Jaguar first revealed the contemporary take on the much-loved E-Type in 2012. The occasion was the international motor show in Paris and the production F-Type was a considered product avoiding any retro references to its predecessor while still honoring its spirit. And it was a sensation for the marque. Jaguar Land Rover had recently been purchased by Tata Motors and the new F-Type, with its bold sporty surfaces, made a clear statement as what to expect from the marque.
Seven years later and Jaguar introduces a new F-Type. This is the first production car to be revealed under the design directorship of Julian Thomson, who took over from Ian Callum earlier this year. “Jaguar has been making sports cars for more than 70 years and that rich heritage has inspired the team to create something truly extraordinary,” he says of the new car. It is, he feels, “more dramatic than ever, with even greater clarity of purpose in every line, surface and feature, and embodies true Jaguar design DNA.”
There are no revolutionary statements being made with the 2020 F-Type, though. Instead, the overall design theme remains almost unchanged, with the more visibly sculpted surfaces and new clamshell bonnet adding a little visual length to the car. There are flush, deployable door handles and air vents; the grille has been enlarged a touch to include the logo and hexagonal cell design with gloss black facings and satin finish inner surfaces. Visual width is also enhanced through a new clear front bumper design and slender rear LEDs, which follow a similar style to the electric I-Pace.
Exterior design director, Adam Hatton, explains that his task was more about refining the existing car. “Our aim was to make the car more contemporary, more purposeful and even more dramatic,” he says.
There is, however, a little light design story unfolding here, too. Slim pixel LEDs (standard on the R-Dynamic models) feature in Jaguar’s now signature J daytime running lights. The element was created with, what the team are calling, calligraphy graphics – a swooshing slim stroke along the horizontal element of the light widen as it sweeps upwards. Then running along the J is a monogram pattern, inspired by Jaguar’s heritage logo, while inside the light cluster are four LED gemstone-looking modules. Finally, the pixel technology links the windscreen-mounted stereo camera to the lights’ controller so every light element can be switched off or dimmed to produce a high-beam, masking out oncoming vehicles and avoiding dazzling other drivers. Visually, this new swooshing light graphic also accentuates the car’s width.
“The beautiful flowing surfaces subtly reference great Jaguar cars of the past,” says Hatton, “while the new vents blend perfectly into the sculpted aluminum around them.” He adds the new wheels and side-vent “add modernity” to the car. “The powerful rear design has new slim, elegant lamps incorporating latest LED technology and our Jaguar ‘chicane’ rear signature graphic with intricate monogram pattern.”
The driver-focused interior offers the mix of premium sporty materials you would expect of a modern Jaguar and with some added extra details, such as monogram stitching on the seats and door trim. There are lightweight slimline seats – available in sport and performance design – revised 12.3-inch interactive driver display, Meridian audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Sportier R-Dynamic models get a little extra attention: layered J aero-blades, which nod to the racing influence, but also help to guide the airflow more cleanly around the front of the car. They feature gloss black bezels around the apertures, making the car look even more assertive, while aero strakes serve to further reduce drag. The apertures feature a mesh pattern matched to the cells in the grille on all F-Types.
There is a new 450ps supercharged V8 model introduced here on rear-and all-wheel drive cars, plus the three engine – 300ps turbocharged four-cylinder and 450ps and 575ps V8s – all feature active exhaust systems, which are switchable either as an option or as standard. The distinctive F-Type “crackle-and-pop” has been retained, but is tuned to suit the range of four and eight-cylinder engines. The two more powerful V8s benefit from the “quiet start” function: the electrically-actuated bypass valves in the rear silencer remain closed until they automatically open up under load on the open road.
The new Jaguar F-Type will be available next year and is priced from £54,000 (around $70,000).