First Public Viewing of Jaguar F-Type

Words: Lesley Sutton

South African car enthusiasts will get their first chance to view the all-new Jaguar F-TYPE when it makes a star appearance at the Top Gear Festival on 15-16 June.

Jaguar’s first all-new sportscar for 50 years, the F-TYPE has already stunned audiences around the world. The new Jaguar will be officially launched to SA during July.


The new Jaguar F-TYPE represents a return to the company’s heartland: a two-seater, convertible sports car focused on performance, agility and driver involvement. The F-TYPE is a continuation of a sporting bloodline that stretches back more than 75 years and encompasses some of the most beautiful, thrilling and desirable cars ever built.


The engineering ethos underpinning the F-TYPE is centred on Jaguar’s industry-leading expertise in the use of aluminium. Featuring the most advanced iteration of Jaguar’s acclaimed rigid and lightweight aluminium architecture to date, the F-TYPE has ideally balanced weight distribution that allows its involving rear-wheel drive dynamics to be explored to the full.


Those dynamics are something Top Gear’s infamous Stig will explore on the Festival’s street circuit over the weekend. South African enthusiasts will not only get the chance to vacillate over the new Jaguar’s styling, but also be enthralled by its intoxicating noise.


In order to maximise the benefits of its advanced structure, the F-TYPE features all-aluminium double wishbone front and rear suspension and a quick-ratio steering rack for ultimate responsiveness. The aluminium architecture has been optimised to provide the stiffest possible underpinnings for the suspension with rigidity gains of more than 30 per cent in key areas compared to any other Jaguar application.


Three variants will be available at launch: the F-TYPE, F-TYPE S and F-TYPE V8 S. Each is distinguished by the power output of its supercharged petrol engine with all engines featuring stop/start technology to maximise efficiency.


A new 3.0-litre V6, developed from Jaguar’s highly acclaimed 5.0-litre V8, is available in either 250kW or 280kW variants, powering the F-TYPE and F-TYPE S respectively. The V6 models are joined by a newly developed member of Jaguar’s V8 engine family. Producing 364kW and 625Nm of torque in the F-TYPE V8 S model, it has an astonishing turn of pace, accelerating to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 300km/h while emitting just 259g/km of CO2.


The focus on driver involvement and sporting performance in the F-TYPE is emphasised by the ‘one-plus-one’ layout of the asymmetric cabin. This is evidenced by the grab handle which sweeps down the centre console on the passenger side, delineating it from the driver’s position. Further differentiation is provided by the use of different trim materials either side of the cabin, with a more technical finish on the driver’s side.


Taking inspiration from cockpits of fighter airplanes, the controls are ergonomically grouped by function. Further aeronautical inspiration can be found in the joystick-shaped SportShift selector controlling the eight-speed transmission. The air vents on top of the dashboard will only deploy when instructed to by either the driver or complex control algorithms, staying tucked discreetly out of sight in other circumstances.


Also on display at the Top Gear Festival over the weekend will be the Franschoek Motor Museum’s D-Type Jaguar. These sports-racing cars were dominant in the legendary endurance races, winning Le Mans in 1956, 1957 and 1958 and, of course, are a distinct part of the Jaguar F-TYPE story.


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