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Jaguar F-type Enters the Realm of Supercars

By James Groth for the English Car Company

F-type V6S 2012

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At the time of its introduction the Jaguar XK8 was positioned as the “Spiritual Successor” to the esteemed

Jaguar E-type. While that was true at the time, it’s the new F-type that best fills the void of a two-seat high performance sports car. Now, with the SVR version Jaguar adds a Supercar to its lineup of luxury and sports automobiles.

F-type Introduction at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2012

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F-type Introduction of F-type Coupe at Los Angeles Auto Show 2013

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The F-type range of cars started with the introduction of the convertible at 2012 Paris Auto Show and arrived in the US as a 2013 model. The coupe made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2013. All F-types including the base 3.0 liter with 340 hp are supercharged. The best feature of a supercharged motor is that unlike most turbo powered cars there is no turbo lag. Supercharged motors are on the power curve at a much lover rpm which gives the cars an edgy, want to run feel even at lower speeds.

Jaguar C-X75 Concept

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The production F-type is very close in style to the 2011 concept C-X16. The C-X16 itself is derived from the stunning plug-in hybrid C-X75. Matthew Beaver is credited as the lead designer with Design Chief Ian Callum oversaw the project. Jaguar has made the commitment to saving weight in its car designs.

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The most significant areas in weight saving come from the use of aluminum bodies, subframe and suspension parts all of which are incorporated in the design of the F-type. Compared to previous model Jaguars the F-type is more than 30% stiffer in key areas this provides significant improvements in overall handling. The use of aluminum throughout the F-type is also part of Jaguar’s commitment to sustainability, more than half of the cars content is made up of recycled aluminum. The F-type’s structure is riveted and bonded in a manner the emissions are up 80% less C02 compared to welding a comparable steel structure.

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The front and rear suspensions are double wishbone and made of alloy to reduce weight. The driver is offered extensive control with 25 ride and handling modes to handle every weather and road condition imaginable. Other noteworthy features of the F-type are a convertible top that rises or lower in 12 seconds and Bi-Xeon headlights along with LED daytime running lights.

F-type Aircraft Inspired Interior

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The interior controls take their inspiration from the cockpit of aircraft including the joystick-shaped SportsShift controlling the Quickshift 8-speed transmission. The standard sound system is from Meridian with 360 watts and ten speakers. If that isn’t enough for the audiophile in you there is an optional 12 speaker system driven by 770 watts. Launch control is standard on the “S” and V8 models.

A 6-Speed Manual is Offered on the V6S Model

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Most test-drive reports on the 5.0 liter V8’s have commented on Jaguar’s “Active Exhaust System” that kicks in over 3000 rpm and intensifies the sound note calling it the most gratifying on the market. To transmit the power to the road is an 8-speed ZF 8HP automatic. Long time sports car aficionados will be pleased to learn that Jaguar has decided to offer a 6-speed ZF BHP manual on their V6S model. Jaguar is also offering all-wheel drive on the F-type, its ideal for the wet weather markets or the enthusiast looking for more overall control.

AWD is Offered on the V6S and 5.0 Liter F-types

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Personally an AWD Supercharged 3.0 liter with 380 hp in a lightweight sports car with a 6-speed manual is my set up of choice. The canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains offer challenging roads similar to the European mountains and are good test for the F-type V6S and for sharping the skill level for us non-track stars. I see this as the ideally balanced Jaguar model for the type of driving one could expect to enjoy outside of a track day event.

F-type 5.0 SVR Coupe

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With the introduction of the F-type Jaguar’s marketing strategy changed from being a luxury and sports car manufacture to now having a Supercar entry when they introduced the F-type ‘R’ and ’SVR’ models. These two versions of the F-type have the performance and handling numbers to beat or match the cars in their category and in most cases at a lesser price. For the “Track Star Heroes” the F type SVR comes equipped with Supercharged V8 producing 575 horsepower giving 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. This model only comes equipped with an 8-speed ZF 8HP automatic and to help handle the power the cars have all-wheel drive. The SVR is one of only two non racing model Jaguars to achieve 200 mph. The other 200 mph Jaguar was the XJ220 that came out in 1992 and at the time it sold for about three quarter of a million dollars.

One of 250 Project 7’s Built

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The XJ 220 started out as a Skunkworks project by Jaguar engineers in the late 1980’s. The Project 7 model was also a skunkworks project, with Cesar Piert credited as lead designer. The Project 7 is a tribute to the three time 24 Hours of LeMans winning D-types in the mid 1950’s. Similar to the D-type the Project 7 body is all aluminum to reduce weight. Project 7 is powered by same powertrain as the SVR with 575 hp. With only 250 cars being produced its easy to project this as a very collectible car in the future.

Project 7 interior

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With the introduction of the F-type Jaguar not only widen its overall market appeal they leaped into the Supercar competition as a strong contender. Long live the Leaping Cat…

Specs

Engine &Transmission

  • Engine capacity (cc): 2995
  • Cylinders: 6
  • Valves per Cylinder: 4
  • Compression ratio: 10.5:1
  • Bore/stroke (mm): 84.5/89.0
  • Bore/stroke (inches): 3.33 / 3.50
  • Transmission: Eight-speed ‘quickshift’
  • 1st: 4.714
  • 2nd: 3.143
  • 3rd: 2.106
  • 4th: 1.667
  • 5th: 1.285
  • 6th: 1.000
  • 7th: 0.839
  • 8th: 0.667
  • Final drive ratio: 3.15

Performance

  • 0-60mph (sec): 5.1
  • 0-100km/h (sec): 5.3
  • 50-7hmph (sec): 3.3
  • 80-120km/h (sec): 3.3
  • Top speed – electronically limited (mph): 161
  • Top speed – electronically limited (km/h): 260
  • Power (PS@rpm): 340@6500
  • Power (kW@rpm): 250@6500
  • Power to weight ratio (PS/tonne): 216
  • Torque (lb ft@rpm): 332@3500-5000
  • Torque (Nm@rpm): 450@3500-5000
  • Torque to weight ratio (Nm/tonne): 285

Economy

  • Combined economy (EU mpg): 32.1
  • Combined economy (1/100km): 8.8
  • CO2 emissions (g/km): 205

Dimensions

  • Length: 4470mm / 176inches
  • Width excl. mirrors: 1923mm / 75.7inches
  • Height: 1309mm / 51.5inches
  • Wheelbase: 2622mm / 103.2inches
  • Front track: 1597mm / 62.8inches
  • Rear track: 1649mm / 64.9inches
  • Boot (litres, up to tailgate): 407
  • Boot (litres, up to parcel shelf): 315
  • Fuel tank capacity: 72litres / 15.8gallons
  • Weight from: 1577kg / 3477lb
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