JAGUAR’S retirement party for its decade-old F-Type sports model is an unexpectedly subdued affair.

While rivals are farewelled in glory and dotted with confetti, the F-Type — the latest and perhaps last alphabetical heir to a rich Jaguar motorsport heritage — is quietly removed from the showroom and the price list without even a mention of a successor.

Jaguar’s disrespectful snub of the F-Type has been triggered by the car-maker’s decision to go all-electric from 2025 production. Other models have already been shown the door — XE and XF sedans predominantly — but as EVs start to replace the gaps in Jaguar’s showrooms, sports-car buyers have become aware that an F-Type replacement, batteries included, may be a long way down the track.

So this is a goodbye of a car largely unloved by coupe and roadster buyers, a situation brought by the high retail price of the Jag in comparison to US rivals and the sweeping lure of SUVs.

Now, after the few remaining stock is sold, the F-Type finds its loyalties in the used-car market. Based on its exhaust announcement and fiery performance, perhaps it hopes to grow as adored as some versions of its predecessors, including the XK8 and XJS. And the E-Type.

How much?

Jaguar used to offer the F-Type in a bewildering string of engine and trim options. This generosity of choice pampered the client but really screwed the efficiencies at the factory and over time, the four-cylinder and V6 engine option was dropped, as was the exhaustive options list.

Now there is only one engine — a 5.0-litre V8 — and the body choice of coupe (two models, a rear-drive and an all-wheel drive) and a single rear-drive convertible, which is the car on test here.

The 5.0-litre convertible P450 (which indicates ‘P’ for petrol and the horsepower) is $186,920 plus on-road costs.

That puts it in amongst some highly sought-after rivals with names that may carry more prestige, such as Porsche, Corvette, BMW and Audi.

How Big?

Images of the F-Type generally make the car look long, low and stretched and proportionally akin to a large BMW Mercedes-Benz coupe or roadster.

In fact, it’s a small car on the outside at 4.47m long (the same as the BYD Atto3 EV hatchback), and a tiny car on the inside with room for two flexible adults who don’t plan on carrying much luggage and almost no personal items save for a cup of water and a wallet.

With the fabric roof up and with no hindrance to opening the doors as wide as possible, entry into the Jaguar’s cabin is still a tad awkward. It eases significantly with the windows and roof down, meaning you have to carefully pick your arrival and departure points to minimise any social embarrassment.

At 1.94m wide, the Jag will also slip into most carports and carpark bays but — and sorry to harp on about this but you need to be warned — you may have a hard time getting out of the doors if neighbouring cars are close.

The turning circle is a reasonable 10.6m but visibility from so low is poor, especially when trying to navigate curbs, and wheel rash can be an expensive and unsightly exercise. eeee

Roadsters have rarely been renown for boot space and the F-Type is no exception. The boot is an accommodating hole that will accept soft luggage and is separate from the folding roof and it’s mechanism. As such, boot space is not affected by the roof’s location.

Space constraints means there’s no spare wheel so the F-Type gets a tyre repair kit.  

How fast?

Simply, it looks how it goes. The 5.0-litre supercharged petrol V8 has been around since 2014 and now puts out 331kW/580Nm in its ‘base’ model.

Opt for the all-wheel drive P575 coupe, and there’s 423kW/700Nm and a 0-100km/h time of a brisk 3.7 seconds.  But that’s not available in the convertible.

So can an owner find contentment with ‘only’ 331kW?   Absolutely! The captivating things about this V8 centre on its sound — it simply barks on start-up and produces a guttural yell so insidious that Jaguar recommends drivers press a dash button that mutes the exhaust. Obviously this is to keep on the good side of the neighbours, particularly if you’re off to work early. My neighbour just put his house on the market so I don’t really see the need to test the mute button.

The next thing that really endears that engine to the driver is its absolute lack of fuss and stress. It has a truckload of torque (700Nm is actually in the truck-spec category) that produces a flat band of grunt from idle right through to the red line. Seamless, unfussed and very quick, even for a car that despite its rather compact dimensions, is pretty heavy at 1710kg yet sprints to 100km/h in a snappy 4.6 seconds.

The Jaguar has a solid list of rivals and some carry names with more pull power than a Mack. In its favour, the F-Type is not a run-of-the-mill car. Look around and there’s precious little on the roads, giving it an exclusivity that may be worth collector appeal in the near future.

The drivetrain may be almost liquid in the way it delivers its motion but it’s the F-Type package that neatly ties the ribbon. On the road it sits with confidence and despite its firm suspension, dismisses road irregularities without harming the occupants.

Through the bends it plays with the driver, luring the speed higher to test the limit. Handling is excellent, particularly the steering which retains a bit of the lightness that typified early (well, 1980s and 1990s) Jaguars but has now been firmly tied with less suspension elasticity.

Jaguar actually went through the F-Type in its 2021 overhaul — the same exercise that incorporated the slim-line headlights and prettier nose treatment — with new suspension components. A back-to-back comparison will show the latest version has a more precise steering feel and better mid-corner grip.

Everything else is pretty much as it was. The dinner plate-size disc rotors give the necessary counterpoint to the engine’s momentum, unusual from a visual perspective by not being drilled or grooved, as seems to be the new rule in the brake aficionados ‘guide to stopping in a hurry’.

How thirsty?

Jaguar claims an average of 10.6 litres/100km from a 70-litre fuel tank. On test it averaged 11.4 L/100km in mainly suburban driving, the same consumption as a diesel dual-cab 4WD ute tested a month prior.

What’s inside?

  1. It’s small. And you have to bend and fold. But inside it’s cosy but there’s enough legroom and headroom to be perfectly comfortable. The seats wrap the body, there’s good visibility (for the passenger although eyeballing truck wheel nuts brings its own set of concerns) and noise levels (save for the unmuted exhaust note on start-up) are low enough to enjoy the clarity of the Meridian audio system.

Standard equipment is as one expects for the near-$150,000 price tag. There’s only one convertible model and it’s pretty much specced up.

The standard list includes the electric fabric hood; black-design package (marking the latest incarnation and indicated by components such as the 20-inch gloss back wheels); 12-way electric front seats; leather upholstery; 10-inch infotainment touchscreen; and sat-nav.

But Jaguar offers options including premium metallic paint for $5910 (there is a standard metallic paint Ange to choose from) and a red or beige fabric roof (instead of black) for an extra $1836.

How much room?

You didn’t want to bring luggage, did you? This is perhaps the car for a brief weekender but that’s about it. It’s not for any motoring adventure that demands much change of clothing because the boot space is really small at 207 litres and only a soft bag (or two) has the flexibility to bow to the unusual shape of the luggage area.

There is also no room in the cabin — not even for a jacket behind the seats — for clothing, work equipment or leisure equipment (ping pong bats, perhaps) and even a mobile phone has no secure cubby hole save for the glove box or the driver’s pocket.

And while you’re looking at how you’re going to fit two days of clothing into the boot, note that there’s no spare wheel.

How safe?

The F-Type has not been, and is unlikely to be, crash tested by the Australasian New Car Assessment program (ANCAP).

It does have a decent safety inventory but it’s dated, and includes autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, active cruise control, and reverse camera with Jaguar listing blind-spot monitor as a $1000 option, and a tyre pressure monitor at $790.

Service costs?

Jaguar gifts F-Type owners with free servicing for the first five years of 130,000km.  The warranty is five years and unlimited distance and the car also gets a five-year roadside assistance cover.

Rivals?

Audi A5 S5: $135,600*

BMW 840i convertible: $212,600*

Alpina B4: $159,900*

GMSV Corvette Stingray: $190,000*

Lexus LC500: $218,242*

Porsche Boxster 4.0GTS: $197,500*

* plus on-road costs

Pricing?

The Jaguar F-Type 75 Convertible is listed at $186,920 plus on-road costs.

For a great deal on financing your new purchase, contact Australia's best reviewed finance broker on 1300 Credit (1300 273 348) today or visit CreditOne.com.au