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Jaguar F-Type (facelift) preview

What's this?
Jaguar’s most desirable model, updated for the 2020 model year and beyond. Since the F-Type launched in 2013, it has continued largely unchanged. But now there’s a significant facelift coming this year to keep it fresh, and it really is a facelift – much sleeker headlights and a rejigged front end to accommodate them are the major updates, because elsewhere it’s just minor fettling.

What will its rivals be?
The F-Type’s skill has always been that it straddles many sectors of the market, as the base models – in terms of price and performance – are semi-affordable sports cars that rival the likes of the Audi TT, BMW Z4, Toyota Supra and Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman twins. But at the other end of the Jaguar’s scale, it has mighty powerplants that make it almost a supercar, with the sort of speed and noise to challenge the likes of the Porsche 911, Audi R8 and Nissan GT-R.

Any tech info?
It's a broad carry-over of the technology seen on pre-facelift F-Types, although there is one major alteration: the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, which was such a core unit in the F-Type in its early years in both 340hp basic and 380hp S guises, has been seemingly dropped for right-hand-drive markets. Inside the facelifted F-Type, there’s an improved 12.3-inch touchscreen for the latest Jaguar Touch Pro infotainment. The use of an eight-speed automatic will be range-wide, with the rare six-speed manual option also consigned to history, while rear- or all-wheel drive will be available as before.

What will the range be like?
Stripping out the V6s, the F-Type 2020 range will be left with a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol model, delivering 300hp, and then two newly developed supercharged 5.0-litre V8s. These churn out either 450hp and 580Nm for the ‘lesser’ model, or 575hp and 700Nm for the AWD-only F-Type R. Performance is pretty brisk on all models, although the V8s are both super-quick: the 450hp model will do 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds and run on to 285km/h, while the R is even more blistering, with a 3.7-second 0-100km/h time and an electronically limited 300km/h top speed. As before, the F-Type will be available as either a Coupe or a Convertible, both models having just two seats.

Expectations?
They’re high but this is more a moderate facelift and tech overhaul for an existing car that we already know about, especially in the way it drives. Jaguar’s aim is to keep the F-Type feeling fresh, in the face of newer competitors that have moved the game on.

Author: Carzone

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