Jaguar F-type review – engine, gearbox and technical highlights

Both V8 and four-cylinder options are connected to an eight-speed auto, but only the V8 feels right for the package

Evo rating
  • Dramatic design looks better than ever; not a 911
  • Powertrains can feel hamfisted and clunky; steering feedback

The new Jaguar F-type has reduced its engine range dramatically compared to its predecessor, removing the supercharged V6 engine wholesale from the range. This was done due to its failure to meet modern emissions regulations, and has left a chasm in the range between the entry-level 2-litre turbo four and the supercharged V8 in terms of cubic capacity. 

The basic P300 utilises the same Ingenium four-cylinder petrol engine as found across the JLR range. It’s paired exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive and produces 297bhp, with a peak 295lb ft of torque available from just 1500rpm.

The Ingenium engine is not a particularly performance oriented powertrain in other JLR models and it feels little different here, lacking the enthusiasm or flexibility of top-drawer sporting four-cylinder engines found in rivals from Alpine or AMG.

P450 and P575 models both share the same AJ-V8 Gen 3 5-litre supercharged V8 that’s been used consistently within the JLR range since the original XF-R. It’s available in two states of tune, the first a new 444bhp output that’s the lowest figure in any V8 F-type so far (and is paired with the Ford Mustang GT as the least powerful V8 on sale in the UK). While this sounds like a criticism, the V8’s torque figure is still a generous 428lb ft between 2500-4500rpm, making it feel nicely understressed.  

This gives the powertrain a relaxed gait, and while it lacks the top-end fireworks of the R, it does suit the GT aspect of the F-type. Not only this, but compared to mostly six-cylinder rivals, the V8’s baritone exhaust note is also highly satisfying.

It’s the R’s 567bhp variant that makes all the noise though, both figuratively and literally. It does so by ditching the previous R’s 542bhp version in favour of the unit found in the old notoriously expensive SVR model. 

As well as its new power figure, the R also picks up new springs and dampers, while both the R and its new P450 sibling get stiffer rear knuckles, tighter bushings and uprated wheel bearings. All new F-types have steering set-ups individually calibrated to their application, with different weighting and even steering ratios.

Otherwise, it’s as per the previous F-type, with double wishbones all round, electronically adjustable dampers and a kerb weight that’s curiously heavy for something with so much aluminium in its construction. At a quoted 1743kg, this is over 100kg more than a 911 Carrera 4S.

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