Scowl-ier looks, digital dials and revised engine options are the tools Jaguar’s given its two-seat sports car to stay competitive
With its selection of roaring V8 and snarling V6 engines which are connected to some decidedly vocal exhaust systems, the Jaguar F-Type could never be described as a shrinking violet.
Yet for the car’s mid-life update, the British company has only gone and made its Porsche 911-rivalling coupe and roadster pair even more aggressive and distinctive.
More than most other examples, the F-Type’s facelift really is mostly an extensive facelift – or perhaps more accurately a “facedrop”, since the changes make the car look lower and more ground-hugging than ever.
Taking cues from Jaguar’s handsome saloons like the XE and XF, the F-Type’s nose now looks lower-set, with new LED headlamps spread out horizontally across the nose flanking a widened and heightened radiator grille. It’s all meant to make the car look longer and wider than before, even if its dimensions haven’t physically grown.
From the front three-quarter angle, shades of Aston Martin Vantage can be seen in the F-Type’s overall profile, while the nose area in particular resembles a cross between a Hyundai i30N and Audi R8. If your birth year starts with a “2”, you might even think it looks a bit like a certain confused cat…
Elsewhere, changes are far less extreme; the clamshell bonnet is longer and gains new vents, the rear lights are slightly more angular, and the number plate recess has been tweaked as well.
Inside, the driving environment is now more up to date in the tech stakes, thanks to a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster replacing the traditional dials. As is usually the case, the display is configurable, although in true sports car fashion the default mode prominently fixes a large rev-counter front and centre.
The infotainment system now features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and supports over-the-air updates too.
As the original F-Type lineup rolled out in stages, a bewildering array of engine options were both introduced and dropped along the way, but thankfully the range has been consolidated into four variations for the 2020 car.
Carried over unchanged at the bottom of the lineup is a turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder with 300hp and 400Nm of torque. Likewise the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 with 380hp and 460Nm.
The dramatic supercharged 5.0-litre V8 meanwhile, widens its performance envelope. In Europe and select overseas markets, a detuned version of the engine will be available, with 450hp and 580Nm, although the fastest F-Type is now faster than before.
The top-dog SVR model has been dropped for now, but donates its upgraded engine to the current range-topper, the F-Type R. It has outputs of 575hp and 700Nm, up from the old R’s 550hp and 680Nm.
The base 2.0-litre is rear-wheel drive only, and will do the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.7 seconds. The V6 and low-output V8 get all-wheel drive as an option, while the range-topping F-Type R is all-wheel drive only, and will reach 100km/h in 3.7 seconds. All variants send their power through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and the V8 models also benefit from a new Quiet Start function for the exhausts, which should help your standing with the neighbours.
Local Jaguar agent Wearnes Automotive has not been able to confirm yet which variants are Singapore-bound (our money’s on the four-pot, V6, and V8 R models), nor indeed when the car will be coming here, though we think a launch in the second half of 2020 might be likely.