The Jaguar brand director introduced the F-type in Paris against the backdrop of an E-type. Not good. Shows it is impossible to make any car as graceful ever again. Good proportions are incompatible with regulation bumper heights, crush zones, and using as much of an existing platform as you can. Beside an E the F is dumpy and blunt.
I’m sure it will be great to drive, but it is probably just as well I don’t have 55K spare to replace my ageing BMW. I would save myself 10K and buy a Porsche Boxster.
The basic V6 F-type will start at £55,000. The V8 much more. But a 3.4 Boxster S is £45,384 and weighs 1655kg (3648lb). A lot of the Jaguar is aluminium, like the V8 XK at 1635kg (3604.5lb), so they have taken 35cm off the length and 13cm from the wheelbase to lighten it a bit yet it is still 10cm longer than the Porsche. The F-type will have, “A joystick-shaped SportShift selector controlling the eight-speed transmission.” No manual. Porsche at least gives the option, with a six-speed stick shift appropriate for a sports car. There will be three F-types. One a supercharged 3litre V6 with either 340PS or 380PS, and one 5litre supercharged producing 495PS, which will reach 60mph in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 186mph.
The ordinary 2.7 Boxster is only £37,589, like the bargain basement E-type half a century ago. You used to wonder how Jaguar did it at the price. Now Porsche is the price winner since they have started producing Boxsters in the VW plant at Osnabrück in Lower Saxony. It made the 914 from 1969 to 1976 and 968 from 1991 to 1994, so it knows what it is doing. Osnabrück made the rear end and side components for Stuttgart Boxsters.
So like the cherished E-type, the Boxster has the style and charisma of a classic. Do not sneer at retro - it looks like quite a lot of small splendid mid-engined 20th century Porsche racers and I would love one. Lana Del Rey (above) can sing Burning Desire to the VIP audience at the Musée Rodin in Paris all she likes, but it won’t bring back the exquisite perfection of the E-type.
You can only get perfection in concepts, like Jaguar’s studies of E-type replacements of a dozen years ago. See Dove Publishing's ebook, JAGUAR.