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Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar F-Type Published: 10th Oct 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Fast Facts

  • Best model: V6S
  • Worst model: V6
  • Budget buy: Early cars
  • OK for unleaded?: A cat means unleaded only
  • Will it fit in the garage? (mm): L4482xW2042mm
  • Spares situation: It’s still produced
  • DIY ease?: Not on your nelly…
  • Club support: Excellent
  • Appreciating asset?: Not any time soon
  • Good buy or good-bye?: A super cat but not a classic
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Long-awaited replacement of that iconic legend with a similar albeit modernised character. Huge depreciation means incredible value for money right now but despite their youth you need to take great care when buying

At long last, after virtually 40 years and several false dawns, E-type lovers finally got the badge, if not perhaps the sports car, that they waited for: the F-Type. Launched in 2013 to an eager, expecting audience, the F-Type replaced the grossly under estimated XK as a more focused sports car with the looks Jaguar lovers longed for. Fast forward six years and the F-Type is a modern sports car bargain. Costing 60 grand when new, you now buy one easily for less than half the original showroom price and, what’s more, experts predict that values won’t tumble much further so now’s a good time to say the F word.


2013 X152, better known as F-Type, was launched relying on a modded shorter XK platform although its origins date back much earlier. The F-Type concept surfaced in 2000 as the first real successor to the E-type which morphed into the C-X16 concept a decade later. The roadster was first launched using a supercharged Jaguar’s 3-litre V6 in base 340bhp tune or the more potent 370bhp V6S form plus adaptive suspension, better interior and a more melodic exhaust. This was promptly joined by the flagship 5-litre manic V8 which used a special electronic rather than mechanical limited slip differential to help harness the 481bhp. A special exhaust, opening a set of valves above 3000rpm (or permanently if you push a button), is standard on both S versions. Initially all cars came with an eight-speed automatic. The F-Type’s numerous party pieces included a concealed retractable rear wing and door handles, both extended on demand.

2014 The ante was upped on the V8 when the delectable coupé (with optional Panoramic roof) surfaced and the sportier S became the R signifying a riotous 535bhp (subsequently lifted to a whopping 567bhp on later models) but the fixedhead was also made in V6 guise. 2015 Something many will like, V6S gained a six-speed manual option while all-wheel drive filtered down this model as well.

2017 A mild facelift surfaced as did some specials such as the V8 AWD and the V6 400 Sport which apart from boasting 400bhp sported a ‘Super Performance’ brake set up. Biggest news however concerned the introduction of an entry level 2-litre four-cylinder, albeit, turbocharged engine as found in the XE saloons with a none too shabby 296bhp and 295lbft of torque on tap. It easily keeps station with the V6S to give Porsche’s Cayman something to think about despite being an auto only.

Driving and what the press thought

Does the F-Type live up to all the expectations? In the main yes. Based on the underrated excellent driving XK, the shorter, stumpier chassis gives the youngster more agility. Providing near ideal 50/50 weight distribution and light on its feet (with adaptive damping on the V6 S and V8 R), the F-Type has the poise and alertness of a classic cat; four-wheel drive adds astonishing grip and security into the mix.

All engines – and yes that includes the ‘four’ – give the car shattering pace. Every F-Type handsomely beats the E-type with one specialist rating the V6S the best all rounder because the V8 is simply too much for today’s roads and as a result, unless its AWD, will lead many intro trouble, he reckoned!.

“This is a multi-talented car, in other words, but it isn’t the leggy, laid-back coupé that XK owners might prefer it to be. Instead, it has a much sharper sporting edge. Too much edge for some, probably”, warned weekly Autocar.

“A Dynamic mode sharpens throttle response, adds steering weight, firms up the suspension and speeds up shifts on the remarkable new eight-speed box. Prefer a sharper throttle response but not added steering weight or harder dampers? Each parameter is individually confi gurable, too,” explained Auto Express.

Not only is the V6 nearly as quick as the more powerful V8 but because it’s lighter, endows this cat with even more nimble handling as one levelheaded road test rightly deduced. In other words, don’t buy power you don’t want or need and this was even a view top Jaguar development engineer Mike Cross also held, preferring the V6S the best.

The stiffer Coupé may not possess the fabulous feline looks of the drophead but the drive is even better. According to Auto Express, “The Jaguar F-Type Coupé is dripping with desirability, and gives the Porsche 911 a run for its money” while rival Autocar reckoned that, “In R form the new F-Type stands out as one of the best pound-for-pound performance cars”. All the same, the F-Type didn’t quite set the world alight like the earlier lettered Jag but you have to remember that was in a bygone era that will never be repeated. As a tourer, the F-Type can disappoint thanks to poor interior space utilisation where the Frogeye Sprite – featured elsewhere in this issue – beats the roadster for usable storage (it’s more accommodating in the Coupé though-ed) and we hear that a number of former XK owners rue making the swap on this point alone.

“The Jaguar F-Type offers beefy old-school charm,” said Autocar but Top Gear magazine nailed it best. “The F-Type is fun to drive, sounds fantastic and looks amazing. Job done”.

Classic caring

Being an ultra modern there’s not a lot you can do at home, apart from an oil change and checks. It’s well worth doing the former at shorter intervals than Jaguar specify according to F-Type expert Tom Lenthall of Berkshire to ward off some problems certain high milers are now suffering from. For £100 in materials, it’s cheap insurance.

There’s no service history book as such, its all contained by the dealers. If you have the reg, any main agent should be able to print one out for you but not so many independents. It’s wise to keep an eye on the underside as there have been reports of signifi cant subframe corrosion on early cars, perhaps severe enough to see the car fail its annual MoT. Although none have been scrapped due to repairs, there are Jaguar breakers catering for F-Types, such as Eurojag, to contain costs while, being XK/XF based, there’s a choice of main dealer and OE quality aftermarket parts. Here’s one example; genuine front brake pads cost over £250 – OE quality ones from Mintex saves you £200!

Early F-Types have also been blighted by a concerning number of major recalls (fire, power steering and suspension issues and problematic seats). The Jaguar F-Type Owners’ Club and F-Type forums are good places to join and converse with other owners to see what they are experiencing.

Most of your fears will be allayed if you buy from a dealer because Jaguar’s Used Approved programme has been voted by What Car? as one of the best around thanks to an unlimited mileage two-year warranty with no limits to the number of claims. A two-year breakdown assistance is also thrown in although, naturally, it comes at a cost. However, a good independent Jaguar specialist should also provide a worthy warranty as well as a HPI check to confirm the car’s honesty.

When new, a three-year £1000 service plan, or a five-year scheme in the region of £1500 were options. Is one still active as these are expensive cats to keep purring? Likewise, the standard three year warranty can be extended for up to five years – a welcome bonus for any nearly new buyer but remember it’s not a classic so budget for insurance groups of 44-50 and road tax a few rounds at the pub shy of £600.


You’d think that an F-Type is deeply satisfying enough (see ‘I bought one’ box out as proof) but you can go further. As it’s XK-orientated similar upgrades apply. Paramount Performance has a cluster of go-faster, look better upgrades starting with induction and ECU remapping (£499 and £599 respectively), before looking at better exhaust systems, intercooler and charge systems (£995 each) and spin faster supercharger pulley cranks (good value from just £300).

Paramount Performance can also supply
home tuning options which are plug-in devices for customers to upload F-Type tuning files to their vehicle themselves for under £600. Ultimate is the 670bhp ‘Predator’ while V6s can BEE upped to 480bhp, costing a smidgen under £6000. Tom Lenthall sells the Milltek sports exhaust starting from £1900 and his own performance package consisting of a sports supercharger pulley, better air filters and an ECU chip upgrade, a fiver shy of £1400.

For improved handling there’s an uprated bush kit at £560 and lowered springs (30mm) for under £500 with the result that “cornering and road holding is improved – giving a much more meaningful and poised ride”. Poly bushing is doable but not all F-Type specialists are in universal favour here.

Styling starts with new open grille at £380 to the full Predator body kit at £1450 plus there’s an assortment of carbon fibre interior customs which includes remote activation of the hood, which costs £310.

Transmission troubles

Very few F-Types are manuals – plus it’s only for the V6S anyway – as the ZF autos are quite outstanding. Generally, there’s few issues and you can do a lot to retain their reliability, advises Lenthall, by changing the fluid regularly. He charges £125 for the gearbox. And that goes for the sealed-for -life-diff too, which is known for leaky seals. AWD models need the oil in the transfer box renewed every 50,000 miles tops.

Grace and pace

XK/XF derived, just the usual mileage-related checks apply to the dampers, springs, bushes, wishbones etc. A good F-Type should feel good and tight, if not then suspect worn dampers and compliance bushes, especially at the stern it’s reported. Rattly suspension drop links are also common but these cost less than £20 a go to replace. The scalded cat S and R models come with Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics system (a development of the original CATs system) that controls body movement, roll and pitch. Check that it’s doing its job on a test drive and if you don’t know what to check for it’s best to have an F-Type expert run the rule over any potential purchase. The brakes hold no issues apart from normal wear.

Values and specialist viewpoint

Scouring the usual sites throws a wide price spectrum, with the bottom line around £25,000, particularly if it’s a basic V6 in standard tune (there’s a choice of two), although the general plimsoll line floats around the £30,000+ level. Specs, optional extras, whether it’s AWD and even colours (Whites are now becoming unfashionable, not so grey, red and black) can have a significant affect on prices plus there appears to be notably more V6 models on the second-hand market than the rest.

Factory-trained Tom Lenthall of Berkshire is one of the UK’s leading F-Type specialists who has even raced them. Of the cat litter, he steers towards the V6S (with high spec) as he thinks the manic V8s are a bit over rated and without doubt over-powered for today’s roads.

The general standard of cars on the market is pretty good although Lenthall advises owners wanting them as occasional ‘fun cars’ to have them serviced more frequently than Jaguar stipulates if you wish to ward off future trouble. Another point worth mentioning – and it’s no slight on the F-Type, which he regards as a fantastic car – is that prospective buyers might like to sample the roomier XK which the F-Type replaced as the older car better for long distance touring and the more relaxing to drive.

Dominic De Grouchy of specialist Arun says he’s never been in an F-Type where the prospective customer didn’t buy the Jag after a test drive. With prices now stabilising, he always has a good stock which sell easily at over £30,000, but advises caution on anything much cheaper. De Grouchy agrees that the V6S in a strong colour and trim combination is the best buy although adds that the base 340bhp model is also a very good lower cost punt if you don’t need the extra performance.

The Sussex company reckons that rust problems are “over reported” and the Jaguar is very reliable if looked after and usually only wheel and tyres are required before they can be retailed with a six months’s warranty.

I’m never selling mine

Contributor and our auctions expert Ray Potter bought one of the first Roadsters to replace his Ferrari 246GT Dino and after six years has amassed just 13,500 miles in his V6S. He has experienced absolutely no problems at all with his car and still feels “It’s the best car I have ever had (including the Dino and a 355!) and I get a buzz with every drive. The V6S has all the performance I want or can cope with – and I was a racer for 35 years! However, it’s a wide car and keeping the alloy wheels unmarked is impossible! I still have it serviced by a Jaguar main dealer although I choose the minor ones instead of the full monty that require new plugs, filters and so on – after covering only a few hundred miles; I’ve had one major service so far. I am not worried about not having a full service history or the steep depreciation they are suffering as I ’aint going to sell it…”


What To Look For

Not such small details

The Roadster’s hood is a thing of wonder being a fabric affair with a special insulation giving a fixed head-level of refinement. Check its condition and that the electric operation does its job as there were some glitches reported in this department but the worst fault is blocked drainage channels allowing water to get into certain electrical systems. If you’re looking at an older car, check to see if the battery is original and if so either have it replaced as part of the deal (not cheap) or chip the price as a failing box of sparks is attributed to an assortment of electrical niggles. As you come to expect from a Jaguar, electronic gremlins plagued some of the early models and this included detached battery cables. As with all modern classics, see that the dash lights illuminate and extinguish accordingly and that all the toys work.

Are looks skin deep?

F-Types look fantastic but you have to take those rose-tinted specs off. Rust as such shouldn’t be a problem, although the paint marks easily – a common Jaguar trait. Look for crash repairs by gauging panel fit and paint discrepancies. Cast an eye over those lovely alloy wheels for inevitable kerbing.

The real worries lurk underneath where the rear subframe can corrode enough to concern a strict MoT Tester. Tom Lenthall says early cars are the worst and the components need to be removed and shotblasted and then powder coated, along with their brace bars, for better protection.

Growler gripes

Tom Lenthall reckons there’s trouble brewing here due to over long maintenance schedules where low annual miles spells contaminated oil not doing its job right – a caring owner would have the lubes changed irrespective of miles covered.

Already his workshop has seen worn bearings and cranks plus (mainly on V6s) oil pump failure but of the two it’s the V8 that’s the most troublesome because it suffers from the similar Jaguar V8 timing gear traits costing £2000 to fix. Noisy superchargers and tappets are common running faults as well. Coil packs and fuel pump problems are not unknown so check for full power.

Three Of A Kind

Aston Vantage
Aston Vantage
Vantage represented a complete departure from Aston’s norm, being a Porsche 911 rivalling hard core two-seater making the model, arguably, Aston’s First genuine sports car – both as a coupé and roadster. Jaguar V8-powered, albeit upped to 4.3-litre and 4.7-litres (2008) before the V12 took over a year later, all drive (and sound) as good as they look and prices are tempting but quality varies so buy with the utmost care.
Jaguar XK
Jaguar XK
Great to look at and to drive, it’s the closest Jaguar came to making a fitting successor to the E-type – before the F-Type. Ultimately not as sporty but the XK makes the better tourer due to a roomier cockpit. Pace isn’t lacking as even the base model punches 300bhp while the top XK-RS has 542bhp at its disposal. With values now ducking under ten grand, they are cheaper than an XK8 and so sensational value for money, but you get what you pay for.
These are the cars that Jaguar wanted to pounce upon, the 911 and the mid-engined Boxsterbased Cayman. Some are now looking at these mid-engined spin-offs not just for their affordability over the iconic 911 but because also they ‘feel’ and drive like a classic 911 into the bargain. A fuller buying guide on 911s can be found elsewhere in this issue.
Classic Motoring

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