.9, thanks to im­proved trac­tion.

Jaguar has also been very care­ful not to mess up the F-Type’s poised han­dling with typ­i­cal all­wheel-drive clum­si­ness and un­der­steer. Ve­hi­cle line di­rec­tor Ian Hoban in­sisted: “Our tar­get with the all-wheel-drive F-Type was to main­tain the rear-drive character that’s so im­por­tant to Jaguar sports cars, but with more dy­namic capa- bil­ity.” The first of­fi­cial photographs of the AWD F-Type that Jaguar has re­leased were in fact taken at Hakskeen­pan in the North­ern Cape, where it was roped in to help in test­ing the ra­dio set-up that will be used to link driver Andy Green and his Blood­hound team dur­ing next year’s world land-speed record at­tempt. – mo­tor­

Jaguar’s sleek F-Type model will soon be get­ting all-wheel-drive op­tions.

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