Reviews

2019 Jaguar F-Type Driving Impressions

The Jaguar F-Type delivers performance that rivals the best. The aluminum chassis is about balance as well as lightness. The standard brake-based torque vectoring increases stability during hard cornering.

Against traditional sports cars like the Chevrolet Corvette, the F-Type has one four-season asset: available all-wheel drive, standard on V8 models and optional with most V6s. We like the all-wheel drive for its practicality, although there isn’t a strong sense of all-wheel drive when driving it. The heavier V8 doesn’t handle as light and direct as the V6, but almost.

The P300’s 296-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, is strong but slightly little buzzy at low speeds. It makes a great daily driver, with the softest ride on standard 18-inch alloy wheels.

The Convertible F-Type takes bumps harder than the Coupe, but that doesn’t make the handling sloppy. The available adaptive dampers help a lot. They bring out the sports car in this Jaguar.

The P340 and P380 are quick and nimble, but yaw more and lack the precision of a Porsche Boxster or Cayman. The ride is stiff but not jarring. The coupe, being more rigid than the convertible, handles better, with or without the adaptive dampers.

The F-Type R almost matches the precision of the Boxster and Cayman, in spite of the Jaguar’s greater mass. The F-Type R feels at home on the track. It’s more entertaining to drive than anything in its class, except the Porsche 718 Cayman S and Corvette Z06. The suspension is firmer but not stiff, and the steering is brilliant.

The F-Type SVR is made for track days. It’s punishing around town and the optional expensive carbon-ceramic brakes can be unpredictable.

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