For Jaguar it was a tough act to follow. And understandably so it took them 50 years to deliver. The Jaguar F-Type was considered to be the most beautiful sports car of the 60’s and on the racetrack the F-Type was a champion. To replicate the F-Type today was then a huge challenge. The new F-Type is Jaguar’s first 2 seater in 5 decades and the first new Jaguar since the manufacturer was bought by Tata Motors. The 2013 Jaguar F-Type was unveiled at the recently concluded Paris Motor Show and the F-Type is closely based on the C-X16 concept car and a big reason for the development of the F-Type is the interest shown by Tata chairman, Ratan Tata who wanted the manufacturer to be present in the sportscar market. The F-Type would compete with the Porsche 911, the Aston Martin Vantage roadster and Nissan’s GTR.

2013 Jaguar F-Type

Design

The Jaguar F-type was designed by Ian Callum who deliberately made the sportscar look voluptuous and according to the designer the F-Type is simple yet beautiful. “Simplicity is also sophistication. A simple song or painting takes a lot of time.A beautiful single line takes a long time than complicated strokes. You can make it simple boring, interesting complicated but ugly. I see a lot of cars like that,” said Callum. “My job was over last year. In 2008 we were already working on this car before the Tata takeover. Ratan then arrived and we showed the concept and he said go ahead. Three years back, we got the green light to start designing it. We went in with just one design for the car, and finished designing a year ago. My work ended there,” he added.

At the front are the vertical day time running LED running lamps, the bonnet has an aggressive bulge and the styling of the F-Type remains true to the C-X16 concept car with the double blades on the front bumper. The forward leaning grille is typical of Jaguar and according to the manufacturer 2 ‘heartlines’ define the car. The first ‘heartline’ forms the fender line while the second sweeps across the rear. At the rear are narrow tail lamps and a deployable spoiler and the car overall has a clean look. The car has lots of visual appeal and there are some interesting and intelligent touches like the automatically deploying door handles. To differentiate the V8 and the V6 models the manufacturer has added to the car different tailpipes and the V6 model has black trim on the grilles while the V8 receives extra aerodynamic features.

Interiors

2013 Jaguar F-Type
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The interiors like the exteriors are designed around the driver with a cockpit like design which is seen with the grab-handle that comes out from the centre-console, the gearshifter is designed like that of a fighter jet and also the air-con dials. The cabin seats two and the centre air con come out when only when necessary. There is no use of wood and all controls fall intuitively into the control of the driver.

The instrument panel and centre console have a different finish to them and the Engine Start button, gearshift paddles and the Dynamic Mode button are finished in orange. The 3 spoke steering wheel is small and is also available with a flat-bottom design. The tachometer with bold numerals immediately gets your attention and between the speedo and the tacho is a LCD screen. The switches have a soft touch matte black finish and the sports seats can be ordered with additional side bolstering and the fabric roof can raise or lower itself in only 12 seconds.

Engine and Performance

2013 Jaguar F-Type
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There are two engine options on the F-Type. The 3-liter supercharged V6 produces 345PS and the ‘S’ version of the same engine develops 385PS. This is the same engine as in the XJ and the XF sedan and acceleration to 100kmph takes 5.3seconds and 4.9seconds for the 345PS and 385PS versions respectively. This engine is based on the larger V8 and has an all alloy construction. The aluminium block is stiffened and smoothness is achieved with the counter rotating front and rear balancer.

There is another supercharged 5-liter, V8 developing 500PS. Sprint to 100kmph takes just 4.2seconds and the highlight of the engine is the torque spread. Both the V6 and the V8 engines use high compression, direct injection, with dual independent variable cam timing along with a supercharger.

Though there will be a manual gearbox that would be offered sometimes in the future, all models for get a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox. The manufacturer claims to have reduced the shift times between gears and you also get paddle shifters behind the steering. There are 25 different programmes that the gearbox has that change depending on your driving style.

The ‘S’ variant on the V6 and the V8 gets an active exhaust system that has electronically controlled valves in the exhaust’s which opens under hard acceleration. Matched to both engines is an intelligent Stop/Start system that starts the engine instantly when the driver presses the accelerator.

Ride

The front engine F-Type uses all lightweight aluminium architecture and the suspension are made up of aluminium-alloy with wishbones all round. The wheelbase is more than the Porsche 911 and the rear-wheel drive F-Type has a 50/50 weight distribution between the front and rear axles. The aluminium structure is stiffer and added to it is a mechanical limited-slip differential. To the V8 is also added an active electronic differential and to this model and the V6 ‘S’ are added adaptive dampers. Inside the active differential is an electric motor which is used to transfer torque to the wheel with the maximum grip.

The F-Type gets the option of a ‘Dynamic’ mode that sharpens throttle responses, alters the steering weight and also improves gear-shift responses. There is a hydraulic steering with fast ratios and the manufacturer claims to have achieved a near perfect balance between ride and handling.

In a statement a spokesperson from Jaguar said, "We are creating a new generation of Jaguar sports car so it has to be credible from both a performance and design point of view. It has to deliver, it has to be a great handling car with a stiff, rigid platform underpinning and it has to look every inch an icon. For our team the greatest satisfaction was delivering a structure that underpinned the desired performance attributes - ride, handling and agility – by increasing stiffness and at the same time reducing weight.’

Verdict

2013 Jaguar F-Type
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Reinventing and reengineering a legend is probably the hardest thing of all. Porsche know that all too well and the 911 is a fine example of that. Jaguar with the F-Type is aiming to do a 911. The F-Type is an automobile legend and half a decade later Jaguar has gone about bringing it back to life.

The styling which is similar to the C-X16 is brilliant and this Jaguar is sure to get you attention and turn heads wherever you go. There is nothing complicated about how it looks and both the exterior styling and with the way the cabin has been put together, the F-Type is an absolute stunner. There are 2 engine options and the V6 is available in 2 different power versions. The V8 has loads of torque and the electronically controlled exhaust valves make it sound awesome. Both the engines are refined and those looking for performance won’t be disappointed either. The gears on the 8 speed ZF transmission shift quickly and the ride quality though is on the stiff side, isn’t bad for a spotscar. The all aluminium construction makes this Jaguar handle like a dream and when the F-Type is launched in 2013 it would compete with the 911 and the GTR on an equal footing.

Karanbir