A new type of F-Type from Jaguar
EVEN if Jaguar's XE and XF saloons feel a little underwhelming, the company's F-Type sports car can always be relied upon to quicken the pulse, writes William Scholes.
Jaguar already has stupidly fast £100k 200mph versions of the F-Type, but it has now focused its efforts on the other end of the range, courtesy of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged version.
A relatively small four-cylinder might sound a bit of an odd fit for a 'proper' sports car - remember, other F-Types get 3.0-litre V6 and 5.0-litre V8 engines - but the new model doesn't really seem to be at a disadvantage, on paper at least.
The new engine makes a very healthy 296bhp with 295lb.ft of torque, which is enough to spur the F-Type from 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds and on to 155mph. It is paired with the same eight-speed automatic gearbox found on other F-Types.
Those figures seem more than brisk enough, plus there is the promise that a lighter, smaller engine should help further improve the car's rear-wheel-drive handling.
Jaguar says the four-cylinder car is more than 50kg lighter than the V6 version.
Ian Hoban, Jaguar boss of all things F-Type, is more than happy with how the new model has turned out.
"Introducing our advanced four-cylinder engine to F-Type has created a vehicle with its own distinct character," he said.
"Performance from an engine of this size is remarkable and is balanced with improved fuel efficiency and affordability, making the F-Type experience more accessible than ever before."
Mr Hoban's colleague Erol Mustafa, Jaguar Sports Cars' chief product engineer, says the four-cylinder car "has a character all of its own".
"Most of the weight reduction is over the front axle, making the car beautifully balanced and really agile to drive - as you’d expect, the car is really at home on beautiful twisty roads," he said.
"I like to think of it as the feisty younger brother of the V6 and V8 models."
Expert-level car spotters will be able to tell the four-cylinder car from its V6 and V8 siblings from its exhaust pipes - it gets a single tailpipe, while the V6 has twin central pipes and the V8 the full-house quad set-up.
The new F-Type can be ordered now, with prices starting at £100 under £50k.