Just when you thought beautiful car design didn't exist anymore, the Jaguar F-Type bowed in 2013 and changed everything. Sure, there are plenty of good looking cars out there, but the F-Type transcends them with muscularity and proportions that defy just about any mainstream sports car made today, even the Porsche 911. For 2021, the leaping cat brand decided to make some changes without altering the shape that's made the F-Type so special, especially in hardtop coupe form.
The first things we noticed were the slimmer headlights and the wider grille, which both make the nose appear lower. The intakes have also been reshaped for a sleeker-looking front end. The hood is new with deeper inset creases and vents. The taillights of the new F-Type have also been slightly altered without drastically changing the original shape. Instead of the circular shaped cutouts at the base, they're now a bit more angular like the “Chicane” versions on the I-Pace crossover.
Not much has changed in the way of engines. There's still the base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (296 hp), the supercharged V6 (380 hp) but no more 340 hp V6. The R gets the powerful V8 that now has the same power as the SVR (Special Vehicle Operations) to the tune of 575 hp. That's 25 more horses than last year's version. Expect great performance from both the V6 and the V8, while the turbo four will still be good but considerably less thrilling to drive than its more potent brethren.
The changes are more than just some design tweaks and a small power bump for the top engine. Jaguar has also improved the car's handling with new springs and anti-roll bars. The F-Type's ride comfort at low speeds and control at high speeds have gotten better, as a result. Steering should also be improved, though it was already quite good, to begin with. Jaguar also retuned the torque-vectoring system by braking to help manage understeer where the back end wants to kick out in hard turns. The new Pirelli tires are also 10mm wider.
As much as we dislike the touchscreen looks, controls, and responsiveness in Jaguars today, at least the updated F-Type gets a new 10-inch center touchscreen. We're not sure how we feel about the new digital instrument cluster replacing the classic analog gauges, but at least it's a big 12.3-inch unit. The whole interior look and feel are commensurate with the F-Type's ethos, but we just don't like the presence of a touchscreen that's not as good as BMW, Audi, or Mercedes. The brand needs to work on this. The rest of the cabin is sporty and sophisticated, and it's one of Jaguar's better interiors.
Now that legendary designer Ian Callum has retired, the Jaguar design responsibilities fall to Adam Hatton, who stated, “F-Type has always had great proportions and stance, and our latest design is all about enhancing those key Jaguar values. Our aim was to make the car more contemporary, more purposeful, and even more dramatic.” We think they pulled it off nicely. It's too early for pricing information or a release date, but we're sure it'll cost a bit more than the 2019 model and will go on sale later next year.