Automotive

Jaguar F-Type – the new "most beautiful car ever"?

Jaguar F-Type – the new "most ...
The Jaguar F-Type revealed
The Jaguar F-Type revealed
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The Jaguar F-Type revealed
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The Jaguar F-Type revealed
Jaguar announced the F-Type at the 2012 New York Auto Show
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Jaguar announced the F-Type at the 2012 New York Auto Show
Jaguar has shown a number of pictures of the F-Type, but most include camouflage
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Jaguar has shown a number of pictures of the F-Type, but most include camouflage
The F-Type takes inspiration from the E-Type and last year's C-X16 concept car
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The F-Type takes inspiration from the E-Type and last year's C-X16 concept car
The Jaguar F-Type is a RWD convertible
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The Jaguar F-Type is a RWD convertible
Jaguar will offer three V6 and V8 engine options
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Jaguar will offer three V6 and V8 engine options
Jaguar will reveal more details at the 2012 Paris Motor Show
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Jaguar will reveal more details at the 2012 Paris Motor Show
Point of reference: the Jaguar E-Type
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Point of reference: the Jaguar E-Type
Point of reference: the Jaguar E-Type
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Point of reference: the Jaguar E-Type

It's been a pretty big week in the auto world. We already got a glimpse of the successor to one legendary sports car. Now we have a look at a successor to an even more legendary and timeless car. Jaguar has revealed the all-new F-Type convertible, the spiritual successor to the E-Type born in the 1960s.

If 100 different people had to scour the history of automotive design to come up with their own top 10 lists of the purest, most beautiful car designs ever, you wouldn't be crazy to expect 100 lists with the Jaguar E-Type on them. And the it would probably be toward the top of each list more often than not.

If you think we're exaggerating, or injecting a little too much subjectivity, consider that Enzo Ferrari, the founder of a company famous the world over for beautiful car designs, was so overcome with the E-Type upon seeing it that he called it "the most beautiful car ever made." That quote rolled off Enzo's tongue in complete disregard to the fact that, if not a Jaguar, the title of "most beautiful car ever" would very likely belong in the hands of his very own company. In 2008, the Daily Telegraph agreed with Ferrari, ranking the E-Type number 1 on its list of "100 most beautiful cars" and explaining that the Jag received four times as many votes as the nearest competitor.

Point of reference: the Jaguar E-Type
Point of reference: the Jaguar E-Type

The E-Type may very well be the closest we'll ever have to an objective "most beautiful."

In framing the F-Type as a modern-day successor to the E-Type, Jaguar set itself up for both hype and scrutiny. The story isn't about a sporty, new Jaguar convertible; it's about how good the car looks and how well it reinterprets the E-Type's unforgettable curves.

The first chapter of that story is written today. The first photo of the unclothed F-Type has surfaced for the world to see. One photo isn't enough for a full comparison, but it does get the conversation started with both full frontal and diagonal-profile views of three F-Types.

We may not have been around to witness the unveiling of the E-Type, but we'd have to think there was a little more breath-stealing and drama than in the case of this F-Type. The car is definitely a slick roadster, and reminds us a little of a down-market Mercedes SLS AMG, but upon first look, it seems to lack the timeless 'it' factor of the E-Type entirely. It's a roadster, not THE roadster, and while Jaguar shouldn't have a problem moving them off the showroom floor, we don't think anyone will mistake it for the world's most beautiful car. It's styling is content to fall sleepily in line with Jaguar's current line-up, rather than standing out.

The F-Type takes inspiration from the E-Type and last year's C-X16 concept car
The F-Type takes inspiration from the E-Type and last year's C-X16 concept car

We would have loved to see Jaguar stay true to the smooth, flowing, uninterrupted look of the E-Type. Instead it busies things up with a broad front-end, a bunch of roughly cut air intakes and some sharp lines. Perhaps, it'll come together better when we see it from rear and profile angles, but for now, it just doesn't live up to the hype inherent in an E-Type successor. Then again, that's a pretty big balloon to fill, and most any car design would run out of breath long before finishing the job.

The F-Type will be offered as a rear-wheel-drive convertible. Buyers will have three engine options: 340-hp and 380-hp versions of Jaguar’s new supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and a new derivative of its supercharged 5.0-liter V8.

"Fundamentally, a great sports car is one you’ll look forward to driving because it’s fun, and the F-TYPE definitely delivers on that score," says Mike Cross, Jaguar's chief engineer for vehicle integrity. "We’ve worked hard to make sure that responses to steering, throttle and brakes are absolutely immediate, a task made far easier by the rigid aluminum structure at the car’s base."

That's about all Jaguar has to say for now. We'll have more details after next Thursday's Paris unveiling, including Jaguar's chance to explain, point for point, why the F-Type is indeed the E-Type reincarnated for a new generation. In the meantime, you can take an in-depth look at the E-Type and other notable predecessors in our original F-Type preview.

If you're more into hearing the engine than ogling the body, you should enjoy the video below. The F-Type wears black-and-white camo, but you can hear the purr of its engine and watch it carve up the track.

Source: Jaguar

F-TYPE: Speed and Handling

18 comments
Max Kennedy
Very nice but I'd still take the E-type any day!
Griffin
I'm going to have to go with Enzo. At least they didn't do some horrible "retro" version of the E. Why hasn't a manufacturer done a limited edition reproduction of a classic that has an interior/exterior that is indistinguishable from the original instead of just ANOTHER squared-off retro? I know many people re-power old cars with modern drivetrains all the time- how is it that no factory has produced one? Instead, most retros just look like cheap versions that went through the copy machine a few times too many.... Man, I'd be happy if they would just actually make more of those amazing concept cars that never get built! I CANNOT see this F-thing EVER even coming close favourably comparing with the E-Type Legend. Now, if you had told me that it was Kia's new sports car I MIGHT be impressed....
MikeFromHC
I was at a race in Stockton, California the first time I saw an E-jag. It was being driven around the track and allegedly there was a beauty queen in the passengers seat. Nobody saw her. I doubt the F will have the same impact.
BZD
I totally agree with Griffin. The F-type has nothing from the E-type not spiritually, not in looks and in fact the only thing I can find is that the naming is like how Jaguar did for a period back in the days of D-type and E-type. I think it is rather sad to see this desperate attempt from Jaguar to capitalize on the E-type history and then doing it with that rather mediocre car. A real spiritual successor to the E-type isn't to be found but the Eagle and Growler "replica" ones come close being modern in technology while having much of the original E-type style.
Rt1583
Entirely too much Aston Martin in the mix. If Jaguar wants to attempt to knock the E-type off its pedestal, they at least need to make the F-type distinctly Jaguar.
Tommo
"most beautiful car in the world"..? Looks way too much like a Honda S2000. Give me an Aston Martin DB9 any day..!
Rocky Stefano
Aston Martin? There is NO Aston Martin in that car.
Simon
Yep, they blew it. The one they touted about and thought about making just under 10 years ago was way better to look at than this
freedomsailor
UGLY Just what is the reason for all the new cars having that hugh and ugly maw with side gills. Seems most of the auto stylists graduated from the same class in "styling" school. I own 3 Jaguars. A SS 100, XK120 FHC and and E-Type flat floor. All three look better that this new disaster.
reholmes
How extraordinary success can mean certain downfall--the never to be equaled E-Type. Sorry, Jaguar, may as well close shop.