2021 Jaguar F-Type


This year the F-Type pares back its powertrain lineup to just the essentials.

The coupe or convertible is available with a turbo-4, or either a supercharged V-6 or V-8 with increasing spiciness up the ladder. 

The good news among all three: each is fire-breathing in their own right, with plenty of exhaust crackles and pops along the way. 

There’s better news, too. But we’ll get to that in a minute. 

The 2021 F-Type is an 8 for performance thanks to willing engines at every stop, good handling, and another point for exceptional performance at the top. 

The base turbo-4 coupe or convertible is bright, but a somewhat different animal compared to the other two available engines in the F-Type lineup. The 2.0-liter turbo-4 makes 296 hp and is borrowed from other cars and crossovers in the Jaguar lineup. In the F-Type it drives the rear wheels only via an 8-speed automatic transmission. According to Jaguar, the turbo-4 accelerates the F-Type up to 60 mph from a standstill in less than six seconds, which is brisk. 

But the turbo-4’s gift isn’t outright acceleration, but rather its lightness compared to the other F-Types and rear-drive dynamics that make it fun to drive. 

The turbo-4 requires attention to keep the engine on the boil; it’s most powerful and responsive between 5,000 rpm and 6,000 rpm where its back is against the wall. 

Like the other F-Types, the turbo-4 models spit and cackle in grin-inducing ways, even if it’s more processed and artificial than American cheese. 

The turbo-4 is about 440 pounds lighter than the rest of the lineup and it has a quicker steering ratio that makes it brighter to drive. There are $60,000 coupes and convertibles that are outright quicker than the F-Type in just about every scenario, but the Jag still feels special and still brings a smile. 

Grins get bigger from there as the horsepower increases. The supercharged V-6 carries over unchanged from last year and makes 380 hp. It’s mated to the same 8-speed automatic, but Jag makes all-wheel drive standard on the V-6 (and V-8) this year. 

Our turns in V-6-equipped models have been in 2020 F-Types or older, but the driving dynamics are all the same. The V-6 sprints from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds, and it’s especially bright in Dynamic mode where it springs from the line with a whisper on the throttle. 

The F-Type R is equipped with a 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 that makes 575 hp, up from 550 last year. It’s the same engine from the F-Type SVR that was shelved for 2021, but the F-Type R doesn’t make the same shouting noises—Jag says they can’t sell a car that loud in the U.S. anymore. 

Nevertheless, the F-Type R speeds up to 60 mph from a standstill in 3.5 seconds and transforms the nimble two-door into a predator. The V-8 roars from its quad-tipped tail and its active exhaust can broadcast its signature song for blocks. The V-8 is equipped with standard all-wheel drive and it’s welcome—dumping that much power down the driveline to two wheels only would be overwhelming. 

Jaguar widened the F-Type R’s front and rear tires by 10 millimeters this year to better handle its power and our drives on rain-soaked roads in Portugal were better for it. The V-8 F-Type is a bona fide track car if drivers are looking for one, however many people that may be in the real world. 

All F-Types ride on double wishbones front and rear with a tenacious grip on the road. Engineers say they’ve tweaked and stiffened suspension parts for better response, although we didn’t think any F-Type was a sloppy handler. 

Perhaps the best upgrade for the F-Type this year? The 8-speed automatic with a preternatural tendency to find the right cog at the right time. We love it. We’d almost say we don’t miss the manual—almost. 

Review continues below

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