F IS FOR FOUR: JAG FITS THE F-TYPE WITH A FOUR-CYLINDER ENGINE
Much to the annoyance of sports car purists, Jaguar’s fitted a four-cylinder engine to its F-type. Jack Evans finds out whether it’s worthy of a place in the line-up
WHAT IS IT? A Jaguar F-type – but not quite as you’d know it. Rather than a raucous V8 or V6 under the long, sculpted bonnet, there’s a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol. While that may not sound like enough engine for a red-blooded convertible, Jaguar claims that it’s got what it takes to instil the F-type with proper performance.
WHAT’S NEW? The biggest change is the engine – however, this latest-generation F-type does benefit from a variety of tweaks and updates. LED headlights now feature all round, while the infotainment system uses the latest Jaguar set-up.
The bumpers have been redesigned for a more dynamic look, while standard lightweight 18inch alloy wheels are said to help ‘reduce unsprung mass’.
WHAT’S UNDER THE BONNET? The F-type’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder ‘Ingenium’ petrol engine is surprisingly powerful and, according to Jaguar, offers the ‘ highest specific power output of any engine in the F-type range’ with 148bhp-per-litre. Overall, it produces 296bhp and 400Nm of torque, sending this power to the rear wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox.
Acceleration takes a claimed 5.4 seconds, while the F-type’s top speed sits at a respectable 155mph. Of course, one of the main premises behind fitting a smaller capacity engine is better economy, and in that sense the four-cylinder delivers. four-cylinder engine in the place of a much larger V6 or V8 is a substantial reduction in weight. Jaguar says the F-type four-cylinder has shed 52kg compared to the base V6, and this makes the driving experience substantially different. In addition, Jaguar engineers have uniquely calibrated the steering and chassis to better exploit that lower overall weight. HOW DOES IT LOOK? The F-type has always been an impressively pretty design, with styling cues harking back to past Jaguar models. Though somewhat updated for 2018, the four-cylinder is just as good to look at, with cuts and grooves in all the right places.
Though the design has been in the public eye since 2011, it’s still fresh and turns heads wherever you go. The four-cylinder car is fitted with a single central outlet exhaust, rather than the V6’s dual central outlet or the V8’s quad tail pipes. active sports exhaust – the latter transforming the character of the engine.
You also get automatic rain sensing wipers, and an eight-inch colour touchscreen. The infotainment system operates well enough, though the icons look a little outdated and could benefit from an update – the touchscreen is responsive, however.