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Jaguar F-Type Coupe 300PS First Edition

It may well have escaped your notice, what with all the other things going on in the world right now, but the Jaguar F-Type has had a bit of a nip and tuck.

Externally this amounts to revised front and rear lights, a new clamshell bonnet and larger – although you’d be hard-pressed to tell – grille.

Jaguar F Type P300 RWD (43815320)
Jaguar F Type P300 RWD (43815320)

Although the front end does look a little sharper, a little more contemporary, I prefer the original look. It was defiantly Jaguar and, in my opinion, considerably more elegant and in keeping with car’s glorious curves.

Hey ho, times move on.

One major change is the disappearance of the V6 from the line-up. The V8 has been tasked with replacing it thanks to a 444bhp version of the five-litre supercharged petrol engine. There’s also a 567bhp version that exclusively powers the F-Type R at the top of the range while the spot at the bottom is filled with the P300 with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and is the focus of this review.

Jaguar F Type P300 RWD (43815452)
Jaguar F Type P300 RWD (43815452)

It’s available only with rear-wheel drive and power is transmitted through an eight-speed automatic transmission. It feels as quick as its performance figures suggest but don’t get too carried away because there are one or two hot hatches quite capable of leaving the P300 in their tyre smoke, even if they don’t look quite as good while they do.

The engine note is a bit dull unless you press the magic button on the centre console that spices things up a little. It isn’t a huge improvement but it does ramp up the volume and add some all-important attitude with the odd pop and crackle when you lift off thrown in.

The eight-speed transmission is smooth-shifting but, at times, a little slow to downshift when you go looking for a sudden change of pace. You can improve response times by using the paddles behind the steering wheel but there’s no option to switch to full manual so, after a short period the ‘box will return to auto mode.

Jaguar F Type P300 RWD (43815480)
Jaguar F Type P300 RWD (43815480)

The P300 rides on conventional steel springs which gives it a firm, sporty, ride but that still handles most lumps and bumps with some ease. Passengers are not completely isolated from imperfections but progress never becomes unbearable.

The F-Type has always carried a little extra weight compared to its rivals but, with the 2.0-litre engine out front there’s a little less mass to contend with and, consequently, the least powerful model is arguably the sweetest handling. The steering is precise, if a little numb, and there’s plenty of grip to lean on. Even in the wet – and I’m writing this having driven 70 miles in torrential rain through the Kent and Sussex countryside – the F-Type is stable and entertaining, rather than just plain terrifying.

When you lower yourself into the cabin you’ll find yourself wrapped in snug and supportive sports seats with, in this First Edition model reviewed here, 12-way electric adjustment. The steering wheel adjusts – also electrically – for rake and reach and I had no trouble finding the perfect driving position.

Jaguar F Type P300 RWD (43815676)
Jaguar F Type P300 RWD (43815676)

In fact, despite the car’s low profile, there’s plenty of headroom and, because this is a bona fide two-seater, the seats are blessed with plenty of adjustment fore and aft too. The centre console is wide, so there’s plenty of elbow room for driver and passenger, but the cabin still has an intimate, cocooned, feel about it.

Stowage space is the cabin’s real weak spot. There’s a tiny glove box and a shallow cubby in the centre console which is just about big enough for a wallet – well, my wallet anyway – and a phone. The door bins will just about hold a 500ml bottle and, well, that’s your lot.

The cockpit feels appropriately driver-focused with a dashboard that neatly brings all the important controls within easy reach. The digital display in the instrument binnacle shows important information with usefully clear fonts and graphics.

The fascia is free of clutter, with nice simple, multi-function dials controlling the air con and heated seats. The central air vents that rise out of the top of the dash when required – a nice touch – are still present and correct.

Jaguar F Type P300 RWD (43815475)
Jaguar F Type P300 RWD (43815475)

If you go poking around you will find some disappointingly cheap-feeling plastics lower down in the cabin but, for the most part, the areas that you’ll come into contact with most frequently feel plush and tactile.

The seating position is low – anything else would be entirely out of place – and does impact on your view out of the car. It’s made worse by the tiny rear windscreen so I’d suggest opting for parking sensors and the rear-view camera to help with manoeuvring in tight spaces.

Jaguar have made great strides with their infotainment systems and the F-Type is fitted with the latest Touch Pro with a 10in touchscreen. The menus take a little adjustment and it could certainly be a little more responsive to inputs but, while it does still lag behind much of the competition, it is a vast improvement over what came before.

Jaguar F Type P300 RWD (43815741)
Jaguar F Type P300 RWD (43815741)

Fortunately Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included as standard and I was particularly impressed with the implementation of the latter. You also get DAB radio, Bluetooth and a 380W sound system. If you love your music you can upgrade to a 770W surround sound system but you’ve got to really love your music because it isn’t cheap.

The boot is a good size but its shape – wide and shallow – and the narrow opening make it difficult to make the most of the 407 litres it has on offer.

Is the F-Type the best sports car you can buy? The answer is, unfortunately, no. It is, however, very, very good and still looks stunning seven years after it launched. The mild facelift has given it a more contemporary and, perhaps, purposeful look but other updates were restricted to improved tech and a tweaked engine line-up.

Given that it has got some catching up to do should you buy one? Absolutely. I know, you’re wondering why, and how, I could recommend the Jag but, well, just look at it…

Jaguar F-Type Coupe 300PS First Edition

Price: £63,980

As tested: £66,335

Engine: 2.0l i4 turbocharged petrol

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Max power: 300ps

Max torque: 400Nm @ 1,500 – 4,500rpm

Max speed: 155mph

0-60mph: 5.4sec

Fuel consumption mpg (WLTP) -

Low: 21.3 – 21

Medium: 29.4 – 28.6

High: 33.9 – 32.9

Extra high: 31.9 – 31

Combined: 29.9 – 29.2

Emissions (CO2): 184g/km

For more information visit www.jaguar.co.uk

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