The demand for the Jaguar F-Type convertible for has been so far phenomenal. Jaguar’s global brand director Adrian Hallmark disclosed that “half of the first year's production of the F-Type is already sold." He added that customers who order the two-seat sports car now “will be lucky to get one” by the end of 2013. Hallmark noted that the while sports cars have a global annual volume of around 75,000 units and a market share of 0.1 percent, F-Type will provide Jaguar a phenomenal boost to its brand image.
The F-Type is expected to account for 15 percent to 20 percent of Jaguar’s total annual output, which is pegged at around 60,000 units. Its starting price of EUR73,400 places it between the Porsche Boxster and 911 Carrera convertible.
Jaguar product manager Steven de Ploey expects around 90 percent of F-Type customers to be new to the brand since the two-seat sports car has no direct predecessor. He added that the F-Type it will help entice younger customers to the brand.
Jaguar will market the F-Type mainly in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover global operations manager, said that the carmaker is also eyeing to market the F-type in China, where "the average millionaire is 38 years old and likes to show wealth."
The F-Type could be availed in three gasoline engine options: a 3.0-liter V-6 with 340 hp or 380 hp; and a 5.0-lter V-8 with 495 hp. Paired with ZF Friedrichshafen's eight-speed automatic transmission. The engines are all supercharged and features start-stop system.
Ian Callum, Director of Design at Jaguar, quipped that every dimensional aspect of a sports car is what allows them to create a car that is visually exciting. He defined sports car design as purposeful while wrapping up both its occupants and mechanicals in the most exciting and beautiful package possible, sans any unnecessary decoration or surfaces.
Callum noted that a piece of design tells a story, which is why every line in the new F-Type has a start and a direction as well as a conclusion. He added that by approaching each line individually and getting it as visually appealing as possible while getting the dimensions right, it would stand the test of time.
Since the headlights of the new F-Type flow vertically, they lead the eye up and along the fender crease. Moreover, employing new technologies has allowed Jaguar to create the design DNA of the new F-Type. For instance, each headlamp of the F-Type only has one projector as it employs a compact xenon unit. Furthermore, the LED running lights – in J-Blade form – help underscore the design of the heartline flowing through the lamp.
Meanwhile, Jaguar designed the grille so it leans a bit forward, thereby creating a sense of motion even when the F-Type is at a standstill. The top of the side vent is formed by the lower edge of the clamshell bonnet. In addition, the hexagonal mesh in the grille and side vents lends the F-Type a greater sense of form and depth.
The design purity of the new F-Type is further emphasized by its hidden door handles. When not in use, these handles are concealed and remain flush with the door panel. They automatically deploy once the driver unlocks the F-Type with the key fob or tap a touch-sensitive area of the handle. Once deployed, the handles provide a mechanical "handshake," seemingly inviting the driver or the passenger to enter the F-Type. These handles conceal themselves once again as soon the F-Type starts moving.