HOW can the striking Jaguar F-Type already be four years old?
Come September, that’s exactly what it will be, so the brand from Brown’s Lane is preparing the option of a four-pot turbo screamer, spearheading a sizeable nip-and-tuck to keep the German wolves like Porsche’s new 718 Boxster and Cayman twins, upcoming BMW Z5, and just launched Mercedes-Benz SLC, at bay.
Due to debut either at the Geneva salon next March or the New York Motor Show a few weeks after that, the 2018 F-Type facelift is expected to usher in a fresh front fascia, complete with new LED headlights, reprofiled bumper and different air intakes.
But it’s what’s changed out back that gives the biggest clue as to what’s going on up front, with one of the test cars sprung at the Nurburgring missing the retractable boot spoiler, while the covered-up rear diffuser now sports a squared-off (rather than rounded) centrally-mounted exhaust, that was said to emit a very distinctly non-supercharged V6 (or supercharged V8) rasp, according to the snapper. Intriguing…
This, of course, could really only mean Jaguar Land Rover’s all-new 2.0-litre four-cylinder “Ingenium” engine.
Hot on the heels of the 718 Boxster and Cayman equivalents, the downsized turbo donk will roll out in a number of different JLR models from the British luxury marques starting this year, including the Jaguar XE and XF sedans, as well as the F-Pace, Discovery Sport, and Evoque SUVs. Available in a number of tunes, it will usurp the long-standing Ford-sourced 2.0-litre EcoBoost units in these and other future vehicles.
Count on the F-Type’s Ingenium delivering around 200kW of power and 400Nm of torque, and will likely drive the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. Clutch pedal-equipped models should please the purists no end, and might make the 2.0-lite turbo the best version yet. We’ll know soon enough.
Believed to be the new entry-level point in both the F-Type coupe and convertible ranges, the cheapest version might even slip under the $100,000 mark when Australian sales commence late next year or in 2018, exposing the Jaguar to a whole new audience. The existing 250kW/450Nm 3.0-litre supercharged V6 coupe manual currently kicks off from $119,830, while the convertible starts at $138,710.
Look for significant changes to the supercharged V6s and similarly blown V8 too, though what these might be is still anybody’s guess right now.
Rounding out the X152 two-seater sports car series makeover is a rumoured dashboard overhaul, probably featuring Jaguar’s latest touchscreen multimedia interface as per the latest XF and F-Pace. Revised instruments and switchgear, the adoption of improved driver-assist safety systems, and – we hope – a little more cargo space out back would complete the makeover.
Finally, will the 2018 F-Type four-pot turbo sound as tantalising as its supercharged six and eight cylinder siblings? We hope so. Watch (and listen to) this space…
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