1. The 296-horsepower F-Type 2.0L has its own handling characteristics.
The new base engine is about 124 pounds lighter than the previous base, the 340-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, which remains in the lineup. That’s 124 fewer pounds over the front axle, notes vehicle program director Erol Mustafa, making the F-Type 2.0 a “beautifully balanced” sports car. He and his team retuned the springs, dampers and anti-roll bars for the new turbo four, along with the traction control and the power steering. “I use the term ‘playful.’ It’s a great car to just throw around. It just loves it, and you couple that with a four-cylinder exhaust note, a sporty four-cylinder exhaust note, and it’s got character.” And yes, the 2.0L comes with an active exhaust, with the button for driver-control optional at extra cost.
2. It’s not quite the same 2.0-liter Ingenium turbo-four as in the Jaguar XE.
For the F-Type, Jaguar added ceramic roller bearings and a twin-scroll to minimalize lag. The turbo four in the F-Type makes 49 more horses than the XE’s 2.0-liter, and, Mustafa says, is 16-percent more efficient than the supercharged V-6. The 2.0 hits peak torque of 295 pound-feet from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm, and curb weights are 3,360 pounds for the coupe, 3,405 pounds for the convertible.
3. But the turbo four only comes with the 8-speed automatic.
Considering points number 1 and number 2, the new 2.0-liter 2018 Jaguar F-Type should come with a six-speed manual option. But Jaguar will offer it only with the eight-speed automatic when it goes on sale late this summer. Unlike the supercharged V-6 and supercharged V-8, the four is rear-wheel-drive only — no all-wheel-drive option. Granted, the 0-60 mph time of 5.4-seconds for the 296-hp turbo four is 0.1-second quicker than the 340-hp, 3.0-liter supercharged F-Type manual, while the 3.0-liter automatic does the job in just 5.1 seconds. But that lively, light-nosed handling Mustafa describes is crying for a three-pedal transmission. The product chief says it could be added at a later date. “We have to see how well-received the automatic (turbo four) is, and if customers demand it, we’ll react accordingly.” Fingers crossed.
4. Look for the exhaust pipes.
Only exterior visual clue betraying the F-Type’s 2.0-liter is the single exhaust pipe, a wide oval piece in the middle of the lower rear fascia. F-Types with the supercharged V-6 retain their twin exhaust tips.
5. With the new four-bangers, the F-Type lineup now comes in 28 variations, considering engine, body-type, transmission, RWD vs. AWD.
Base price for the ’18 Jaguar F-Type with the 296-hp turbo four is $60,895 for the coupe and $63,995 for the convertible, both including destination charges, with the top-spec SVR at the top-end, at $125,995. The 2017 F-Type coupe with the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 is $62,395, but for the ’18 model year, it climbs to $68,995 for the manual coupe, and $72,095 for the manual convertible.
6. There are other subtle changes in the MY18 facelift.
The front bumpers are brand-new, and LED headlamps are standard across the board, replacing bi-xenon headlamps. Taillamp lenses are a darker shade of red. The seats are thinner, creating more legroom and saving 19.4 pounds.
7. And there’s a special-edition.
Not counted among the 28 variations is a 400 Sport special edition 2018 Jaguar F-Type, which comes with special yellow stitching on gray leather seats, and a 20-horsepower bump for the supercharged V-6. It comes as either a coupe or convertible, with either RWD or AWD. But alas, no manual option — eight-speed automatic only. Prices are $90,495 and $93,495 for the RWD and AWD coupes, and $93,595 and $96,595 for the RWD and AWD convertibles.