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

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - FIRST DRIVE BY JACK EVANS

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.

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