The Jaguar F-Type recalls the legendary 1960s E-Type and is a driver's car to its core. While its 2-seat configuration may lack a certain amount of interior space, the F-Type more than makes up for it with "pace" and "grace," long-time hallmarks of the Jaguar nameplate.
The F-Type features an aggressive front end with air intakes and side vents, with two distinct design elements Jaguar calls "heartlines"--the styling starting points in the F-Type's shape that highlight the car's front fenders and rear haunches. Beyond that, the F-Type wears elegant aluminum sheetmetal available in one of 13 colors. A 3-layer power soft top with Thinsulate provides thermal and acoustic insulation in convertible models. It is available in four different colors, including black, gray, red and beige. Jaguar states that its soft top opens and closes in just 12 seconds. Additionally, seven different wheels ranging from 18 to 20 inches are available.
F-Type coupes and convertibles each come in one of four different trims. The base F-Type features a supercharged 3.0L V6 making 340 horsepower and 332 ft-lb of torque. The F-Type S carries the same engine, but tuned to produce 380 horsepower and 339 ft-lb. The F-Type V8 S has a 550 horsepower, 5.0L supercharged V8, while the SVR uses a more powerful 575 horsepower version of the same engine. All models put the power to the rear wheels through an 8-speed "QuickShift" automatic transmission, but base and S trims offer an available 6-speed manual. Even the base model is no slouch-- Jaguar says it will make 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, while the V8 S does the job in just 4.2 seconds.
The F-Type is rich with features, including xenon HID headlights with LED daytime running lights, automatic climate control, ambient lighting in Jaguar Phosphor Blue and sport seating in leather and Suedecloth with 6-way manual and electric adjustment, though the V8 S includes 14-way power adjustment and full leather Performance seats. Configurable ambient lighting (Phosphor Blue, Pale Blue, White, Coral, Red) is standard on the S and V8 S.
The cockpit also features a distinct division between driver and passenger, with a prominent grab handle on the center console and even distinct trim materials on either side. Analog instruments are complemented by a 5-inch screen mounted between the speedometer and tachometer and a 3-spoke leather steering wheel features multi-function controls for the audio system and cruise control. A 770-watt Meridian sound system with 12 speakers is standard audio system.
A host of options and packages make the F-Type nearly endlessly configurable and allow buyers to spec their new Jaguars to suit their specific tastes. The most popular include the Performance Pack, which adds Configurable Dynamic Mode to adjust engine mapping, steering feel and gearshift response, while the Premium Pack ups the luxury and technology inside the F-Type, with dual climate control and heated seats and steering wheel.
Carbon ceramic brakes offer larger rotors and bigger calipers to increase braking performance. The Vision Pack adds safety features including a blind spot monitor, adaptive headlights, parking sensors and a back-up camera.
There should be few experiences more enjoyable than racing down a mountain highway in the 2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible with the top down on a warm summer day. Except for a pickup truck in front of me, spewing soot out of the tailpipe whenever it accelerates.
I keep my distance until a straightaway comes up, then cross over the dashed line and unleash the 575-horsepower fury of the F-Type SVR's supercharged V8, sport exhaust turned on for maximum effect.
The pickup truck tries to accelerate, but it appears to be standing still as I blast by, emerging from its final cloud of exhaust like Superman rescuing Lois Lane from a burning building. I give a moment's thought to Jaguar's engine tuning and technology, which gives the F-Type SVR such tremendous power while also earning an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) rating from the California Air Resources Board.
The Good The 2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR's supercharged V8 isn't too thirsty for such a powerful engine. Stupendous cornering grip and a stiff chassis don't compromise everyday comfort.
The Bad The F-Type SVR's infotainment system doesn't support Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, and seems a little outdated in general.
The Bottom Line Any of the 2017 Jaguar F-Type line will satisfy for aesthetics, but the F-Type SVR rises above them all when it comes to power output and handling expertise. Just don't expect the most modern in cabin electronics.
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