A mid-cycle refresh for the modern E-Type

Jag’s sleek and sporty two-door F-Type has been around since 2013, first as a roadster, then later as a coupe. Both body styles have offered a slew of performance levels, from the 340-horsepower base model, to the fire-breathing 575-horsepower SVR range topper. But now it’s time for a refresh, and as such, the Brits are prepping the new F-Type for a reveal sometime in 2017 (current speculation points to the Geneva Motor Show). Our spy photographers managed to snag the updated model carving up the Nurburgring, and at first blush, it looks to get the usual nip-and-tuck treatment for exterior styling. Details on the interior and drivetrain are a little more vague, but rumor has it there’s gonna be new infotainment gear and more efficient engines. Most (if not all) of these changes should apply equally to both the coupe and convertible.

In the three years it’s has been on the market, the F-Type has expanded its appeal by adding the option for a manual transmission, AWD, and more power. However, this is the first time Jag has messed with the original formula, which begs the question – will it be better or worse than before?

Update 5/13/2016: Just two days after the facelifted F-Type was spotted on its first test session, we’ve caught another F-Type putting in work. This time, however, it looks like a more toned down version that would compete against models like the Porsche 718 Cayman. Check out the Exterior and Drivetrain sections below for more details.

Continue reading to learn more about the future Jaguar F-Type.

Spy Shots

May 13, 2016 0 Four Cylinder version caught testing

2018 Jaguar F-Type Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Jaguar F-Type Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Jaguar F-Type Exterior Spyshots
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May 11, 2016 - First testing session

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2018 Jaguar F-Type Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Jaguar F-Type Exterior Spyshots
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Exterior

Without a doubt, one of the F-Type’s greatest strengths lies in its styling. Originally penned by legendary British car designer Ian Callum, the F-Type has all the right sports car cues – it’s low-slung and wide, with a long hood line and perfectly angled roof. The rear looks poised and taut, and short overhangs complement gorgeous proportions front to back. It combines athleticism with elegance, easily catching the eye without the need for overt flamboyance.

So it’s understandable that some might get nervous upon learning about the new F-Type’s look. However, I’m happy to report that the original design appears more or less intact with this refresh, at least as far as I can tell from the initial spy shots.

Let’s start in front, which seems to be the most heavily altered section of the new model. To begin, the grille looks as though it was downsized. It also looks divided, but don’t let the swirling camo fool you – it’s the same oval shape as before, but without the dark coloration on the bumper beam like the current F-Type.

Completely covered are the intakes in the sides of the bumpers. Most F-Types get dual, blade-shaped inlets (two per side), while the SVR sports larger holes. Odds are both models will get a new look in this area moving forward, but unfortunately, the camo wrap isn’t letting on what that will entail.

The new units appear larger than before, moving horizontally towards the edge of the fenders and adding a little extra visual width to the front end.

Above, the headlights should get reshaped. The new units appear larger than before, moving horizontally towards the edge of the fenders and adding a little extra visual width to the front end. Expect LED daytime running lights, plus the option for adaptive high/low beams.

Side shots reveal no discernible updates to the car’s profile (thank goodness). The same can be said of the tail, although it’s expected the taillights will get revised graphics and the rear bumper will see a few minor alterations. Below, we see a single central exhaust with twin circular outlets, suggesting the test mule packs a V-6 under the hood. Also obvious is the active aero flap raised above the trunk, a feature already available with the current model. The door handles should continue to sit flush with the body.

Speaking of aero, I’d be curious to see if Jag decides to update the GT-style carbon-fiber wing mounted on the rear of the SVR. This piece is also active, rising and falling as needed for either greater downforce or lower drag. However, I’m not alone in thinking that, even in its lowest position, the wing looks a little too “tacked-on,” screwing with an otherwise magnificent rear end, and I hope Jag finds a workaround that offers the same levels of performance, but with a little more modesty.

Update 5/13/2016: We’ve sat down and compared the F-Type in the pictures we saw a couple of days ago with the new spy shots, and there is a clear difference between the two models. In the front, it looks like the fascia is the same, but the headlights have a large LED lights strip on the outside edge. Furthermore, it looks like the model in the newest spy shots don’t have the hood vents as we saw before. To the sides, there isn’t much different, but the mule we caught today looks to be rocking smaller wheels than those on the first mule we saw.

Around back is where we see the most difference between the first test mule and the second. The taillights are the same, but where did that spoiler go? The second test mule didn’t have any evidence of a spoiler. What’s more, is the fact that the center exhaust outlet is a single, rectangular unit. The first test mule had dual, round exhaust outlets. To be frank, we think the second test mule will be an entry-level F-Type that will be targeted at Porsche’s 718 Cayman. Surely there is more info to come as the mules begin to shed their temporary skin, so stay tuned.

Interior

The Jaguar F-Type comes with a two-seat layout that focuses on driver enjoyment and luxury (in that order). There’s a three-spoke, multifunction steering wheel, plus well-bolstered sports seats decked out in premium leather.

We have yet to receive spy shots of the upcoming F-Type’s interior, but odds are there will be minor updates throughout. The dash could be reshaped, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were fewer hard buttons and switches.

More functionality would migrate to the infotainment system, which will pull gear from the new F-Pace SUV and XF mid-size sedan. Both the centrally mounted touchscreen and the TFT driver’s information screen in the gauge cluster should receive a larger diagonal. Meanwhile, Meridian will continue to offer the goods when it comes to upgrading the sound system.

Drivetrain

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Under that lovely nose, the F-Type is expected to receive modest improvements in both output and fuel consumption – maybe a tenth faster to 60 mph, and a few extra mpg on the highway.

Currently, there are two powerplants available, each of which is offered in multiple states of tune. The first is a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, while higher trims get a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8. It should also be noted that Motor Authority is reporting Jag might replace the base model six-cylinder with a turbo 2.0-liter four-banger.

For the time being, the engine lineup includes a 340-horsepower V-6 in the base model and Premium, a 380-horsepower V-6 in the S and S AWD, a 550-horsepower V-8 in the R, and a 575-horsepower V-8 in the SVR.

Either way, the drivetrain layout will remain front-engine, RWD as standard, with AWD available higher up the totem pole. For the time being, the engine lineup includes a 340-horsepower V-6 in the base model and Premium, a 380-horsepower V-6 in the S and S AWD, a 550-horsepower V-8 in the R, and a 575-horsepower V-8 in the SVR. Transmission options consist of a six-speed manual, plus an eight-speed automatic with paddles, the latter of which could get tweaked for quicker shifts.

At the moment, a sprint from 0-to-60 mph takes roughly 5 seconds in base models with an automatic gearbox, while the SVR hits the same benchmark in a mere 3.5 seconds. Top speed is 161 mph for the base model and 200 mph for the SVR.

Underneath, there’s a low-weight, all-aluminum chassis, plus double-wishbone suspension with adaptive dampers to keep it lively in the corners. It’s likely we’ll see tweaks to the dampers for enhanced refinement and performance.

Update 5/13/2016: Our second set of spy shots showed that Jaguar is probably working on an entry-level variant of the F-Type to compete against the Porsche 718 Cayman. We came to this conclusion after noticing the rectangular exhaust outlet. Upon checking with the British registration office, it was revealed that the second test mule was equipped with a 2.0-liter engine – meaning it is most likely powered by a four-cylinder engine.

This is big news as the base model currently comes with a 340-horsepower V-6. It could potentially be the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is currently used in the Jaguar XE, or it could be an all-new 2.0-liter altogether. If it is the 2.0-liter from the XE, expect it to bring along a few upgrades to elevate the power output from the 237 available in the XE to something more like 300 to compete with the 718 Cayman. More information is bound to show itself in the near future, so stay tuned for new updates.

Prices

The current F-Type range starts at $61,400 for the base coupe and peaks at $128,800 for the SVR convertible, with plenty of stops scattered in between. Unless Jag has some card up its sleeve, I don’t see the forthcoming model deviating too far (or at all) from the existing MSRP.

Competition

Porsche 911

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Porsche 911

Just like the F-Type, there are tons of 911s to choose from, from RWD hardtops, to AWD convertibles. At the bottom of the heap is the base model Carrera, which offers up 370 horsepower from a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. Taking on the hardcore SVR model is the 911 Turbo, which boasts 540 horsepower from its 3.8-liter six. Despite the power deficit, the Turbo can beat the Jag in a sprint to 60 mph, but it comes with a seriously inflated price tag.

Read the full review here.

Chevrolet Corvette

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If you’re looking for better bang for your buck, the Bow Tie has the answer. Starting at just $55,400, you can get 460 rip-snortin’-horsepower from a star-spangled V-8. An extra five grand will get you the convertible. If that’s not enough to sate your performance lust, Chevy also offers the 650-horsepower Z06, which comes packed the gills with race-inspired goodies, from carbon-fiber aero, to adaptable suspension components.

Read the full review here.

Porsche 718 Cayman

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If F-type is, indeed, working on a lesser version of the F-Type, it will be targeting none other than Porsche’s 718 Cayman. The Cayman took on a major update for the 2017 model year, with a new front fascia, a wider front end, new body lines on the sides, and new taillights in the rear, among other things. As of the time of this writing, the 718 Cayman comes standard with a 2.0-liter engine that pumps out 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque – right where we expect the entry-level F-Type to sit power-wise when it makes it official debut. We don’t know where the new entry-level F-Type will sit on the price scale, but the 718 Cayman goes for $53,900 at the moment before options, taxes, and delivery – probably around the same price the entry-level F-Type will start out at.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

2018 Jaguar F-Type Exterior Spyshots
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In all likelihood, this refresh will be a straightforward win for Jag. The F-Type is already a big hit, and I don’t see the new model straying too far from the original. It’ll still look good, sit plush, and go fast.

But where will it go next? While the performance world turns to turbos, Jag is sticking with superchargers – for the time being, at least. Would an entry-level four-cylinder work on something as high-end as the F-Type? Could hybrid power be in the cars? Jag is already offering a good deal of sophistication when it comes to its aluminum chassis and adaptive suspension, so as I see it, the only component missing is a more modern powerplant.

Not that I don’t like the Ford-derived supercharged V-6s and V-8s. Those mills work brilliantly in the F-Type, and if Jag wants to keep ‘em around for a while longer, more power to them.

  • Leave it
    • Hard to update something so good
    • SVR wing needs updating
    • When will we see new engine options?
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