The Jaguar F-Type has been given a thorough refresh for the 2021 model year, and we’d like to begin by talking about its face. Quite a different look to before, no?
We’ve gotten used to barely perceptible facelifts in the current motoring climate, but the F-Type’s update goes far beyond the usual nip and tuck. There’s now a considerably wider front grille (how very 2019), and some delectably thin LED headlights.
We suspect the front end might split opinion, but at the rear, the changes are much less radical. The same basic shape is there, although the F-Type’s bum has received a fancy new set of light clusters with the ‘Chicane’ design feature first used on the I-Pace.
Under the bonnet with its fancy new vents, you can have either a 296bhp inline-four or a 5.0-litre supercharged V8. And that’s your lot. Yep, the 3.0-litre supercharged V6 has been unceremoniously kicked out of the range, taking with it the manual gearbox option - all 21MY F-Types will be available only with an eight-speed automatic.
Nicely making up for the loss of the V6 is a new 444bhp V8 option, which is available either in all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive with an electronically-controlled differential. This marks the return of the rear-drive V8 F-Type - such a thing hasn’t been available since the V8 S was killed off a few years back.
Whichever wheels are driven, performance is the same - 0-60mph takes 4.4 seconds, and the top speed is 177mph. The RWD-only inline-four manages the same in 5.4 seconds, topping out at 155mph.
For ultimate bragging rights, there’s the new, more powerful F-Type R, which matches the 567bhp output of the old SVR (which won’t be replaced, Jaguar confirmed to Car Throttle) and is as fast to 60mph. It completes the benchmark sprint in 3.5 seconds, going on to an electronically-limited top speed of 186mph.
The retention of the supercharged V8 is something of a surprise, as it has been rumoured that Jaguar Land Rover will source V8s from BMW in the future. This may still happen, as JLR’s contract with Ford to have the engine built in Bridgend is set to end in September 2020.
Although the engines - for now, at least - are all quite familiar, the double-wishbone chassis is littered with all sorts of new bits. There are fresh springs and anti-roll bars plus reworked adaptive dampers. The rear knuckles and upper ball joints have been redesigned, the electric power steering software has been recalibrated, and the wheel bearings are now bigger. Jaguar has even treated the F to some new, bespoke Pirelli P Zero tyres. Thorough.
Inside, there’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a ‘Touch Pro’ touchscreen infotainment system, and 12-way adjustable seats clad in fancy ‘Windsor’ leather. We’ll have ours in ‘Sienna Tan’, please.
Like what you see? The 2021 Jaguar F-Type is available to order now as either a coupe or convertible, with the range starting at £54,060.