2016 Jaguar F-Type First Look
When the Jaguar F-Type first came out, it was like a rebirth of the Jaguar sports car, complete with a beautiful, modern design and an engine growl that could put a smile on your face. And while it was a huge step toward a return to form for Jag, we definitely wished for a few changes, one of those being all-wheel drive. If the F-Type R Coupe had such a system when it competed in our 2014 Best Driver's Car program, it might have finished stronger than second-to-last place.
For the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, the automaker has some changes in store for the 2016 Jaguar F-Type, including the brand's "Instinctive" all-wheel-drive system and a six-speed manual transmission. But if you want said manual transmission, it will only be offered on the rear-wheel-drive V-6 models.
Our biggest gripe about the F-Type R Coupe when on the track was how difficult it was to control with the electronic nannies off, but with the addition of an AWD system, that should change. A supercharged, direct-injected 5.0-liter V-8 still makes 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque in the F-Type R Coupe and now produces the same for the new F-Type R Convertible model, which replaces the 495-hp F-Type V-8 S. All-wheel drive is standard on all F-Type R models, and with that addition Jaguar estimates a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds. That number might be conservative, however, as we tested the RWD F-Type R Coupe and clocked it at 3.6 seconds. The AWD model will likely shave some milliseconds off that time.
But aside from power upgrades and new transmission options, the new F-Type will be the first Jaguar sports car to implement Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS), which will provide power assistance when needed, helping to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Other new features include an upgraded infotainment system with InControl remote, InControl Protect, and InControl Apps connectivity and telematics function. With your smartphone, it's now possible to check your fuel level, make sure the doors are locked, start the engine, and even turn on the air.
New standard equipment for the 2016 Jaguar F-Type includes a 770-watt Meridian surround sound system, satellite radio, keyless entry, and 14-way fully power-adjustable seats. The Coupe also gains a standard panoramic glass roof. R Coupe models get a power tailgate, and S models now feature Configurable Dynamic Mode, a flat-bottomed racing-style steering wheel, and a driver-selectable Switchable Active Exhaust.
Looking at all the latest additions, the most noteworthy has to be the new all-wheel-drive system. We heard about this system earlier this year, but only now do we have all the details. Although it is standard on the 550-hp F-Type R Coupe and Convertible models, Jaguar will also offer it on the 380-hp F-Type V-6 S models, which all come equipped with the eight-speed QuickShift automatic transmission. For improved driving dynamics, Jaguar has added Intelligent Driveline Dynamics, a control system networked to the powertrain, rear differential, and center coupling for optimum torque distribution.
"What we require of our AWD system in the F-Type is optimal traction, but preserving the Jaguar DNA and sports car character — that means rear-drive feel and steering without any corruption. The key to this is Intelligent Driveline Dynamics — IDD," said Jaguar's Russ Varney, vehicle program director for sports cars, in a recent release.
Further differentiating the AWD and RWD models, Jaguar has added “AWD” badging on the rear and subtle exterior styling changes. The aluminum hood has been reshaped, giving better packaging options for the powertrain. New air vents have also been added on the hood and have been positioned farther forward and apart than those on the RWD models. Jaguar has also added body-color side sills and a body-colored venturi on the R models, and the S models feature a valance around the exhaust tips.
Not only did Jaguar add an AWD system with enhancements to give the 2016 F-Type better performance and handling, but the addition of the manual transmission also brings another level of excitement. For those wanting more control and input when driving the new F-Type, the new six-speed ZF manual transmission meets those needs on all 340- and 380-hp V-6 RWD models. But Jaguar didn't stop at just adding the new transmission; the automaker considered tactile details to make sure the shifter was at the ideal height, and the pedals were positioned for optimal heel-toe shifting.
"A manual transmission in a sports car is always the purist driver's choice — and to meet their expectations the manual F-Type had to offer a completely engaging driving experience," said Mike Cross, Jaguar’s chief engineer for vehicle integrity, in a release.
While we will see the official debut of the 2016 Jaguar F-Type at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, the new model will hit showroom floors in spring of 2015. Pricing will be announced at a later date.