Jaguar F-type roadster (2013) final prototypes spied

Published: 14 May 2012

Jaguar continues to test the new F-type roadster – and this is the first time we’ve seen the final stage prototypes on the public road in the UK.

Until now, we’ve only used the official hand-out shots of a camouflaged F-type issued by Jaguar itself. But these independent spy photos of the F-type confirm more detail on one of 2013’s most eagerly anticipated sports cars.

Jaguar F-type: the background

The cover star of the May 2012 issue of CAR Magazine will be unveiled later in 2012. The F-type name was confirmed at the 2012 New York auto show and from these new spyshots we can see again that the F-type will closely shadow the C-X16 concept car of 2011.

Jaguar plans to launch a roadster soft-top in early summer 2013, priced from around £55,000, followed by an F-type coupe about a year later. It’s the first all-new, incremental model line to be launched by Jag since the X-type of 2000.

These new spyshots show it on public roads around the Midlands. It’s a nice chance to see the pop-up spoiler in action – it’ll deploy only required, keeping the clean lines of Jag’s roadster profile uncluttered when stowed.

Jag F-type: engines and details

At the 2012 Beijing show, Jag confirmed what CAR had already revealed: that the F-type will be the first model to use the company’s new 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine. It’s derived from the 5.0-litre V8, and shares some of its aluminium construction and valvegear. So far, Coventry has confirmed the following:

• 3.0 V6 supercharged, 335bhp and 332lb ft @ 1800rpm
• 3.0 V6 supercharged, 375bhp and 339lb ft @ 1800rpm
• 5.0 V8, in either 503bhp or 543bhp forms (as yet undecided)

What about a diesel F-type?

No way! The engines don’t fit, so you can ignore the fact that this F-type is registered as a diesel. That’s just because the prototypes have to be registered with a seemingly ‘roadgoing’ engine – so the 3.0-litre diesel description on the DVLA records is merely a random choice. Our sources say no derv F-type is planned.

No performance or economy figures have yet been announced for the petrol F-types. But judging by the compact dimensions of the F-type and its all-aluminium construction, it’s going to be pretty rapid. The same, lower-powered V6 in the heavier XF will deliver 0-62mph in 5.7sec – so even the cheapest F-type will have proper performance credentials. The V8, surely aimed at more profligate markets where unleaded is cheaper, will be monumentally fast.

The Jaguar F-type is pitched almost exactly halfway between a Porsche Cayman/Boxster and 911. Hence the circa £55k positioning.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet