After its launch in 1961 the Jaguar E-Type took the world by storm thanks to its unique design and look. After three versions of the E-Type, Jaguar ceased production in 1975. Many of you CAs will have quickly calculated that it has taken Jaguar more than 35 years to come up with a replacement and here it is: the Jaguar F-Type.
In keeping with its heritage the F-Type has a long bonnet and short boot and in a nod of nostalgia to the E-Type, the F-Type rear lights are narrow slits with a small round ball in the centre. That’s as far as the similarities between these two cars go.
The F-Type has a very brute front end with two air intakes on either side of the bumper and a polished black splitter completing the low-slung look. The wide bumper and air intakes on the bonnet add to this look. The LED light surrounds give a sense of calm to the front of the car, but almost every driver that saw the F-Type in the rearview mirror moved over almost instantaneously. From the rear end (the view most motorists will see) the car looks classy with a hint of supercar. The curvaceous sides roll down to an almost flat-looking boot. The bottom section has a black rear diffuser that covers most of the rear bumper. On the S version which I tested, there are two bazooka-sized stainless steel tailpipes that are centrally mounted. This ensures that you will never put a towbar on this car but, more importantly, it lets other motorists know that this is no ordinary roadster.
On pressing the button on the remote or the door handles, the flat door handles pop out for easy use and then slip back into the door, making the doors smooth. Inside the car you are welcomed by very sporty seats that don’t look as comfortable as they feel. As you slip in and adjust the seat to suit your body thanks to the door-mounted controls, you feel the smooth leather that not only covers the seats but also the armrests and steering wheel. On the S version the centre console is covered in real carbon fibre. The touchscreen infotainment system fills the centre console, which has the climate control knobs just below. These too are a work of art in that they are circular with LED displays inside. They turn to adjust temperature and you push the glass display in to switch the climate control on/off and on the individual sides to control the temperature for the heated seats.
Just below this is a gold button, this is the stop/start button for the engine. Just depress the brake and push. The engine roars to life, making sure that everyone in a 100 metre radius hears it come alive before slipping into a smooth hum. The speedometer and tachometer are housed individually, with the speedometer having a reading all the way to 300 km/h. The gearbox leaver is perfectly positioned and has a few buttons to control the roof, handbrakes, antiskid, boot spoiler and the button I loved the most, the one to control the exhaust sound. Just to the right is a push control that changes the vehicle from normal to snow to dynamic mode based on the way you in a mood to drive. In dynamic mode the exhaust tone is enhanced and the speedometer and tachometer get red surrounds, ensuring that you are aware that dynamic mode is engaged.
On the road the vehicle is a well-behaved Sunday cruiser, even with the roof down you can have a conversation with your passenger at speeds of 100 km/h. Put the car into dynamic mode and that all changes. There is a notably louder note from the exhaust and the gears are pulled to redline before changing. On flat-out acceleration there is a loud burble that is given as the gears change; this sends shivers down your spine as you realise just how much power you have at your disposal.
Even in 3.0 litre V6 guise this car is truly impressive with claim figures of 0–100 km/h in just over 5 seconds and a top speed of 275 km/h. Most impressive though is the drive and sound that this vehicle gives off. It may not be the fastest on the road but it sure is one of the most fun to drive, no matter the mood you’re in. This vehicle was truly worth the wait and well done to Jaguar on reincarnating the icon.
Engine: 3.0l 6 Cylinder Supercharged
0-100km/h: 4.9 (Claimed)
Fuel Consumption: Average 10.0l/100km
CO2: 234 g/km
Price: From R858 300,00
Author: Azim Omar CA(SA) is a member of SAGMJ.