Alas, after a decade stalking straightaways, this cat’s nine lives seem all but numbered.
Jaguar’s purr-fect-ly stylish F-Type, debuted as an all-new two-seat soft-top convertible in the 2013 model year, adding a spicy hard-top variant in 2014. Its long hood and upward positioned side belt line create a vehicle ready to pounce at a moment’s notice with timeless cues. It’s aged distinctively while continuing to turn heads.
Jaguar announced in January of 2023 that the 2024 model year marks the end of the road for the flashy yet fun F-Type with special Anniversary Editions celebrating 75 years of Jaguar production.
Tata Motors Limited of India, currently Jaguar and Land Rover’s corporate parent, purchased the two very English namesakes from Ford Motor Co. in 2008 during the Blue Oval Company’s major renovation phase. Ford first took its controlling interest in the Jaguar/Land Rover pairing in 1989. In 2023, the British brands pivot to a new corporate identity: JRL in what a media release describes as embodying “elegance, modernity, and the company’s forward-thinking essence.”
Once, F-Type offered three engine opportunities: two V-6 variants and a muscled V-8. Only the V-8 survives for 2024 teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission and three remaining trims offering both convertible and hard-tops: the rear-wheel drive P450 R-Dynamic and two all-wheel drive 75th anniversary editions: F-Type P450 75 and maximum performance F-Type P575 R 75. The one-time ‘entry’ P450 is already history.
Expect minimal changes from 2023 with new exterior paint hues creating the biggest buzz. Our P575 R 75 Anniversary tester fashioned the newly added Giola green paint ($950) and a special flat matte black finish can be had for an extra $10,450. One-time options including blind-spot monitoring and dual climate controls now come standard.
The Supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 tunes slightly differently with the P450 R-Dynamic and F-Type P450 75 churning out 450 horses (thus the 450 signature) with the aptly named F-Type P575 R 75 cranking 575 horses. The once mighty but quietly fading V-8 faces a limited future as the auto sector pivots not only towards fuel-friendlier six and four- cylinder gas engines, but to a quickly evolving electrified path. For those hankering for an internal combustion V-8 fun-in-the-sun, drop-top with Jaguar badging, time’s running short.
When prowling the streets, all-wheel drive and Supercharging properties of the P575 R 75 pave the way for zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds. A large 18.5 fuel tank houses recommended premium fuel.
Both Turbocharged and Supercharged technologies qualify as force-induction systems, compressing highly oxygenated air into the engine and cylinders to hype horsepower. While similar sounding, the two differ from a technical standpoint. The F-Type’s Supercharger induces air flow mechanically via a belt connected directly to the crankshaft. Turbochargers, requiring a bit more hardware, repurpose super-heated, fast-traveling exhaust gases through a turbine (sometimes two) to spin a compressor.
Superchargers provide instant feedback delivering on-the-spot response when pressing pedal to the metal. From a performance standpoint, Superchargers rock. However, from an availability perspective, turbochargers remain more abundantly viable. Superchargers deplete fuel economy ratings while turbochargers enhance mile-per-gallon estimates.
Both engines include start/stop technology quieting the engine at prolonged stops, then instantly restarting once the right foot lifts from the brake pedal in part to conserve fuel. For those wishing to bypass this sometimes-intrusive tech (especially within the confines slow-going stop-and-go traffic) a deactivation button resides between the buckets within easy reach of both riders. Nearby within the same quad selection of buttons resides another choice enhancing the throttle exhaust note resulting in a deeper, supplemental audio tone.
The F-Type’s on road manners provides a composed experience when compared to a recently tested BMW M2 four-seater. While the track-ready M2 coupe pounds the pavement interacting with road imperfections, F-Type elegantly softens the blows.
Lighter-weight aluminum and structural alloys help F-Type keep weight in check. All-aluminum sports-tuned double wishbone front and rear suspension brace the four corners, front-rear weight distribution gets maximized. Circular wheel wells closely align with 20-inch wheels below.
Outback, quad outboard exhausts add an audio note of internal combustion throaty distinction. Our convertible variant showcased a long flat deck lid. A prominent lower air dam enjoys a rectangular shape sporting rounded edges and smaller, squarish flanks to each side topped by four inline bejeweled LED lights.
Starting price for our 2024 P575 R 75 convertible comes in at $115,000 (save $2,000 when ordering the hard-top version). Limited add-ons include a $2,550 full-extended interior leather upgrade, aforementioned exterior color perk ($950) and $100 carpeted floor mats bringing the bottom line to $119,875 including the $1,275 destination charge. The 2024 R-Dynamic P450 coupe comes in at about $80,000.
The power-operated soft-top with glass rear window and defogging abilities requires just one finger to operate with no manual latches with which to fumble or fiddle. The entire process takes less than 15 seconds according to the Smartphone stopwatch including lowering/raising side windows. A push of the power tab near the cup holders automatically releases the soft-cover from the upper window frame, sending the top rearward and folding ever-so-neatly into a narrow flank behind the seats. Best of all trunk volume (albeit tiny) remains unchanged with the top up or down.
Convertible trunk volume returns at 7.3 cubic feet of strangely contorted space with coupe variants almost doubling that number to 14.4 cubic feet.
Top up or down expect very rectangular and narrow sun visors with inboard mini mirrors matching the rectangular description. The windshield shares the narrow theme, adding prominence to the frameless rear-view mirror, interfering with conventional sightlines when peering right. As with most convertible designs, side blind spots come into play, but only with the top up. Enjoy clear views and breeze in the hair when down and stowed.
Our cozy two-person interior featured a tan/ebony color scheme and three distinct dashboard regions highlighted with attractive white stitching. The far-right passenger portion includes a prominent, smoothly curved leather swath with left corner chrome push button unlatching the glove box down below.
A sturdy, lower leather grab arm helps anchor the center region’s right side, beginning its journey atop the dashboard kissing the windshield, eventually connecting up to the center console forming a functional, attractive triangle handle for passengers. The lower center portion takes on a U formation, continuing up the driver’s right side minus the grab arm. The steering wheel and animated instrument panel serve as the third dashboard district.
Narrow horizontal air vents high atop the dash retract down and out of sight when the engine turns off, then pop up for duty when starting. These vents move in time with side view mirrors that retract out/in once the ignition activates/deactivates. Badging celebrating 75 years of Jaguar driving rates as subtle in nature, not in-your-face overt.
The center console’s automatic transmission’s tall standing grab handle fits perfectly into a vertically clinched right fist with the park command atop with push-button styling. A trigger release near the top operated by Mr. pointer allows vertical movement for selecting reverse and drive.
The upper portion of the center region houses a multi-function, 10-inch touch-sensitive screen while three handy, sizeable in-row circular dials monitor HVAC. A row of push tabs below summons AC and window defoggers, both front and back. The in-dash screen defaults to three sections (navigation, media, phone), with full-screen views taking center stage if one section gets finger pushed. Smartphones pair easily with Bluetooth compatibility. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interplay come standard.
An all-digital instrument panel includes multiple designs selected via 9 o’clock steering wheel push-button menu. Cruise control functions operate from the 3 o’clock branch. Power window tabs and three large slide bars monitoring power seat movements house within side doors.
With a decade-old platform, some modern nuances don’t make the cut including wireless Smartphone charging although A-type USB plug ports serve as charging opportunites. Two twelve-volt circular outlets remain ready: one inside the small, square flip-top storage bin/arm rest and another on the lower center dash visually balancing the electronic start-stop button to its left. Dual side-by-side beverage holders with brushed aluminum circular buttons nicely mimic a pair of engine cylinders.
With all-wheel drive standard, F-Type R 75 makes the case for year-round transport in northern metro areas including Chicago, tackling snow and ice better than sporty cars with rear drive. The soft-top includes a rear-window defroster clearing moisture from the sturdy glass rear window during colder months. So go ahead and enjoy this easily garage-able collectors edition all 12 months.
Price as tested: $119,875
Engine: 5.0-liter Supercharged V-8
Overall length: 176 inches
Overall width: 80.4 inches
Overall height: 51.5 inches
Wheelbase: 103.2 inches
Curb weight: 3,887 pounds
Fuel Economy: 16 mpg city/ 24 mpg highway
Assembly: United Kingdom