Jaguar celebrates E-Type’s 60th with ‘60-off’ powerhouse F-Types
Jaguar Cars SV Bespoke department has announced a strictly limited run of strictly limited top speed F-Types to commemorate 60 years (from March 2021) since the launch of the gorgeous E-Type, reports Iain Robertson, so you’d better get your skates on, if you want and can afford one.
Just musing the other day about the value of automotive potency led me into calculating a £/bhp rating for several of the world’s punchiest motorcars. It was an exercise that lent itself ideally to the news from the Jaguar division of JLR. Of course, the brand is carrying out a genuine turnaround exercise at present, as part of a concerted plan to restyle, to re-engineer, to improve reliability and to reanimate its customer base and prove its future viability. While its Indian owners have been remarkably patient and entirely supportive, it needs to be stated that all aspects of the relationship have been stretched to snapping point.
Naturally, as you may have already digested several aspects of the ‘revival’ plan, from my previous mutterings, providing a bespoke customising process for some of Jaguar’s models may be considered as either a feckless, or bloody genius move. My feelings lie in the latter camp, because the value of ‘halo’ products can be all too easily understated. Yet, they can effect a small profit grab, a bonus, if you will, that my £/bhp value proposition more than underscores, as the following table highlights:
|Jaguar F-Type 2.0T P300||£57,510||296bhp||194.29|
|Jaguar F-Type 5.0V8 P575||£97,315||570bhp||170.72|
|Jaguar F-Type SV ‘60’||£122,500||570bhp||214.91|
|Lamborghini Aventador LP700||£322,088||694bhp||464.10|
If anything, the relative value-for-money offered by the stock production V8 P575 version of the F-Type presents something of a bargain, especially when an outrageous ‘control’ car, like the hottest Lambo, is introduced to the mix. While the VW Group-owned Lamborghini can spirit itself from 0-60mph in just 3.0s, before hurtling to a maximum and faintly ridiculous velocity of 217mph, the Anniversary F-Type is a mere half-second and electronically restricted 31mph behind. The largely irrelevant comparison does make some consumers’ fascination for ultimacy appear ill-considered (and horrendously over-priced), especially as the Jag in regular form delivers abundant potency and is unlikely to be outgunned on your favourite back-doubles. By the way, you will note that the entry-level 2.0-litre F-Type is not the best value by this reckoning.
For what it is worth, the P575 model, accompanied on every drive by a hectically popping, farting and attention-grabbing exhaust symphony, is every bit the rude, upper-end head-turner that can either irritate, or excite observers. The SV treatment does not erode this factor one iota. It is possible to have a rear-driven V8 F-Type, albeit with a mere 446bhp on tap, if you like your driving thrills to embody wild, tyre-shredding oversteer. Standard all-wheel drive on the P575 models is by far the more efficient means of getting power onto tarmac and reining-in any hooligan tendencies.
In fact, the F-Type’s handling envelope has been resolved magnificently, possessing a crisp turn-in and minimal body roll, to ensure razor-edge responsiveness at normal speeds. Taken to a safe wide-open space (off the public highway), the P575 can be coaxed into exquisite four-wheel drifts, after overcoming a small whiff of understeer that has been introduced for ‘safety’ reasons. Chassis vectoring, which is managed electronically, keeps a sober lid on wayward behaviour, as a means to infer a surprisingly high level of dynamic capability. Switch off the stability control and there is fun in abundance to be had.
Wide tracks and rubber provide assured grip on dry roads. The car’s ride comfort is excellent and not as over-damped, as I feared it might be. Okay. Sharp road surface ribs can jar occupants on occasion but not to the detriment of the car’s overall stability and certainly not to spine-cracking levels. If anything, it is the perpetual cacophony emerging from the exhaust tailpipes that can become the wear factor on the longer trips, of which the F-Type is more than capable. Fortunately, with distant memories of Jaguar’s splendid but exceptionally thirsty V12 engine (14mpg on one spirited drive in an XJ-S from Lincoln to Kirkcaldy) still resident, the significantly more potent supercharged V8 can attain around 26.5mpg, while emitting 243g/km CO2 into the atmosphere. However, it is still not inexpensive to tax, or fund the BIK!
The F-Type Heritage 60 Edition is available in both coupé and convertible body styles with special diamond-turned and gloss black 20.0-inch diameter, forged alloy wheels fitted, with more gloss black and chromium-plated exterior accents, plus black brake callipers, naturally. The commemorative specification has been specially curated to include solid Sherwood Green paintwork, which was an original E-Type colour that has not been offered on a new Jaguar since the 1960s; it is a nice touch of nostalgia. Peer into the cockpit and a twin-tone Caraway and Ebony Windsor leather interior trim not normally available on the F-Type factors in more bespoke elements.
There is little point in introducing a limited-run (60-off) model unless it also features an unique aluminium console finisher that design boss, Julian Thompson, suggests was inspired by the original E-Type’s rear-view mirror casing. However, for good measure, the E-Type 60th anniversary logo is embossed on the headrests of the slim contoured, lightweight performance seats, with ‘E-Type 60’ badging (shared with the other limited-edition vehicles announced by Jaguar Classic earlier in 2020). Commemorative treadplates clad the door sills. You will find an SV Bespoke commissioning plaque and Caraway-edged carpet mats provide a finishing touch.
You can shelve any misgivings directed at Jaguar Cars, as it endures this vital period of rehab. The brand reputation still has legs, despite incurring innumerable self-inflicted injuries over the years. Diamond anniversary models offer a great opportunity to score points over rival products, while reminding consumers about some of the more glorious aspects of Jaguar’s past.
Conclusion: The SV 60 variants may be limited in number but their reach can produce fruit in the future. Carrying a hefty price tag will restrict demand but enhance desirability, probably.