The Jaguar F-Type: Peak Performance for Peak Performers

2022 Jaguar F-Type

Few automotive brands carry the same level of luxury and distinction as Jaguar. World-renowned for their elegant lines, cushy interiors, and outstanding performance, Jaguar has been a symbol of status, prestige, and sophistication for as long as people have been motoring. And while some brands have gradually faded from luxury and prestige into cushioned grandpa brands, Jaguars are coveted by both the established and the aspirational as a symbol of their accomplishments. Whether you’re a seasoned executive steering a multimillion-dollar firm or a talented newbie on the fast track to the corner office, the astounding performance and refined elegance of the Jaguar F-Type is sure to meet the needs of your high-powered lifestyle.

The Historical Roots of the Jaguar F-Type

The history of the Jaguar F-Type can be traced all the way back to the mid-1950s. In 1955, Jaguar’s legendary D-Type racing car took the gold at 24 Hours of Le Mans, beginning a three-year winning streak. The D-Type featured an innovative new design, with a novel suspension and a special front subframe to bear the weight of the engine. Jaguar refined these features and eventually included them in its first serious commercial sports car, the Jaguar E-Type, which was released to market in 1961. Not only did the E-Type bring high-quality engineering to the table, but it was also widely acclaimed for its striking lines. Enzo Ferrari (yes, that Enzo Ferrari) allegedly called it “the most beautiful car ever made.” The E-Type was also prized for its performance; it boasted a beastly 3.8-liter engine in early models, which was bumped to a 4.2-liter powerplant after 1965. The 4.2-liter engine was carried through to the end of the E-Types manufacturing run in 1968.

The immediate successor to the E-Type is generally considered to be the Jaguar XJ-S. While we’re not here to disparage the XJ-S, it’s hard to argue that the boxy lines and 1970’s vibe of the XJ-S were lacking in style compared to the graceful, dare we say groovy, lines of the E-Type. Jaguar’s designers knew it, and as early as 1982 they began playing with the idea of a more refined successor to the E-Type. Designers began work on two project cars, the XJ41 and XJ42, which were to be next in line to the throne; however, these designs were scrapped after Ford bought Jaguar in 1989.

But the idea for a true successor to the E-Type never left the design teams at Jaguar. In 2000, Jaguar released their F-Type concept car, which was conceived as a high-powered saloon-style car. Despite positive market tests and a receptive audience, Ford once again sucked the air out of the room and canceled the F-Type. It seemed that the E-Type was destined to be the last true commercial sports car manufactured by Jaguar.

Until, that is, the 2012 Paris Motor Show. There, Jaguar unveiled the F-Type to critical acclaim. The F-Type’s classic styling and studly performance brought many first-time luxury buyers to Jaguar and even converted devotees of other performance auto brands such as Porsche and BMW. This popularity among the masses was mirrored by the critics, who awarded the F-Type the World Car Design of the Year.

Since then, Jaguar has continued to refine and update the F-Type. Buyers today can choose from the P450 RWD Coupe, which comes with 6-way electric sports seats and the full host of driver convenience features; the P450 R-Dynamic AWD Coupe, which features all-wheel drive and 12-way electric memory seats; or the Coupe R, which comes with special styling, red brake calipers, keyless entry, and premium lighting. Regardless of which model you select, today’s F-Type is, without a doubt, one of the best sports cars on the market.

2022 Jaguar F-Type on road
2022 Jaguar F-Type / Photo courtesy of Jaguar

The 2022 F-Type: Performance and Panache

The 2022 Jaguar F-Type is arguably the most beautiful sports car on the market. To be sure, rivals like the BMW Z4 or Audi TT won’t break any mirrors; but in a lineup with the F-Type, it’s hard to argue that either of them has a more inspired or more elegant design than the Jag.

Looking at the F-Type, one immediately notices that it is styled to bring out both aggressive and refined lines. Much like its namesake great cat, the Jaguar looks coiled, ready to pounce. The LED lights are swept back in the front and wrapped to the wheel arches in the back. The overall posture of the car makes it look like it is itching to drive, ready to dominate the speedway. And yet, the lines of the car remain understated in a way that rival brands can only dream about.

Technology

The F-Type may have a history with deep roots in auto racing, but that doesn’t mean it’s stuck in the past. Jaguar has included a 10-inch touch display that integrates with all the standard modern gizmos: Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Sirius XM, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity are all built-in. The Jag also comes with a number of modern safety features that drivers in the 60s could only dream about, like emergency brake assist, driver condition monitoring, and an adaptive cruising system. Drivers will also enjoy a forward-warning collision aversion system, lane departure and lane-keeping systems, and cross-traffic monitoring.

The interior is tastefully appointed if a little small. The F-Type is styled with leather sport seats, an integrated driver display, and premium sound. The top-tier F-Type Coupe R comes with specially designed cabin lighting that gives the car a premium feel. In terms of space, the F-Type is a sports car; if you need a grocery-getter, this is not the car for you. The cabin volume is about 51 cubic feet, just more than twice the volume of the average refrigerator. But that 51 cubic feet is plenty of room for a driver and their companion of choice, and really, this kind of car was meant to be enjoyed solo or with a friend, not to go to soccer practice or pick up toilet paper at Wal-Mart.

2022 Jaguar F-Type Interior
2022 Jaguar F-Type Interior / Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Under the Hood

The interior and various safety and convenience systems are, as the Brits say, quite lovely; but the real essence of the F-Type lies under the hood. Jaguar offers two engine choices, depending on the model you get. The Jaguar F-Type P450 RWD and P450 R-Dynamic AWD come with a studly, 5-liter, supercharged V8 engine that can bring the vehicle from a standstill to 60 in 4.4 seconds. Not that you’d ever attempt to top out the speedometer, but if you did decide to go to the track and push the F-Type through its paces you could test Jaguar’s claimed top speed of 177 mph.

If that engine isn’t quite enough for you, consider upgrading to the F-Type Coupe R. The Coupe R is powered by a 5-liter supercharged V8 that puts out a whopping 575 horsepower and can go from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds flat – all that and it also tops out at a brisk 186 miles per hour. Compare this to the BWM Z4, which only achieves about 155 miles per hour, or the grandmotherly Audi TT, which can just touch 130. We’ve seen college kids in Kias going faster than that on the highway.

Of course, much as we love to dream of speed, the reality is that most of us are confined to traditional highways and byways. Jaguar knows this, and they’ve built a special adaptive suspension that can automatically tune itself for top performance on the track or a more modest drive on the highway. This enables Jag drivers to experience the best of both worlds. Jaguar also built an active exhaust system for the F-Type. This system tunes the exhaust for relevant conditions. When you’re backing out of the driveway at 5:30 AM to head to the office, the F-Type is a ghost, a good neighbor, a gentleman. On the other hand, when you’re revving your engine at the track or hitting a long straightaway, the Jag rumbles and growls like the race car that it is, establishing dominance among the others with the roar of the engine.

Multiple reviewers have remarked on the stately rumble of the Jag’s engines. Driving a high-performance vehicle should be as much about the auditory experience as the physical, visual, and spatial experience, and the F-Type’s engine purrs at just the right volume, frequency, and timbre to give you goosebumps. Combine the powerful rumble of that massive V8 with the tuned exhaust, and this car will absolutely scream.

Going fast and sounding good are important, but so is braking. One doesn’t want to drive their new F-Type over a canyon wall or into the back of a semi. The F-Type’s braking system is designed to bring the car to a full stop on a dime. The clever engineers at Jaguar have also integrated the braking system into the Torque Vectoring system, which helps the F-Type maintain its top-tier performance while in the midst of turns and maneuvers. Stopping is far less romantic or interesting than big engines and fast performance, but it’s just as important; a performance engine without performance braking is a recipe for performance crashing and a performance ambulance ride.

The Jaguar F-Type: A Performance Car for Performance People         

We all strive to live high-performance lives. And even in today’s changing world, the supreme status symbol is still a high-performance car. But you don’t need something pedestrian like a BMW 3-series or a Lexus. You need something that matches your status and your performance, not just another suburban grocery-getter or toddler-hauler with a luxury badge. You need the performance and power of the Jaguar F-Type, and when you park that baby in the executive lot, people are going to notice. Whether you’re starting a new business enterprise and wanting to show the world that you’ve arrived or just flaunting your success, the Jaguar F-Type will show the world that you’ve well and truly arrived.

Cover photo courtesy of Jaguar.

View this article in the April 2022 issue of MP.