Worth the F-ing wait

After some 40 years Jaguar finally delivers the follow-up to the E-Type, and the result is drop-dead gorgeous, says Danny Cobbs

Ever since the last E-Type rolled off the production in 1974, Jaguar has promised something which would be equally as iconic and as breathtakingly beautiful.

Well, it’s taken the best part of four decades, and a few false starts – namely the XJS, the XJ220 and the current XK – but they’ve finally delivered something which is truly a worthy successor. So without further ado, please step forward the new F-Type.

It’s been designed by Ian Cullam, who not only penned such cars as the Aston Martin DB7 and Vanquish, but can also take credit for steering Jaguar away from an image which only appealed to retired admirals living in Worthing.

Quite brilliantly, what Callum has done with the F-Type is to capture the very ethos of the E-Type – a drop-dead gorgeous, rear-wheel drive, two-seater, roadster – and packaged it up in what will surely be regarded as one of most seminal pieces of automotive design, ever.

927949_AWD-R-Glacier-White_10-cutThe F-Type isn’t one of those cars which hangs its hat on the retro hook; it owns its 21st century architecture while still nodding graciously to its heritage.

The real genius, however, is actually more than skin deep; it’s the way it performs. Even the entry-level V6, which costs £58,500, presents itself with achingly well-judged driving dynamics.

Opt for the V6 S, and not only does the power increase from 336bhp to 375bhp, with the 0-60mph time falling from 5.2 seconds to an impressive 4.9 seconds, but the steering, chassis, suspension and brakes have been tuned to deliver even sharper responses.

And, if the inner-hooligan needs to be appeased further, the exhaust note can be heightened by the touch of a dashboard mounted button to produce a roar which is nothing short of intoxicating.

The F-Type has faults; the boot space is minimal and the ride isn’t that forgiving, but as an overall package, in the very essence of a true two-seater sports car, it stands head-and-shoulders above any of its market rivals.