RE: Jaguar F-Type 2.0: Review

RE: Jaguar F-Type 2.0: Review

Wednesday 2nd August 2017

Jaguar F-Type 2.0: Review

Can the F-Type formula really work with just the four cylinders?



Why would you buy a Jaguar F-Type? That's not intended as a sarcastic question - there's plenty to recommend it - but a genuine enquiry. The looks must surely play a part, right? The image of a traditional, unapologetic British sports car will contribute as well. And - cliché alert - the sense of theatre with an F-Type has to be important - the fancy interior, the details and, most importantly, the noise. It's a feel-good kind of sports car. Whoops, one more for the cliché count...

Whether V6 or V8, you're going to get an earful of engine sound in any F-Type. The V6 howls, the V8 thunders, and the rather anti-social volume of both is very endearing. 'Naughty' seems the right word, so can that work with four cylinders?

Jaguar is certainly keen to maintain the F-Type visual occasion and excitement with the 2.0; it can only be identified from a V6 by its own design of 18-inch wheel and the single exhaust pipe, as opposed to two. For the vast majority of people, this will remain simply a very attractive F-Type. They won't be thinking it's a poor relation, put it that way.

Ta-dah! Oh... Front-hinged at least
Ta-dah! Oh... Front-hinged at least
Starter's orders
Well, right up until you start it, of course. It seems harsh to criticise the F-Type for sounding a bit gruff on start up - because what doesn't? - though there's no hiding from its lesser cylinder count. There's a flare of revs, as with the other models, but nothing to get you excited before moving as the V6 and V8 might.

While we're on criticisms - there are plenty of positives to come, fear not - it seems rather a shame that the sports car of the Jaguar line up shares the same stats as the rest of the range. 300hp and 295lb ft are competitive, but that's also what you get in an XE with this engine, or a Velar, or an F-Pace. The same power and torque, produced at the same rpm, in every single car. Perhaps we're being overly picky, but shouldn't the sports car boast a little more?

To those positives. The 52kg weight saving from the front end has transformed the F-Type's dynamics, frankly. Where in the V6 and V8 cars the quick steering - to contrive a sense of agility - can occasionally catch the car out, here the relationship between front and rear feels more harmonious. The turn-in is still sharp, but now the car can keep up. It's agile, accurate and eager to a level unfamiliar from the Jaguar sports car, which is a pleasant surprise.

The same hardware is used for the four-cylinder car from the other models, with a unique tune to account for the weight loss. So the front spring rate is four per cent softer, the rear three per cent, and the dampers recalibrated. There's still an underlying firmness to the ride, but again it feels to be a level of precision that befits the car, rather than an attempt to instil a character that isn't actually there. And there's just a tad more of that Jaguar grace with the softened rates, even on the optional 19s.

Still looks like an F-Type - jolly good
Still looks like an F-Type - jolly good
Electric Feel
The four-cylinder car has the best electric steering of any F-Type yet as well, with more coming back through the wheel and a greater sense of connection with the front Pirellis. However, some reported excessive tramlining, with the new-found fondness for diving into a corner also extending to cambers and truck grooves. Hmm. Too much negative camber perhaps? It's one to report back on in the UK, though in our test car the signs were mostly very positive.

And that engine? Fine, really, and nothing more. No doubt we'll be sent to the gallows for suggesting as much, but both the 2.0 and 2.5 Porsche 718 engines are better. They pick up from fewer revs, respond to throttle inputs more keenly and rev out more enthusiastically. In a lighter car, a 300hp 2.0-litre Boxster feels faster than a 300hp 2.0-litre F-Type. Sorry, it just does.

The Jag sounds better, though. All test cars had the active exhaust, so we can't comment on the standard set-up, but the optional system was growly and purposeful and - crucially - not like a Beetle. It does the overrun crackles, parps its way through gearchanges and, being realistic, sounds about as good as you could expect from this configuration. The intake noise is said to be "meticulously tuned", though it's unclear whether this is through the speakers or not. Crucially however, where the noise is a key part of the appeal in other F-Types, it would be a challenge to say that here.

New seats look good, save weight and space
New seats look good, save weight and space
You may remember suggestions were made off the back of the original F-Type four-cylinder story for a manual version because, well, this is PH. If we're not calling for a manual then who will be? While the Jag attitude on such matters is 'never say never' the simple fact is that, where available, take up on the six-speed manual has been less than five per cent. Note that's less than five per cent. The case isn't there for it at present. Pleasingly the automatic is more than good enough, the ratios tightly packed for involvement on a B-road and gears swapped speedily. Just nobody say PDK at this moment. Or M DCT...

For now, there's not a great deal more to say on the four-cylinder F-Type. Its launch was shared with the Range Rover Velar, where the Jaguar felt like the older sibling that just so happened to share a birthday. It's new baby versus the four-year-old toddler that nobody especially cares about. Hence less time behind the wheel and a fairly ordinary route. The limited cornering opportunities did reveal those favourable traits discussed, though there was also a sneaking suspicion of it being a bit overtyred (245-section fronts, 275-section rears on the 19s) and, when the grip did run out, a little scrappy without a limited-slip diff.

Four Thought
These concerns could be confounded with a more detailed test - and hopefully they are - because there's a lot to like about this entry level F-Type. Focus has switched from the engine to the chassis for perhaps the first time, and the latter has actually proved itself very good. This F-Type feels like more of a sports car than any F-Type before it, essentially, and that includes the SVR.

Very good, very likeable, but so are the rivals...
Very good, very likeable, but so are the rivals...
Trouble being, as more of a sports car it has to compete against sports cars, does it not? And, being brutally honest, an F-Type 2.0 is slower and not as good to drive as a Cayman 2.0, while also being £7,000 more expensive. Of course, neither will leave the showroom standard, but the Porsche is from £42,897 as a manual and the Jaguar £49,900 as an automatic. For six cylinders at less than £50K you're looking at a BMW M2, and you don't need us to remind you what a compelling case that makes for itself.

In addition the manual, V6 coupe - a 340hp car, rather than a 380hp 'S' - is from £52,265, or just £2,365 more than the four-cylinder car. While the four-cylinder car is actually sharper to drive, the V6 arguably suits the F-Type's character rather better. If you see what we're getting at. With six or eight cylinders, and especially with a manual gearbox, the F-Type remains an engaging take on the sports GT car in its own little niche; with four cylinders it may struggle against the more direct opposition it now faces.


JAGUAR F-TYPE 2.0 COUPE
Engine
: 1,997cc, 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 300@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 295@1,500-4,500rpm
0-62mph: 5.7sec
Top speed: 155mph
Weight: 'from' 1,525kg
MPG: 39.2 (NEDC)
CO2: 163g/km
Price: £49,900 (Coupe), £55,385 (Roadster)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

Ares

Original Poster:

7,100 posts

54 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
This car will be slammed by purists, petrolhead and wannabe race heroes, but its a great move from Jag to broaden the appeal and bring a good car into even greater focus.

Sales will be good, fuelling spicier models up the range.

Yet again however, Jaguar have got their pricing wrong - too expensive, but so is most of the Jaguar range.

Edited by Ares on Wednesday 2nd August 08:35

Uncle Ron

239 posts

33 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
Had to do a double take at the price - 50 thousand pounds?! Tick a few boxes and you're up to the best part of £60k. Insanity. That gets you a very nice Boxster S with 50 bhp more that won't depreciate like a stone.

cib24

646 posts

87 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
Despite being a much pricier proposition, this move seems to mirror the Ford Mustang strategy historically. Offer the V8 that everyone wants, a less potent middle of the range engine, and most recently a 4 cylinder option for those that just want to own the car and are less concerned about the performance aspects.

Definitely not a purists choice but they will shift many more models this way due to the perceived better fuel economy, lower tax, etc. However, I think starting under £45k would have been the real sweet spot although that's not to say dealers won't give you that discount to get you there.

dazzx10r

37 posts

109 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
Is this the same 2.0 Focus ST Ecoboost engine that was used in the XE?

Plate spinner

12,812 posts

134 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
£2,365 Saving over the V6?!

Do not want.
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EC2

991 posts

187 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
Sensible that they have done this, mind I find it annoying as I want this engine in an XF Sportwagon with 4WD which they don't offer even though they do in the saloon...

Anyway I really like the F type but I have never understood why it is not both lighter and cheaper. If I bought one I would have a V6 but that doesn't stop me liking the fact that both the 4 cylinder and V8 exist.

telecat

8,346 posts

175 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
It might be less than 5% for NEW owners but I would have thought that the Premium Manuals go for second hand should be a hint as to how worthwhile producing the 2-litre in a Manual would be.

framerateuk

2,419 posts

118 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
dazzx10r said:
Is this the same 2.0 Focus ST Ecoboost engine that was used in the XE?
As far as I'm aware, Jaguar as using only their own Ingenium engines now, and not anything developed by Ford.

MOBB

988 posts

61 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
I really like the F Type, but £2k less than the V6 and £10k more than a Cayman seems optimistic to me

culpz

3,893 posts

46 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
Plate spinner said:
£2,365 Saving over the V6?!

Do not want.
Yupp. It needed to be much cheaper than the V6 to become worth-while. But that was never going to happen, was it?

If you're after 4-cylinders, save yourself a packet and get one of the latest hot/hyper hatches.

macky17

1,840 posts

123 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
As has been said, unless dealers offer significant discounts I just don't see how they will sell any. Does perceived fuel economy really sell this sort of car? Don't understand who would choose one over a v6.

Cotic

469 posts

86 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
framerateuk said:
dazzx10r said:
Is this the same 2.0 Focus ST Ecoboost engine that was used in the XE?
As far as I'm aware, Jaguar as using only their own Ingenium engines now, and not anything developed by Ford.
For 4-pots, yes; but I thought the V6 diesel and petrol V8 were still Bridgend motors?

Cotic

469 posts

86 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
macky17 said:
As has been said, unless dealers offer significant discounts I just don't see how they will sell any. Does perceived fuel economy really sell this sort of car? Don't understand who would choose one over a v6.
Don't forget the market is bigger than the UK - a 2.0 engine has massive tax benefits in China, for example - where this car would cost a lot less than the 3.0.

Either way, it's more choice. Is there another coupe/roadster which is currently offered both as a 4, 6, and 8? I can't think of one...

Vergis

410 posts

176 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
There will be punters that will chose this 4 cylinder version over a V6 because of fuel economy and tax bracket. But the biggest cost of 90% of cars is depreciation ! Come selling time the equivialant v6 version is likely to be a stronger price residually and more then make up for the extra cost of fuel used during its ownership and tax. Fuel and tax is a cost felt whenever you go to the petrol station and pay the tax. Depreciation is only felt when you sell the car and hence people rather feel the cost later rather then sooner.

M1C

1,099 posts

45 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
The looks go some way to helping this car, it really is gorgeous!

Usget

4,560 posts

145 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
JLR are to be applauded for fitting the correct number of exhausts to this car. Not eleventy million like VAG do to their 4cyls.

ChilliWhizz

8,577 posts

95 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
Smart move by Jaguar, targeting the female sector smile

PhantomPH

2,981 posts

159 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
Article said:
...and - crucially - not like a Beetle
PLEASE stop saying that about the 718. It sounds like no Beetle I have ever heard - and I've owned a few!

craigjm

8,348 posts

134 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
Cotic said:
framerateuk said:
dazzx10r said:
Is this the same 2.0 Focus ST Ecoboost engine that was used in the XE?
As far as I'm aware, Jaguar as using only their own Ingenium engines now, and not anything developed by Ford.
For 4-pots, yes; but I thought the V6 diesel and petrol V8 were still Bridgend motors?
That's correct they are and Jaguar buy them as a customer. They are gradually phasing them out and the they will all be gone once all the Ingenium engines are online and the model phases come to an end.

I applaud the move to fit the 2.0 but 10k more than a Cayman is insanity. The whole of the Ftype range is over priced in my opinion against the competition.

ZX10R NIN

11,845 posts

59 months

Wednesday 2nd August 2017
quotequote all
Is this car meant for foreign markets that penalise cars over 2000cc.