When the topic of classic
English sports cars comes up, the Jaguar E-type is usually
the first that springs to mind.
Its timeless elegant body style makes it one of the most recognizable and coveted classic cars. It was built between 1961 and 1975, and was preceded by the Jaguar C and D-types.
Now, 37 years after the last E-type rolled off the production line in Coventry, England, Jaguar has decided to move onto the next letter and produce the F-type due for release next year. Of course, 37 years is a long time, but we shouldn’t forget that Jaguar has been making XK’s all this time. The XK series convertible is in many ways a natural successor to the E-type, even if they gave it a different name. But the XK and even the properly fast XKR were always more about comfort and luxury than outright performance. With the F-type, they will be looking to make a genuine sports car worthy of the name that carries so much heritage.
We aleady have a pretty good idea of what the F-type is going to look like, since it will be heavily based on their C-X16 concept car that they showed off in September 2011.
The C-X16 is a hybrid concept, using a conventional 3-litre supercharged gasoline engine together with electric motors and batteries that recharge when the car is braking. The same concept can be found in Formula 1 where it is called KERS, as in Kinetic Energy Recovery System. Sounds good but essentially what it does is recover some of the energy that is normally lost as heat when the brakes are used.
Don’t let the «hybrid» tag scare you off. This is no Toyota Prius. The recovered environmentally friendly energy can be used to increase the car’s performance, not just to save polar bears. Initial figures from Jaguar for the C-X16 indicate a 4.4 second 0-100 km/h time and a top speed of 300.
As I said, it’s not a Prius.
Like its predecessors, the F-type will be a reflection of the technology and styling of its time. Because a lot of time has passed since the E-type, don't expect the F-type to bear much resemblance to it outside of a few little details that are designed specifically to remind us of the past. But we can expect the F-type to be a seriously good car, a step into the future for sports cars in general. And that leaves us with a good feeling.
After all, there are plenty of letters left in the alphabet.