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DRIVEN: Jaguar F-Type 221kW R-Dynamic

2018-02-28 09:50

Copy: Sean Parker Images: Warren Wilson

Image: Warren Wilson

Cape Town - Downsizing. It's BEEN happening in the motoring industry for many years. Even Porsche has a four-cylinder engine  fitted to its Cayman and Boxster. And now, engine downsizing has affected the Jaguar F-Type.

Launched in South Africa late in 2017, we spent a week with the entry-level Jag priced at just over R1-million. This blue cat is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 221kW/400Nm.  

R-Dynamic pack is a must

Our test unit was decked in R-Dynamic kit. This adds 19" wheels, specific R-Dynamic treadplates, LED headlights, configurable active exhaust and gloss black exterior bits. 

The R-Dynamic kit adds a ton of street cred to the F-Type and I'd definitely recommend ticking it on the options list. 


Back to the car...

The entry-level F-Type adds a different flavour to the recipe, it suffers from turbo lag, doesn't sound particularly amazing in normal mode and is pricey at just over a million bucks. 

BUT, flick it into 'dynamic' mode and it rumbles like a boerbull, thanks to the active exhaust, and its revs rise like the sea level in the Maldives. 

The 8-speed automatic is a boon and can be set up to hold gears longer in dynamic mode. The latter mode also opens up yummy pops and burbles on the overrun.   

Gearshift paddles are also available but suffer from a bit of stage fright and you're better off leaving the shifter in Sport mode for the fast shifts. 

It scampers away fast enough, Jag claims a 5.7 seconds 0-100km/h sprint time and it tops one tick short of 250km/h. 

The rear-wheel drive layout means oversteer can easily be induced via a fat dollop of throttle and an overzealous steering angle. 

And when it's in normal mode, it happily cruises at the national speed limit. Overall, it's a fun car. I went in search of roads that looked as if they were designed by a four-year old and grinned happily as I attempted to find the apex. 

Moving inside...

Interior finishing is refined and not too cluttered with over the top dials. The electric-powered seats are comfortable but sporty, with hugging capabilities which adds to the sports car feel.

There's very little space behind the seats as is a proper two-seater.

The dark cabin cocoons the driver perfectly and the intuitive touchscreen is easy to use. The driving position is good with ample scope to sit as low as possible, the steering wheel can be manouvred electrically to find a good position. 

It's a great weekend car but also works as a daily drive. So, while some might think the F-Type sans a V6 or V8 is sacrilege, the world is moving forward and there is definitely place for a four-cylinder F-Type. 

Does it work? Yes, it certainly does. 

Wheels24 team member Rouel van Nelson shares his view

When one thinks of a Jaguar F-type, immediately you begin to think about the 5.0 litre V8 motor growling ahead of you.

So where does the 2.0-litre F-type fit in among the exquisitely engineered fire-breathing Jags?

If you're a die hard Jag follower, you would argue that it doesnt fit in with the big boys at the back of the class. However, if you're looking to dress like them, and appear to look cool... then the F-type 2.0-litre could be the 'sports car' for you. 

For a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, it does churn out an impressive 221kW/400Nm, credit where it's due.  

Also, to a large degree you could put your hand up and say 'but its designed to be an entry-level, sensible sports car...' 

Nonetheless, creating a 2.0l, four-cylinder Jaguar F-type just doesnt sit well. 

It doesnt even read well... a four-cylinder Jaguar F-type...? It looks beautiful as is with every Jag on the market but it lacks soul, it lacks the heart of the V6 and V8 motors were accoustomed to.

And that's where it should have stayed.

Specifications 2018 Jaguar F-Type R-Dynamic
Engine2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder
0-100km/h5.7 seconds (claimed)
Top speed249km/h
PriceR1 023 200 (base)


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