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Test drive: LLM motoring editor Lisa Curtiss reviews the new Jaguar F-Type

By Lisa Curtiss  |  October 8, 2020
Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar is rightly famous for producing some of the most admired sports cars in the world – think back to the hallowed E-Type adored by so many as just one of many examples. The latest model to carry this torch is the recently enhanced F-Type, which is already charming die-hard Jaguar fans and those new to the brand, with its eye-catching and elegant sweeping curves, bold, brave lines and luxury materials throughout.

The F-Type certainly isn’t the car for those craving anonymity as it demands attention and admiration wherever it travels. Whichever way it’s viewed, it delights the eye, there are no bad angles, no questionable lines.

Justifiably proud of this new model, Julian Thomson, Jaguar’s design director said of this masterpiece: “Design the most beautiful sports car, with purity, proportion and presence that’s unmistakably Jaguar, that was the challenge we set ourselves. The new F-TYPE is more dramatic than ever, with even greater clarity of purpose in every line, surface and feature, and embodies true Jaguar design DNA.”

Jaguar F-Type

He continued: “State-of-the-art technologies together with luxurious materials and finishes deliver beauty with purpose in an interior which will delight driver and passenger alike even before the engine starts and the journey begins. Jaguar has been making sports cars for more than 70 years, and that rich heritage has inspired the team to create something truly extraordinary.”

F-TYPE’s award-winning design has evolved still further with a focus on even greater purity and discipline to the perfectly-sculpted form. Super-slim pixel LED headlights with subtly updated signature ‘Calligraphy’ J daytime running lights, and sweeping direction indicators, blend perfectly into the ‘liquid metal’ surfacing of the new clamshell bonnet, exaggerating the car’s visual width and accentuating its assertive stance. The new front bumper and subtly enlarged grille deliver even more visual impact and presence.

Jaguar F-Type

The muscular rear haunches enhance the F-TYPE’s inherently dramatic, purposeful form, while the new slender rear lights combine an unmistakable LED chicane signature, inspired by the Jaguar I-PACE all-electric Performance SUV, with subtle monogram pattern detailing and a fine ‘pinstripe’ beneath.

Slip inside to appreciate interior traditional Jaguar craftsmanship with rich, contemporary materials such as Windsor Leather and satin-finish Noble Chrome. Beautiful details include monogram stitch patterns in the seats and door trims, Jaguar Leaper motifs in the headrests, and subtle ‘Jaguar Est.1935’ markings on the centre console finisher, glovebox release button surround, and seatbelt guides.

The 12.3-inch reconfigurable Interactive Driver Display offers a choice of different display modes; including full map mode. As befits a true sports car, the default mode is characterised by the large central rev counter. This feature and the gearshift light subtly convey the F-TYPE’s driver-focused character and performance potential.

Jaguar F-Type

It’s not all about the new F-Type’s appearance though – it’s a great drive too. The range of powerful, responsive engines includes four- and eight-cylinder options, all matched to eight-speed Quickshift transmissions with full manual control using either the SportShift gear selector or the steering wheel-mounted paddles. And this latest model features even more driver-focused technology, including a reconfigurable, high-definition, 12.3-inch Interactive Driver Display, Touch Pro infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard and software-over-the-air functionality so future software updates can be made at the customer’s convenience, without having to visit a retailer. Two superb Meridian sound systems also offer enhanced sound reproduction.

Out on test, this new head-turning F-Type is smooth, swift, responsive and rewarding – and it’s worth driving with the windows down to appreciate its deliciously raucous exhaust roar. I took it cross country to Wales on long motorway hikes, and had fun playing on tight, twisty and remote B roads. The cabin is beautifully crafted and even when travelling for three solid hours, super comfortable too. The F-Type really is a Jaguar to invest in and cherish for many years to come.