Equally discreet is the rear wing that rises from the trunk lid above 60mph and drops below 40. It’s part of an aero package that includes a distinct front splitter, side blades and rear diffuser. They appear gloss black on the S models (matte on the base V6) and the diffuser houses strong central tailpipes on the V6, four outboard tips on the V8. “We wanted to differentiate the models without any of them feeling cheap or sub-standard,” explained Callum.
For this reason, each gets different diameter wheels: 18, 19 and 20" depending on power output. However, the wheel and tire width remains the same on all, maintaining the prestige of each.
At the front, the grille was inspired by the 1968 Jaguar XJ6, and is similar to the XKR-S and C-X75 concept. Callum claimed it represented a new face that would help with future product recognition.
The same ’68 XJ6 also inspired the hood bulge, making a powerful statement along with the strong front ducts and hood vents. “We wanted this car to be assertive in the rearview mirror,” Callum continued.
Single projector headlamps are framed by signature J-shaped LED running lights. A bodyline flows from the upright front duct through the lamps onto the front fender to give a feeling of width and strength.
In our opinion, this could be Callum’s best work, rivaling his DB7 and Vanquish for beauty (although we also worship him for the Escort RS Cosworth!). He explained how every aspect of the F-Type was optimized, from its tight surfaces to its small overhangs and details like the slim rear wing. “We get every millimeter we can from the engineers,” he confessed, explaining how his design team pushed the packaging to the limit.
This is even expressed in the cockpit, where the central air vents are motorized; disappearing into the dash for visibility, appearing on demand when temperatures dictate.
With the dash and console centered around the driver, the team chose to forego the preferred rotary gear selector for a conventional shifter and steering wheel paddles (colored Ignis orange on S models). These operate the standard ZF eight-speed trans and give access to the launch control.
The V6 S model gets a mechanical limitedslip diff, “for that authentic feel”, while the V8 S has an e-diff. However, all models get a 14.6:1 steering rack: the fastest ever fitted to a Jag.
Steering, adaptive suspension, engine response and shift speed can all be optimized through the Dynamic Mode toggle switch or via the touchscreen that allows favorite presets as well as offering a lap timer and g-meter.
Like a traditional sports car, the interior has round analogue dials and plenty of switches. You have the choice of either a flat-bottomed steering wheel or round, and sit in sports seats redesigned from the XKR-S under a Z-fold roof structure that uses a simple mechanism requiring 12sec to erect at up to 30mph.
You’ll want the roof down to enjoy the Active Exhaust (standard on S models). It opens a valve at full throttle to produce a knee-quivering noise from both engine options. It also helps remove unwanted noise at lower speeds, making the F-Type even more civilized.
With its light but rigid aluminum body, the V6 model will weigh around 3500 lb, the V8 closer to 3670, but with perfect 50/50 distribution that sees even the screen washer bottle located to the rear.
The brakes are large and powerful – Jaguar engineers worked on pedal feel and modulation to ensure sporty dynamics from every interface. The V8 S gets the largest brakes ever fitted to a Jag – 15" front, 14.8" rear. The V6 S gets 15/12.8" while the base V6 has 14/12.8".
You’ll be able to dress the car in a wide choice of wheels as well as a broad paint pallet and plenty of interior trim colors plus contrast stitching and other options to personalize your F-Type in multiple ways.
Perhaps our only criticism was a small trunk, but we’d happily sacrifice some practicality for such a stunning shape. Better still, we’ll wait for the Coupe that should arrive in a year or so. That has to be drop-dead gorgeous.