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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2018 Jaguar F-TYPE
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When it was unleashed in 2014, Jaguar packed the latest in speed, handling and comfort features wrapped it in skintight bodywork that shows a few familiar styling cues, and the F-Type was born. Available in two-seat coupe and soft-top convertible form, the F-Type offers significant poke from three different engines and multiple states of tune, ranging from a newly-introduced 296-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine on the $60,895 (including a $995 destination charge) base model to a 575-hp, 5.0-liter supercharged V8 on the $122,895 range-topping SVR Coupe (droptop versions are $3,100 more across the board).

What's New for 2018

The 2018 F-Type’s biggest change is happening at the bottom of the range with the addition of the four-cylinder, as a way to lower the entry fee into the slinky F-Type significantly. Jaguar has also added the R-Dynamic appearance package model and a 2018-only model centered around a gap-filling 400-hp version of the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, which the company is calling – surprise, surprise – the 400 Sport Special Edition.

Choosing Your Jaguar F-Type

First things first: all F-Types – save for the range-topping SVR – wear the same basic bodywork, so no matter where you buy into the range you’re guaranteed to have one of the slickest and most sinister-looking sports cars out there. And as they’re comparatively rare, you’re not likely to run into many others the way, say, Porsche 911 drivers often do.

As you’d expect, regardless of which of the model/powertrain combos you choose, Jaguar has included a host of standard safety, luxury and convenience features, including an enhanced driver assistance suite, leather-lined interiors with aluminum or carbon fiber trim, and a rear parking aid and camera system.

Jaguar’s F-Type lineup for 2018 includes five separate trims, including the limited-edition 400 Sport.

Base

Previously, the least expensive F-Type came with a 340-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter V6, mated to a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. That car is still available, but with an MSRP of $68,995, including a $995 destination charge. New for 2018 is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that drives the F-Type's price down to $60,895. The V6-powered model comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission – an eight-speed automatic is a $1,300 option – while the turbo four-cylinder is only available in a two-pedal setup.

As Jaguar says, the four offers the same performance but with 16 percent better fuel economy (and potentially better agility) thanks to its lower curb weight, so long as you’re not looking for all-wheel drive – optional on the six, but not available on the four – it’s a no-brainer for entry-level buyers.

Most F-Type buyers, of course, aren’t looking to pinch pennies, which is good as things get expensive in a hurry. Adding the uprated, 380-horsepower V6 to a “base” F-Type hikes the price up to $80,895, but includes the automatic transmission, 19-inch wheels, and larger brakes. A reconfigurable version of the standard Adaptive Dynamics handling system is available, and allows the driver to mix and match settings to suit your tastes, rather than being stuck with the factory defaults. If you like choosing gears yourself as well, you can have a six-speed manual with the 380-hp engine (but not AWD) by stepping up to the R-Dynamic trim level.

R-Dynamic

The Jaguar F-Type R-Dynamic is an appearance package for the 380-hp base model that adds satin dark grey and gloss black accents, a switchable version of the active sports exhaust, and a patterned aluminum center console, all for $82,195 with the manual transmission and, $83,495 with the automatic, and $86,495 with the still-optional all-wheel drive.

400 Sport Special Edition

There's been a gulf in F-Type performance since its inception, with a range of 300-odd-hp models contrasting with a few models in the high 400 or 500-hp range. Jaguar is bridging that gulf with the F-Type 400 Sport Special Edition, patterned after the company's six-figure V8-powered stablemate, the F-Type R. As its name suggests, the three-liter six puts out 20 more hp, but more than that, it adds a pile of appearance items to the R-Dynamic trim it's based on, including a Sport Design Package body kit, aluminum gearshift paddles for the automatic (standard from her on), plus an exclusive leather interior with “400 Sport" branding, 400 Sport Performance seats, and yellow contrast stitching. You also get black brake calipers with yellow “400 Sport” script and some fancy yellow “400” badges. But this exclusivity doesn’t come cheap – the rear-drive Coupe is a bracing $90,495, while all-wheel drive adds another $3,000 on top of that.

R

There’s no more messing about with optional underpinnings: the $100,895 F-Type R includes the automatic and all-wheel drive in addition to the 550-hp V8. Like the 400 Sport, there's a performance-focused interior, only with red contrast stitching instead of yellow, and fewer reminders of what kind of car you're in. The R does, however, get a special steering wheel, configurable ambient interior lighting, and a more aggressive body kit with quad-tipped exhausts. On the performance front, an upgraded electronic center differential enhances the torque-vectoring traction and cornering system. You'll also get the configurable dynamics mode as standard.

SVR

The ne plus ultra F-Type, the SVR, is meant for a very specific kind of person that wants the fastest, best-handling, and highest-performance F-Type money can buy. The SVR delivers a whopping 575 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque out of Jaguar's familiar supercharged, 5.0-liter V8. Adding a little bit of frosting to this already rich confection is the titanium and Inconel exhaust that both sheds weight and adds a sound all its own. The SVR also gets borderline-hostile bodywork hits you in the face with a gaping, angular front cheek openings, side vents, an enlarged rear lower diffuser, and a carbon fiber wing.

CarsDirect Tip

In terms of performance, the 380-hp V6 engine strikes a sweet spot and sounds fantastic doing it. But don't count out the new four-cylinder turbo – it's a hell of a bargain if you're putting an emphasis on agility rather than straight-line speed.

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