From its long hood to its wide rear haunches, the F-Type is one slinky stunner
V8s frequently struggle for traction, especially exiting corners. The two-litre's lower output and gentler power delivery mean it doesn't feel too tail-happy, even with the traction control completely switched off. Here's an F-Type you can drive with lots of confidence, with no fear of the rear axle giving you a nasty surprise. Early V8s certainly couldn't claim that.
However, the new engine isn't the most eager for a sports car, being more keen to produce low down torque rather than high revving excitement. With the gearbox in manual mode and the car in its more aggressive Dynamic setting, it's easy to drive the sharp handling Jag close to the engine's rev limiter at most times, without scaring yourself. Left to its own devices, the transmission always shifts up far too early and without much urgency. The gear changes are smooth, though. There's no shortage of noise under enthusiastic use thanks to a sporty exhaust along with some pops and bangs when you're off the gas. I particularly like how the engine note fades away to a pleasing background burble. But there's no hiding the fact that you're listening to a four cylinder which sounds... a bit tame... in a two-seat Jag especially if you've experienced the V8. It's the one area where this entry level F-Type feels clearly inferior to larger engined siblings. Objectively this is a better F-Type. It may sound a bit like a hot hatch, but the flipside is you can drive it like one. Which is a proper novelty.
With the two litre F-Type, there's less theatre. You can buckle down and commit to driving it as hard as you can and will, rather than sitting back and appeasing your hooligan side. It can be driven at a far higher percentage of its potential more often. I honestly think it might actually have better real world pace over its more expensive siblings, while lacking only slightly in the thrills it offers. The suspension is well tuned and the ride is composed. It doesn't crash into potholes or over bumps and it's consistent with its behaviour. And you also get it with a folding soft top if you like wind in your hair. Kudos to Jaguar for making one model feel like two completely different cars. And this one brings the F-Type closer to Porsche in terms of price and cornering attitude than ever before. ⌧
Top to bottom: The single tail pipe somehow reduces the rear visual drama of the F-Type; little touches that make this Jag cool; the new interface further enhances the interior feel