Even the sportiest cars have to start somewhere, and for 2018 there’s a new starting point for Jaguar’s F-Type coupe and convertible in the form of a lower-priced base model that is the first to use a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder borrowed from more pedestrian members of the Jaguar family.
At the other end of the powertrain spectrum is the 400 Sport edition, powered by a re-tuned version of the 3.0L supercharged V6 carried over from previous years, but making 400 hp. This uprated model also benefits from bigger brakes and 20-inch wheels.
Other updates include standard LED headlights, InControl Touch Pro infotainment and lighter, slimline seats, in sport and performance configurations, in all trims, which Jag says cut nearly eight kg from the car’s curb weight. There’s also a new trim, dubbed R-Dynamic, and a GoPro ReRun app that lets the driver create video footage of his or her favourite drives and overlay it with vehicle performance data.
There are minor cosmetic changes too, including subtle updates to front bumper and air intakes, and new tail light clusters. Inside, Siena tan leather upholstery is available across the line, an option previously limited to the top-end SVR model, and there are new interior finishes on surfaces like the centre console, doors, air vents and steering wheel.
In the F-Type, the new four-cylinder feeds 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission, the only one available; you have to move up to one of two versions of the supercharged 3.0L V6 carried over from 2017 (340 hp/332 lb-ft or 380 hp/339 lb-ft) if you want to shift your own gears.
Also carried over is a 5.0L supercharged V8 that cranks out 550 hp/502 lb-ft in R trim and 575 hp/516 lb-ft in the SVR model.
The F-Type starts out with rear-wheel drive in four-cylinder form, can be optioned with AWD with the V6, and comes exclusively with four driven wheels when the V8 is specified.
At its introduction in 2014, the F-Type re-established Jaguar as a sports car manufacturer capable of building a car that spans performance categories: the addition of the new four-cylinder powertrain makes the base F-Type an even tougher competitor for Porsche’s 718 Boxster and Cayman models.
The new four-cylinder F-Type carries a starting price of $68,500, down $10,000 from last year’s entry tag. Meanwhile, the 400 Sport goes for $97,500. Jaguar has made nominal price cuts to other models, including the top-end SVR, whose new $142,500 bottom line represents a $2,500 discount over last year’s equivalent model.