Watch out, Mercedes and Porsche! Jaguar’s smallest car in more than a half-century – the F-Type -- will go on sale in the middle of 2013. Jaguar took inspiration from no less than the iconic E-Type roadster in the 1960s to create its first two-seat sports car in nearly four decades. Jaguar has decided to come back to producing sports cars after having concentrated on luxury sedans in the past decades.
Peter Schmidt, the managing director of Automotive Industry Data that’s based in Warwick, England, said that if the F-Type can match what the first E-Type accomplished for Jaguar then it will be a “huge boost.”
He warned that we shouldn’t expect miracles but that this move is a good one for the brand and its reputation. Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari said that the E-Type, which was launched at the 1961 Geneva auto show, is the “most beautiful car ever built."
In fact, the E-Type has become identified with London during the "Swinging Sixties." But then, it appears that India's Tata Motors had to buy Jaguar in 2008 for $2.5 billion before the return of a pure-bred sports model could be planned. Tata intends to invest $12 billion over five years to get a larger share of an upscale market that the German automakers presently dominate.
When Tata bought the Jaguar and Land Rover brands from Ford Motor Co., it decided to combine the two into a single unit. Jaguar is adamant that the F-Type isn’t just a marketing gimmick and that it’s expected to earn profits.
The F-Type is based on the C-X16 concept car that was first seen at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show. Spokesman Angus Fitton said that the F-Type is being groomed to be a “viable business proposition” so that it could pay for itself. At the same time, Jaguar realizes that the release of the F-Type will boost the brand’s image too.
Jaguar is famous for its two-seater convertible sports cars, which have core values that include performance, agility and driver involvement. These characteristics are what make up the new Jaguar F-Type, returning to its roots – 75 years of sporting bloodline – and joining some of the world’s most beautiful, exhilarating and desired sports cars. The new F-type joins the XK convertible and coupe models, providing a broader choice of Jaguar sports and GT models.
For its 2014 model, the F-Type is much lighter (with a starting weight of 3,521 pounds) but is more powerful – with a choice of 340, 389 and 495 horsepower versions – and with outstanding aerodynamics. These make up its pure sports car experience while incorporating true Jaguar luxury and sophistication.
The 2014 Jaguar F-Type is a true two-seat sports car as it is designed with a modern, lightweight soft top that is quite amazing because of its dual purpose – serving as its own tonneau cover when lowered. This feature provides both weight savings and improved packaging. It’s also a great contributor to the car’s improved agility due to a low center of gravity. Adjusting the top (raising and lowering) takes only 12 seconds at a speed of up to 30 mph. This soft top is made of multi-layer construction including a Thinsulate lining which optimizes thermal and sound-insulating properties.
Jaguars (both in the wild and in concrete jungles) are known for their graceful, muscular elegance. This element is also featured in the F-Type. Meanwhile, it now has a new and aggressive design language. Both its profile and top-down view are defined by two bold “heart line” strokes while the main “heart line” goes through the shark-like gills on either side of the grille.
The latter runs up the fender line, creating a sharp top crease, which is also a functionality feature as it “provides sight lines” helping the driver during cornering maneuvers. Moreover, this first heart line is emphasized by the headlamp design as it goes in between the eye and the front fender, continues along the door, and then gracefully disappears as it nears the rear of the car.