Whitley, West Midlands – Used to be next year’s models started appearing in showrooms after the northern-hemisphere summer break in August but this, Jaguar fans, is the 2018 model year F-Type, and it will be on sale in Britain within the next two months, i.e. during the first quarter of 2017, and in South Africa before mid-year.
Calendar confusion notwithstanding, Jaguar’s all-aluminium two-seater has been updated with LED lighting across the range, new model-specific bumpers – so that you can tell a V6 base model from the thundering 423kW five-litre V8 SVR at a glance – lightweight slimline sports seats to provide more lateral support and extra legroom, and perhaps the ultimate in selfies: a world-first app called ReRun.
It combines real-time video from your GoPro camera with performance data including speed, throttle position, gear selection, steering wheel angle, braking force and G force. The high quality video – including unique ‘highlights’ sections – can be downloaded to your smartphone and shared on social media, to show your envious friends just how much fun you’re having in your F-Type.
You can download either the entire video with highlights included, or just the highlights – there’s even an editing function.
'We'll be a bit late'
It’s part of the F-Type’s new 20cm tablet-style Touch Pro infotainment system, with intelligent navigation that can tell your friends when you’ll arrive and online services such as real-time traffic and live weather reports.
Enter a destination and it’ll check if there’s enough fuel in the tank to get you there. If not, the map will display filling stations along the route that are within range; tap one and it’ll be added as a waypoint.
It’ll learn your daily commute so it can offer alternative routes to avoid congestion, using historical and real-time traffic information – and if you do get caught in a jam, it can send your destination, current location and estimated time of arrival to selected contacts by email or SMS.
There’s even a new Spotify app that learns your taste in music, automatically compiles playlists, and plays downloaded content when there’s a poor internet connection.
New full LED headlights are controlled by the car’s sensors, switching automatically between four driving modes – City, Country, Motorway and Bad Weather.
In normal conditions at up to 48km/h, City mode provides a wide-angle low beam that helps you see pedestrians and side roads more easily in built-up areas, while Bad Weather mode activates at speeds of up to 64km/h.
As you accelerate past 48km/h, Country mode switches to a narrower, longer beam, while at speeds of more than 90km/h Motorway mode sets its focus further down the road to enable you to see even further.
An F-Type for all reasons
The 2018 range starts with the supercharged F-Type 340PS V6, rated for 250kW at 6500 revs and 450Nm from 3500-5000rpm. It’ll be offered with rear-wheel drive and 18 inch rims as either a coupé or a convertible, with your choice of a six-speed manual or eight-speed Quickshift auto transmission.
Launch time to 100km/h is quoted as 5.3 seconds for the coupé and 5.7 for the drop-top, top speed as 260km/h for both.
Next up are the R-Dynamic coupé and convertible, with the same 250kW ‘blower’ V6 and drivetrain choices, but with 19 inch alloys, gloss black exterior trim and a switchable active exhaust.
Or you can opt for the 380PS R-Dynamic trim, uprated to 280kW and 460Nm, which replaces the previous V6S, with either a six-speed manual ‘box and rear-wheel drive or the Quickshift eight-speeder and your choice of rear or all-wheel drive.
Expect 0-100 in 4.9 seconds (5.5 for the convertible) and 275km/h flat out either way.
One year only
Then there’s the very special 400 Sport, which will be available for one year only, with its V6 tuned for 294kW at 6500 revs and 460Nm from 3500-500rpm.
It has an eight-speed QuickShift and your choice of rear or all-wheel drive, and it’ll hit 100km/h from a standing start in 4.9 seconds and 275km/h flat out, notwithstanding.
It also has an uprated chassis with Super Performance brakes, Configurable Dynamics and 20 inch alloys with a special dark satin grey finish.
Yellow and grey 400 Sport badges front and rear tell the world how special this car is, while the same logo on the centre console, steering wheel, tread-plates and embroidered head restraints reminds you, as does yellow contrast stitching throughout the cockpit.
The F-Type R’s five-litre supercharged V8 is tuned for 405kW at 6500 revs and 680Nm at 3500rpm, laid down by all four wheels via an eight-speed Quickshift. Regardless of what the roof is made of, it’ll hit 100 in a claimed 4.1 seconds and keep going to 300km/h.
The range-topping F-Type SVR delivers 423kW at the same 6500 revs, backed by 700Nm from 3500-5000rpm – good enough, says the maker, for a 0-100 getaway in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 322km/h for the coupé (314km/h for the convertible).