The Jaguar F-Type made quite a splash when it first appeared in the first half of the decade. With an all new design language that was a visceral injection of freshness not only into the segment, but also into Jaguar itself, the F-Type rode on a massive rocket that shot it into the stratosphere of sales success (taking the bigger and aging XK convertible out of its misery in the process.) But like all good things, even this stylish feline is in need of a comprehensive update, and Jaguar has finally delivered the goods with the unveiling of the revamped 2021 Jaguar F-Type.
When it came time to update the canvas of the new F-Type, Jaguar stylists did not attack it with an army of erasers, photoshop tools, and a salvo of pens. Instead, they chose to adopt a finer touch, with a lighter theme that allows a lot of the basic silhouette to carry over unchanged. However, the finer elements of the design itself received a more extensive makeover with a larger front grille, an all new clamshell hood, and reworked side intakes driving home its mission in life. The taillights are also smoother, and while they may appear to be carried over from the previous generation, they are actually quite different, with the lights incorporating the same “Chicane” signature that is also seen in the all electric I-Pace EV. One encouraging development is that the V8 model’s quad exhaust tips resume their tour of duty here on the new model, and look just as good on this latest chapter of F-Type as they did on the outgoing model.
“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,” said Adam Hatton, Jaguar exterior design director.
As far as performance is concerned, Jaguar is keeping things as is, with the 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder and its 296 horsepower still serving as the base engine in the F-Type lineup. The delightful six speed manual transmission was sadly taken away back in 2020, and the eight speed automatic still remains the only transmission choice for the 2021 model too. The supercharged V6 is still available too, but the 380 horsepower tune is the only one available, with the default 340 horsepower setup being put out to pasture. This is obviously an attempt by Jaguar to try and vastly simplify the F-Type equipment lineup, and to remove any slow selling offerings (the manual transmission) or redundant engine choices (the axed 340 horsepower V6.) Jaguar claims that the V6 still sounds awesome, and the company even plans to continue offering the 5.0 liter supercharged V8 for 2021. Like the F-Type SVR, it makes 575 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, which is a modest gain over the outgoing ‘R” model. It also appears to set the bar for how high horsepower could go for a future SVR model assuming Jaguar plans to offer one (the company for its part has so far not commented on whether that is indeed the case or not.) In the meantime, expect the “R” to make the dash to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds before it reaches an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph.
However, the bulk of the changes for 2021 are found in the handling hardware, with Jaguar engineers making several key revisions that should please drivers of all skill levels. New springs and anti-roll bars help compliment the recalibrated continuously variable dampers, with Jaguar claiming that the revisions help create better levels of ride comfort, and improved high speed control when pushing the F-Type through its paces out on the track. Having been behind the wheel of a few F-Types ourselves over the years, we are very keen to see if the changes do indeed make a notable difference out on the track. On that note, both the electric power steering and the stability control system have also been recalibrated for more fun on twisty roads, while Jaguar revealed that the rear suspension knuckles are now lightweight aluminum die castings. When combined with the larger wheel bearings, and the revised upper ball joints, the company claims that camber and toe stiffness increase by 37 and 41 percent respectively. Lastly, the torque vectoring system has been reworked to reduce understeer, and Pirelli P-Zero tires also appear on the F-Type with the “R”s tires gaining an extra 10 mm of width.
But all of this performance would not amount to much of anything if the 2021 F-Type did not also come wrapped with the opulent luxury that has also become an iconic trademark of the brand. Most of the basic interior design remains largely intact, but observant occupants will notice that the technology on hand has taken a massive leap forward. The physical gauges have been replaced by a 12.3 inch digital display screen, while the infotainment system has been upgraded with a 10 inch unit that comes bundled with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Look for this system to be a welcome improvement for owners, especially those that remember some of the clunkier older systems that were first used on the F-type when it debuted. Two different seat designs are available, and like on the outgoing model, Jaguar will have an impressive suite of customization features and optional equipment available for buyers that want to make their ride stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Currently, Jaguar has not formally revealed when the 2021 Jaguar F-Type will go on sale to dealerships, nor the pricing ladder that will be on hand for the sleek two door. However, look for this particular information to be released within the next few months. The bulk of Jaguar’s press photos feature the coupe, but the company did confirm that a convertible version will also be joining the fold too. When the 2021 model does eventually makes its way to showrooms, the first few examples will be First Edition models that will arrive with trim exclusive exterior and interior styling elements to help it standout from its slightly more mainstream counterparts.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.