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Jaguar F-Type launched at last

Spiritual successor to the E-Type makes its formal debut in Paris

Published: September 27, 2012, 5:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 3:59 PM

When Jaguar launched the 1995 XJ sedan, it promoted the car in North America with a dramatic TV ad employing the late Etta James's classic recording of 'At Last' as the sound-track.

It might be appropriate to reprise that music for the launch of the new F-Type, details and prototype photos of which have been circulating for months.

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Despite the lack of any remaining surprise, its formal reveal to a VIP audience at the chic 18th-century Musee Rodin in Paris on the eve of the Paris auto show, and its official debut to the media at the show the following day, were significant events.

As the long-awaited spiritual successor to the vaunted E-Type (also called the XK-E), the F-Type is a critical car in Jaguar's modern history, charged with establishing a halo for the now Indian-owned brand.

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Instead of 'At Last', the gala event featured the musical accompaniment of an exclusive track called 'Burning Desire', performed by singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey.

The song will also be the soundtrack to a short film starring Golden Globe nominee and Emmy Award-winning actor Damian Lewis, which will be created by Jaguar in association with Ridley Scott Associates and released early in 2013.

To be blunt, the F-Type is far from the mould-breaking, styling tour-de-force the E-Type was when it made its debut 50 years ago.

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But it is a very attractive car with enough differentiation in design to separate its look from that of other luxury sports cars against which it will compete.

While its front-end has definite Jaguar overtones, it also faintly echoes the original Ferrari California, which is no bad thing.

The rear styling breaks with the jaguar tradition, incorporating a crisply-bobbed tail that is more evocative of a Triumph design idiom than anything wearing a Growler badge.

Inside, the two-seat cockpit features an asymmetric layout with a grab handle that extends down the passenger side of the centre console, separating it from the driver's module.

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Jaguar says it takes inspiration from the cockpits of fighter airplanes, with controls ergonomically grouped by function and a joystick-shaped SportShift selector for the eight-speed transmission.

Structurally, the F-Type features all-aluminum construction, with more than half the total content used in the car coming from recycled metal. Aluminum structural members and bodywork are exclusively riveted and bonded, rather than welded.

Two versions of Jaguar’s all-new 3.0-litre supercharged V-6, rated at approximately 340 and 380 horsepower, will be available, along with a new derivative of its existing supercharged 5.0-litre V-8.

The F-Type will be launched initially only as a convertible, although a coupe version is expected to follow.

Related Links:

Jaguar F-Type to bow in Paris

Jaguar F-Type debut at Goodwood

Jaguar XJ to get supercharged V-6 engine