“2018 Jaguar F-Type Convertible”
Looking for an entry level Jaguar droptop?
The launch of the 2014 Jaguar F-Type heralded the marque’s return to a classic, two seat convertible sports car – something that had been missing from the iconic British manufacturer’s model lineup since the legendary XKE. The F-Type represented the rebirth of a seriously sexy sports roadster for two, with performance to spare. Not since the legendary XK 120, XK 140, XK 150 and XKE-type had Jaguar produced a true sports roadster for the avid driving enthusiast. Okay, we’ll admit that Jaguar currently produces a luxurious and highly desirable stable of vehicles, but certainly nothing more alluring and capable than the Jaguar F-Type, and the iconic marque offers both a coupe and convertible configuration.
The focus here is on the 2018 Jaguar F-Type Convertible base model, although the Jaguar open air lineup actually consists of 5 different models: The Entry level base F-Type; an R-Dynamic F-Type, the 400 Sport Convertible F-Type; and R convertible F-Type and the Crème de’ la Crème SVR convertible F-Type.
There are three powertrains – the base F-Type convertible draws its motive force from a 2.0-liter Turbocharged four-cylinder mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that gears energy to the rear wheels, producing 296 horsepower along with 295 pound feet of torque. Next up is a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that pumps out 340 horses, while boosting the torque level to 332 and mates to either a 6-speed manual or the 8-speed automatic. A more powerful supercharged V6 is also available that delivers an additional 20 horsepower along with an increase in torque of 7 pound feet, mating only to an automatic gearbox The SVR F-Type is powered by a 5.0-liter supercharged V8, which cranks out 575 horsepower and develops 516 pound feet of torque while delivering power to all four wheels via an automatic transmission. All engines are mounted forward in a longitudinal position.
All F-Type models are equipped with an Intelligent Stop/Start system to enhance fuel economy under certain driving conditions. The lightweight body structure is attributable to the extensive use of highly formable AC170 aluminum.
In terms of its visual appeal, the Jaguar F-Type is seductive from every angle, in either coupe or convertible form, continuing Jaguar’s sporting bloodline that reaches back more than 75 years. According to Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Design Director, the F-Type is as exciting to the senses as the iconic C-Types, D-Types and XK-Types were, and for that matter, still are. The new F-Type displays a sophisticated glamour and beauty in a design that is destined to stand with its predecessors as a sought after, collectible classic sports car. It exhibits a near perfect proportion and stance, with a long bonnet (hood), a rearward-positioned cabin, and a short rear deck and overhang. The F-Type more than satisfies Jaguar founder, Sir William Lyons’ edict that “All Jaguars have to look fast, even when they are standing still”.
In profile, a rising light catcher or character line reinforces the fuselage or body section, running from the front diffuser to the rear, with a “coke-bottle” curvature from the shoulder to the rocker, as well as in the overhead form with a tapering tail section. Up front, the sculpted, clamshell hood features a central power bulge and functional, slotted vents, blended with powerful fenders that appear to be “shrink-wrapped” over the car’s mechanical form. The projector-beam headlamps appear appropriately as cat-eyes, just above and outboard of the large main grille, which sports a piano black, horizontal bar ahead of its mesh inset. The grille is flanked by twin air inlets that sit above a lower grille and front splitter.
The car’s rear view emphasizes its width, with narrow, distinctive horizontal LED taillamps and broad diffuser that houses the exhaust outlets. There is a deployable rear spoiler that operates automatically or manually. The F-Type convertible is equally attractive with the top up or down. The top, incidentally, is a “Z”-fold unit that operates in either direction in 12 seconds at up to 30 mph. Exterior door handles pop out, activated by touch or fob and retract to a flush position when the car is in motion.
Moving to the inside, the 1+1 cockpit is unashamedly driver-focused in terms of controls and switchgear positioning. The dashboard is low, and provides optimum visibility. A deployable center vent atop the dash disappears from view along with control icons with the ignition off. The purposeful, bronze accented toggle switches below the three dual purpose rotary knobs, and paddle shifters along with the substantial three-spoke steering wheel blend contributing to the sporty persona of the F-Type that is not unlike the feel of a jet fighter cockpit.
My most recent Jaguar experience came in the base model 2018 Jaguar F-Type Convertible. The exterior wore an Indus Silver metallic finish, while the interior was executed in Ebony. The base price was set at $63,000., while extras such as the Climate Package1, metallic paint, Keyless Entry, Blind Spot Monitor and Reverse Traffic Detection, Homelink Garage Door Opener, Auto High Beam Assist, Auto-dimming door mirrors, Wheel lock pack, Car Care Kit and Destination and Delivery charge, increased the final total to $67,793.
SUMMARY: In a simple analysis, the 2018 Jaguar F-Type Convertible serves up the same emotional design quality as its more expensive stable mates, but it is affordable in relative terms coming in at nearly half the cost of the SVR F-Type example. The technology level is more than satisfactory, and seats are supportive and comfortable as well.
Acceleration is considerably more than adequate and braking is equally impressive. The ride quality and stability renders the car solid and planted, but without any sensation of harshness. The steering input delivers an on-center feel, with instantaneous response. In fact, every response from the steering to transmission shift points, throttle response, braking and suspension has been finely tuned to deliver the most connected, accurate and involved driving experience possible for a turbocharged 4-banger powered ragtop.
The driver’s environment is emphasized through an asymmetrical cabin layout with all the controls placed naturally to hand and logically grouped, allowing for maximum attention on the driving experience. A grab handle sweeps down the center console on the passenger side, delineating it from the driver’s position and wrapping around the center console.
Virtually everything about the Jaguar F-Type stirs ones senses and emotions. It is definitely deserving of being categorized as a performance luxury sports roadster. It’s obviously not in the same league as the SVR F-Type, but think of what all the money saved can buy. In any case, the F-Type plays a significant role in Jaguar’s return to providing the world with a highly desirable and genuine sports car, and now one that is truly affordable.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Jaguar F-Type Convertible
Base Price: $63,000.
Price as Tested: $67,793.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter, turbocharged, 4-cylinder
Horsepower (bhp): 296 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 295 @ 1,500-4,500 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Rear Wheel Drive.
Suspension: Front – All-aluminum Double wishbone with adaptive damping and stabilizer bar.
Rear – All-aluminum Double wishbone with adaptive damping and stabilizer bar.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with ABS, EBD and Emergency Brake Assist.
Tires: ContinentalContactSport – 245/45 R19 W–front / 275/40 R18 W – rear mounted on 5-“stylized-V-spoke style 1036 alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 103.2 inches
Length Overall: 176.0 inches
Width: 80.0 inches – 74.2” with mirrors folded
Height: 51.5 inches
Curb Weight: 3,405 lbs.
Turning Circle: 35.1 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 18.49 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 23 mpg city / 30 mpg highway / 26 combined
Drag Coefficient: Not listed, but very slippery.
0 – 60 mph: 5.4 seconds – Top speed 155 mph
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.