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Smallest Jaguar F-Type a surprise

19.02.2018

Towards the end of 2017, I attended the local media launch of the updated Jaguar F-Type, which now comes with a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.

The launch took place at Kyalami which was great fun, however, it is very easy to get distracted by racetracks and fast cars. I needed to know what this new baby F-Type was like out in the real world. Thankfully, one arrived at Autodealer office recently so that I could find out.

A four-cylinder F-Type?

Since its launch, the F-Type has become synonymous with giving customers the complete package when it comes to a good looking, fast and driver-oriented  coupe, especially in terms of power plants. There is the monstrous supercharged V8 and the sublime supercharged V6.

With the blown four-pot though, it appears that the F-Type has gone mainstream. However, don’t think for a moment that the new engine has hobbled this cat.

It develops 221kW/400Nm and thanks to the F-Type being made mostly from aluminium, the 2.0-litre, aside from being some 52kg lighter than the supercharged V6 can still get from 0-100 km/h in a claimed 5.7 seconds and reach a limited top speed of 250km/h.

As with many high boost turbo motors out there though, the smallest F-Type does exhibit a bit of lag initially but soon gathers momentum as the turbo spools up. Through the twisty bits, the F-Type feels light and easy to handle. As for the sound, well the other two engines in the F-Type range both make glorious noises. In the 2.0-litre though, the sound is somewhat questionable.

While it pops and bangs when in Dynamic mode, it still sounds like a four-pot in almost hot hatch fashion. As I have previously driven both the V6 and V8 though, comparing them with the four-cylinder could perhaps be a touch unfair.

Still a luxury GT

When it comes to comfort, the F-Type is not found wanting despite its small heart. On the highway, the car offers a compliant ride with a true sports car-like feel. You sit low, the long bonnet extended up front with two vents on either side adds to the sporty look. I also like the fact that the rear wing, when selected in its "up" position, actually stays up regardless of speed.

Inside, one can expect to find a near identical interior to that of other F-Type models. I like that fact that the centre console is driver focused. The large infotainment screen offers a window into the car's soul with the ability to control various aspects such as navigation, climate and connectivity functions, albeit a bit slow to respond at times.

As mentioned earlier you sit low, surrounded by the plush British quality but don’t expect massive amounts of space. Thankfully the boot is large enough to handle luggage for a weekend away, unlike the convertible, which has a boot the size of a matchbox.

Verdict

Overall, the F-Type 2.0-litre retains its stunning looks which constantly turns heads. It is well built and finds itself in a very exclusive segment, especially at a starting price of R914 202, but don’t expect the same kind of ear-splitting thrills as either the V6 or V8.

Article written by Justin Jacobs
19.02.2018
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