Jaguar F-Type goes four-cylinder

Given one of the key selling points of the Jaguar F-Type is the brawny and suitably noisy power delivery from its supercharged V6 and V8 engines the news of a four-cylinder one is ... interesting. In a number of ways.

Jaguar is at pains to say the new model sounds good and has included a "meticulously tuned" active exhaust system, in this case with a single central pipe to differentiate it from the E-Type style paired twin one on V6s and the quad exits of the V8s. 52kg lighter over the nose than the 340hp V6, the 300hp Ingenium 2.0-litre petrol is the most powerful four-cylinder engine Jaguar has ever made and boasts the highest specific output of any F-Type engine at 150hp per litre. 295lb ft of torque is an impressive figure too, this coming from just 1,500rpm. Official economy and emissions stats - doubtless the main inspiration for the move - are 39.2mpg and 163g/km for both Convertible and Coupe.

If you're still trying to come to terms with the idea of a four-cylinder engine in an F-Type the performance figures may help - 155mph is enough to get you into trouble but the 5.4-second 0-62mph time is seriously impressive. While the 340hp V6 and 380hp V6 S are still available with the six-speed manual the four-cylinder will be an eight-speed auto only, this benchmark sprint down just four tenths on the base V6 with the equivalent transmission.

Inevitably this provokes yet another attempt to find an F-Type overlap with an equivalent Porsche, the nearest obvious comparisons being the four-cylinder 718 Cayman and Boxster. Pricing is yet to be finalised but Jaguar is saying it'll start at around £49,000, which is a chunk more than the equivalent 2.0-litre 300hp versions of the Porsches - a 718 Cayman is £42,897 (call it £45K by the time you add the £2,000 for a PDK gearbox) while the Boxster starts at just shy of £47K with PDK. Realistically the Jaguar is competing with the 350hp S versions, which are about £9K more than the base 718s. In all cases, and as discussed extensively in relation to the Porsches, that's a lot of money for a car with a four-cylinder motor, no matter how powerful and equivalently fast by the spec sheet.

The launch release goes into extensive detail - really extensive - about how the new engine delivers that power and there's some impressive tech involved. This includes a twinscroll turbo running on ceramic bearings, an integrated exhaust manifold built into the cylinder head and hydraulically adjustable intake valves that effectively operate like throttle butterflies to reduce pumping losses and improve throttle response.

Inside you get all the much needed infotainment updates launched earlier in the year and the general 2018 model year upgrades. Standard cars get special lightweight 18-inch wheels while a fancier R-Dynamic spec adds 19s and a switchable active exhaust system. The bigger wheels also mean you can option in the Super Performance Braking System, should you want something to fill them.

That significant weight saving off the nose is said to have a big impact on the sense of agility, steering and springs recalibrated to suit. All promising stuff indeed. But is the whole small engine, big car thing really appropriate for a sports car so defined by its chest-wig muscularity and soundtrack? Proof, as ever, will be in the driving. Could be worse though - they could have made it a diesel.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (139) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Ekona 12 Apr 2017

    If ever a car was begging for a manual 'box, this would've been it. Save the weight, more involving, could get away with it being a four-pot then.

  • Vee12V 12 Apr 2017

    Would much rather have an Alpine. At least that was developed with a four banger turbo from the get go.

  • nicfaz 12 Apr 2017

    It will be interesting to see what it does to sales of the V6S. There seem to be some people (not me) who want that car but don't care about the engine, so just get the most economical / cheapest. Then there are people like me who always want the best possible engine. I guess Jaguar are hoping that overall sales increase and I assume the '4' is still cheaper to produce, despite what sounds like costly parts in it.

    Another option might be to update the V6S to 400bhp. That would make lots of sense and re-establish the pecking order.

  • Fetchez la vache 12 Apr 2017

    article said:
    R-Dynamic spec adds... a switchable active exhaust system.
    Any idea / examples as to what this'll sound like on a 4-pot? scratchchin

  • lukeharding 12 Apr 2017

    It'll be interesting to see how the four pot changes the car, but would you pay £40k plus for a four cylinder Jaguar F-Type - especially when you could go and buy at least a V6 thats a couple of years old for similar money?

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