By Gordon Hall
It’s basically just a facelift, say the salespeople … with typical British understatement.
Its new grille is wider and deeper with a hexagonal mesh pattern, new-look headlights and tail lamps are LED across the range, bumpers were subtly reshaped and, inside, the central vents remain hidden until called out. Less subtle are Jaguar Leaper motifs on the fender vents and “Jaguar Est. 1935” markings on centre console, glove box and seat belt guides.
There are also, for the first production year only, First Edition versions of the mid-range three-litre AWD models, both coupé and convertible. Special features include 20” Diamond Turned wheels, “First Edition” script on tread plates and instrument panel and Ebony or Mars Red performance seats in Windsor leather. Choose from three special colours; Fuji White, Santorini Black and Eiger Grey. All at no extra charge.
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True F-Type fans know this already but it might help if I clarify some things for those who don’t:
• Those mysterious engine codes, P300, P380 and P575, indicate DIN-horsepower; PS or Pferdestärke;
• R-Dynamic, describing the two- and three-litre versions, refers to a free appearance pack on South African models;
• Plain “R” needs no explanation;
• Pixel LEDs, standard on five-litre R cars or a R41 400 option on others, is a roundabout way of saying Adaptive Driving Beam. Meaning: You can leave the headlights on highbeam continuously while driving after dark but as soon as the car’s in-built sensors detect the lights of another vehicle, approaching or retreating, they selectively turn off some of the LEDs. That splits the main beam pattern vertically and horizontally, creating up to four shadowed areas, to avoid dazzling vehicles up ahead. This option incorporates Bending Lights that direct the main beams in your steering direction;
• Apart from First Editions, we have eight models; four each in Coupé and Convertible. Two-litre P300s are RWD only, three-litre P380 can be had as RWD or AWD while five-litre P575s are AWD-only;
• Price differences between equivalent coupés and convertibles are negligible;
• F-Type is a true two-seater; no kiddie seat, no parcel shelf, no stash box;
• F-Types come in a choice of 27 colours, of which 25 are added-cost options. These include six tones of grey or silver. Shades of kinky.
Standard kit on all models includes an eight-speed ZF gearbox; six airbags; a shipload of safety kit; 12.3-inch HD TFT instrument cluster with reconfigurable graphics; satnav; lightweight, slimline seats with six-way adjusters; alloy wheels; spacesaver spare; keyless entry and start and active exhaust system with switchable sound effects. Coupés sport panoramic sunroofs.
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Options? There is an encyclopaedia of goodies to be had at prices ranging from doable to ambitious. Some are items that civilian cars include as standard.
Finally: F-Type isn’t meant to be practical. At 1.85m I couldn’t fit comfortably into the coupé; not enough headroom. Your mother may not approve. Your girlfriend’s mother certainly won’t.
But, hey, coupés and convertibles don’t need peer acceptance. They’re special, after all; for people who answer to no-one.
*Base prices range from R 1 243 000 to an eye-watering R2 422 700.
The first car to bear the Jaguar moniker was the 1935 SS #Jaguar 2.5L Saloon. It was produced under the Swallow Sidecar name, first set up by Sir William Lyons and William Walmsley. Follow the #JAGUAR85 journey on Instagram pic.twitter.com/1ynhOsMKBY
— Jaguar South Africa (@jaguarsa) September 2, 2020