2016 Jaguar F-Type Review

Having sex is still better than driving the Jaguar F-Type, but the gap between them is narrower than ever.

Starting with the 2016 model year, Jag’s meanest machine – the F-Type R Coupe – is available exclusively with all-wheel drive. Ditto the convertible, which is only available in “R” form rather than the “S.”

The question is whether eliminating the rear-wheel drive V8 model was really a good decision. Traditionally, all-wheel drive tends to be less “emotional” than rear-wheel drive. In much the same spirit, the F-Type is probably the most evocative car in its price bracket. So did Jaguar just neuter itself?

To be curt, the answer is “no.” This car has bigger balls than it ever did before and the added grip that comes with all-wheel drive makes them much easier to use.

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What’s New? 2016 Jaguar F-Type Review

Starting in 2016 the V8 F-Type is only available in all-wheel drive form instead of the rear-wheel drive model available through the 2015 model year. V6 models are also available with new-found year-round drivability, but you can still have either the V6 or V6 S with rear-wheel drive.

Now that the rump of its model mix is on sale, Jaguar is also offering the six-cylinder models with a manual transmission. The eight-speed automatic is still available on every powertrain combination.

The V8 model makes 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque while the V6 and V6 S create 340 and 380 hp respectively. The V6 numbers haven’t changed, but that means the V8 convertible is significantly more powerful than its model year predecessor.

You really don’t need to buy the V8 to get a sense of what it feels like to experience it. Just bury your face in a pillow and scream engine noises at the top of your lungs. Now you know…

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Not So Fast… 2016 Jaguar F-Type Review

Or at least that’s partially true, because the V8 F-Type is capable of much more than hard acceleration. It can also change direction quicker than ever before. Corner turn-in is alarmingly immediate and the front end is tangibly adept at maintaining grip. This is the F-Type Jaguar should have built from the start; it’s that good. By default the system sends 100 percent of its power rearward, but up to half of that can divert to the front axle to claw out of a corner.

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Jaguar also replaced the hydraulic steering with an electric power assistance system and if anything was lost in the process, I can’t feel it. Steering weight adjusts on the fly to be effortless at parking lot pace and comfortably heavy at scofflaw speeds.

Yes it’s only available with an automatic, but make no mistake; this is a serious track machine. It’s available with carbon ceramic brakes, an adaptive suspension and an exhaust note that might as well be an audible middle finger to everything nearby. It’s loud, it’s unapologetic and it never wants to stop pulling.

Better still, the all-wheel drive system makes a car like this totally approachable and for $129,000 it really should be. Shouldn’t it?

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Probably, but it gets even better because this thing comes with a five-year 60,000 mile warranty with five years of free scheduled maintenance. The best part is that you don’t need to spend over 100K to get one worth owning.

The least expensive F-Type starts just under $66,000, but the V6 S is really the model to get. It starts at just over $78 grand and for the extra 12 G’s, Jaguar checks the “must-haves.” The package includes a more powerful engine, an adaptive suspension, a limited slip differential, a variable exhaust system and sport seats among other standard features.

Jaguar, says they’re going after the Porsche 911 with this car and to a certain extent that makes sense.

The V8 makes about as much power as a 911 Turbo and this car lines up pretty closely with the Carrera, but they really aren’t the same car. The base 911 is about 450 lbs lighter than the V6 S and honestly Porsche builds a better interior.

A Balanced Lifestyle Choice 2016 Jaguar F-Type Review

Then again, the weight distribution in the V6 model is just about pitch-perfect. Does it stack up to the 911? I’m not sure. What I am certain of is that the F-Type was fun before, but now it’s fantastic.

Shift throws with the new manual are short and the action between gears is smooth. The pedals are well placed for easy heel-toe downshifting throttle response from the supercharged V6 is immediate and predictable. Similarly, throttle tip-in feels good because the blown engine responds in much the same way that a naturally aspirated powerplant does.

But even if you don’t buy the manual ­– and the truth is that most people won’t – this is still a very compelling car.

It isn’t inexpensive, but the degree of style that Jaguar bakes into the F-Type is hard to hate. The body commands just as much attention now as it did on day one and the interior is attractive if not quite as posh as the cars it rivals.

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The Verdict: 2016 Jaguar F-Type Review

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the F-Type is a pleasure to drive. What’s startling about this car is how much better the 2016 model year enhancements make it.

  • Jim Mc Cool

    The good just got better.

  • Hhotelconsult

    WHERE IS THE MANUAL? I am absolutely desperate for this release. LOL Excited!

  • Mark S

    I know the Chris Harris’s of the world say V8 all the way, but the RWD V6 S with manual would be my choice. How was the clutch – heavy or light, long or short travel?

  • Bobo Spinks

    Who cares? Only effeminate men and masculine women are clamoring for a manual. The auto rocks way better.

  • TR64ever

    Love my 2015 V6S coupe. Most fun I’ve ever had with my clothing on. Automatic is FASTER than the manual, dynamic launch control is insane fun…

  • Mark S

    Color me green with envy automatic or manual. Does it have the sports exhaust?

  • TR64ever

    Switchable sports exhaust. I leave it in quiet mode around my hometown.

    Ordered the vision pack too so I could park safely, headlights that rotate into the turn come as part of the package. Added fun is turning on the rear camera at night when it is cold and dark: rear twin exhausts look like afterburners. Another one of the many ways you can terrorize your passenger.

    Car loafs around in Drive. Then you flip the switch for Dynamic and it’s an angry cat. S worth the extra 12g.

  • Mark S

    That exhaust sounds very cool on the videos. The two central exhausts look very good as well.