Somehow this may be an even better proposition than the supercharged models.
Whether or not it’s a ploy for Jaguar to sell more of the relatively aged (but still iconic in terms of looks) seven year-old F-Type before a new model takes its place, the new four-cylinder F-Type is an enticing proposition. It both drops the price of the F-Pace to levels more easily afforded by entry-level sports car customers and adds a new dynamic option to the range. Thankfully Automobile Magazine has compiled a list of features that distinguish this F-Type from its more powerful family members.
Most apparent is the replacement of the F-Type’s powerful and sweet-sounding V6 and V8 engines with what sounds like, at least on paper, an unattractive offer. A turbocharged inline-four engine may not be at the top of every gearhead’s wishlist, but when considering that it still makes an impressive 296 horsepower with only 2.0-liters of displacement, curiosity begins to pique. While it has a 39 horsepower deficit against its supercharged V6 counterpart, the turbocharged four cylinder releases an extra 124 pounds of mass from the F-Type frame. Better still is that all of this weight is stripped from an object sitting overt the front axle, meaning better turn-in and a more dynamic drive. For the corners, there is now no other F-Type that’s more enjoyable.
Though it’s similar, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the F-Type is not the same as the one the base Jaguar XE. Instead, Jaguar added ceramic roller bearings and chose a turbocharger of the twin-scroll variety in order to cut down on lag. Even with the added cornering ability, Jaguar didn't think things through too well because it struck the six-speed manual from the options list and made the 8-speed automatic the only option. Okay, to be fair this was done because not enough people are buying manuals and was not a decision made out of malice, but we can rest easy knowing Jaguar opted for the rear-wheel drive only orientation (sorry if you live somewhere where you need AWD).
Badges aside, the easiest way to spot the 2.0-liter F-Type over its more powerful brothers is by looking at the exhaust pipes. The four-cylinder has a single oval exhaust unit in the center of the rear bumper as opposed to twin pipe units used on larger engines. Luckily the F-Type also receives the minor changes made to all 2018 models, including new front bumpers, LED headlamps that replace the bi-xenon units, darker tail lamps, and thinner seats that save nearly 20 pounds and add legroom. And though the F-Type is approaching its retirement years, it’s age only shows in the hardware because the sports car is without a doubt one of the most timeless modern car designs roaming our roads.