The latest SsangYong SUV is just dandy . . .
THERE can be no doubt the Jaguar F-Type is a magnificent sports car, probably destined to become as lauded as its illustrious forebear the legendary E-Type.
The only problem is that if you want one of the V8 versions you are now looking at the thick end of £100k!
However, those awfully nice people at Jaguar Land Rover have come up with a just as gorgeous and almost as fast alternative - the new 2.0-litre F-Type both in convertible and coupe formats (see above and below).
They invited your Motors man to the UK launch of the 2.0-litre in the stunning countryside of mid-Wales last week where I got the chance to test both hard and soft top cars on a beautifully sunny day.
Now I have already tried both the 5.0-litre V8 and 3.0-litre V6 F-Types and been suitably impressed (especially with the exhaust note), so I was expecting the entry level model to be a bit of a let down. But far from it - Jaguar have managed to get 300bhp from the all-new Ingenium turbocharged engine (as fitted to the XE) which is just 40 less than the V6, but the smaller engine and other mods to suspension and steering mean the ‘baby’ jag is 52kg lighter.
This almost totally compensates for the reduced number of horses and means the new F-Type has an even better weight distribution for sweet handling and performance.
So no loss of smiles per mile and I don’t think that (as happens for those who did not get the 5.0-litre Mustang) anyone will look down on you for going for the smallest engine option.
The figures speak for themselves - 0 to 60 in just 5.4 seconds, 155mph top speed and a price UNDER 50 grand (just) for the coupe. However, there is no manual gearbox option and you will have to have a bigger engine if you really must have all wheel drive... plus the 2.0-litre does not sound quite as awesome.
But add to all the above, the fact that the 2.0-litre is 16 per cent better on fuel than the V6 and it is pretty sure we will be seeing lots of them on our roads soon.
M.E.N. motors will have a full F-Type 2.0-litre test coming soon.