Jaguar’s F-type range is set to blossom, with the emergence of a faster R-S model, a 911 GT3-style track-honed model, and new drivetrain options including an entry-level four-cylinder F-type, plus four-wheel drive versions.
The Porsche 911-like proliferation of F-type models will build upon strong initial sales, as Jaguar claims the Convertible has outsold the Porsche 911 Cabriolet in the UK since its 2013 launch, and in several European markets it now ranks as Jaguar’s second-best-selling model, beaten only by the mainstream XF saloon.
A hardcore Jaguar F-type to beat the 911 GT3?
Rumours have swirled around the F-type that a stripped-out ‘Club Sport’ model could stand alongside the F-type R Coupe and upcoming R-S model, offering less weight, plus more downforce from a bigger front splitter, rear diffuser and fixed rear wing. Those add-ons feature on one of the black F-type V8 Coupes spied in the UK and pictured in our spy shots (see gallery, right).
2013’s Project 7 concept car demonstrated Jaguar’s desire to build a more aerodynamically honed, lighter F-type – the ‘Club Sport’ could offer a compelling alternative to the £100,540 Porsche 911 GT3. It’s thought the aerodynamics pack could also be rolled out across the F-type range, as part of the ETO (Engineered To Order) personalisation range.
What about 4×4 F-types?
An F-type Coupe and Convertible sporting matching camouflage have been spied with an unusual bonnet bulge not seen on series-production F-types. These hints at a repositioned engine, possibly to allow the fitment of front driveshafts in the F-type.
Jaguar already offers all-wheel drive variants of the XJ and XF saloons in cold-weather markets like the US and Russia, and has confirmed the forthcoming XE sports saloon will also be available with all-wheel drive. A four-wheel drive F-type would compete with the likes of the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Quattro-drive Audi R8.
A Jaguar spokesman told CAR: ‘the F-type gives us the opportunity to try lots of different calibrations and try different things. It’s exciting: we’re only at the start of the story for this car.’
And an entry level F-type?
Other odd-sounding F-type mules with disguised bonnets have been seen near Jaguar Land Rover’s Nürburgring test facility, hinting a turbocharged four-cylinder car will join the mix. Currently, the cheapest F-type is the 335bhp V6 Coupe, costing £51,250 – neatly splitting the £48k Porsche Cayman S and £55k Cayman GTS.
It’s expected that the ‘My First F-type’ would the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine from the Range Rover Evoque Autobiography Dynamic, which develops 281bhp. That comfortably outpunches the cooking Porsche Boxster and Cayman, which develop 263bhp and 271bhp respectively.
With the potential for a sub-£50k starter F-type and new R-S and ‘Club Sport’ models catering for the £100k+, high-performance end of the market, the future looks rosy for Jaguar’s first proper sports car in five decades.
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