Sports cars tend to age at a slower rate than more mainstream models, a point reinforced by how fresh the Jaguar F-type still looks after six years. But now the British roadster and coupe are set to gain an edgy new look for 2021, together with a modest package of mechanical revisions.
Whether you approve of the F-type’s revised front end will be largely down to subjective preference, with the original car’s headlights replaced by narrower units that are mounted much lower and which now sit beneath a redesigned hood. The overall effect is reminiscent of the look of the Audi R8, and makes the front of the car look considerably wider than before. The new headlights incorporate four separate LED units as well as LED running lights beneath. The front bumper has also gained deeper lower side intakes.
Other changes are more subtle. The vents set into the front fenders now incorporate the Jaguar "leaper" logo, and at the rear the 2021 F-type gains reshaped tail lights that have apparently been inspired by those of the Jaguar I-Pace EV. The rear bumper has also been redesigned, with the license plate recess gaining a more rakish angle. As before, four-cylinder cars will have a single central exhaust tailpipe, while those powered by a V-8 will have a pair at each side.
Inside the F-type has gained a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster that's also capable of showing navigation data. There is also a larger 10.0-inch touchscreen in the center of the dashboard, with the expansion having removed the line of buttons that were previously located to its right. This drives an updated version of JLR InControl Pro infotainment software, although the F-type is spared the sometimes confusing twin-screen arrangement of other models and still uses conventional climate controls.
Mechanical changes see a simplification of powertrain options. Now the choice is between the 296-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the 380-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 for R-Dynamic models, and the 575-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 for R models. The lower-power 340-hp version of the V-6 is no longer available, and the V-8, which previously made 550 hp in the F-type R, now matches the power output formerly only available in the more exclusive SVR, which has now been dropped.
The option of a manual gearbox died in the States last year and hasn’t returned with the revised car. All versions of the 2021 F-type get an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard, and Jaguar says it benefits from quicker shifts. The 2.0-liter engine will be exclusively offered with rear-wheel drive while the V-6 and V-8 cars will be exclusively available with all-wheel drive.
Jaguar claims a 5.4 second zero-to-60-mph time for the 2.0-liter and a 3.5-second time for the R. Oh, and the V-8s will now be available with what is described as a “quiet start” function meaning a less anti-social exhaust soundtrack under gentle use. Which should cut down on the number of complaints F-type owners have faced from their HOAs.
Other mechanical changes include new springs and sway bars and revised adaptive dampers. Rear suspension knuckles are now aluminum castings and wheel bearings have been upgraded to improve stiffness. The carbon-ceramic brakes previously offered on the F-type SVR are now an option on the F-type R.
While none of the revisions have addressed the F-type’s tight-fitting cabin or comically tiny trunk, they have freshened the proposition of what remains a hugely attractive sports car. We don’t have U.S. pricing or on-sale dates yet, but will share them as soon as we get them.
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