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2016 Jaguar F-TYPE: LA Auto Show


author photo by Josh Sadlier November 2014

What Is It?

The 2016 Jaguar F-TYPE is fundamentally the same luxury sports car we've come to know and love over the past couple years, but it rolls into the 2014 LA Auto Show with a few notable changes. All-wheel drive is now standard on the V8-powered F-TYPE R coupe and roadster (and optional on the midgrade F-TYPE S). A 6-speed manual transmission is offered on all rear-wheel-drive models. Electric power steering is now standard on every F-TYPE, and it debuts a number of new standard features, including the InControl smartphone integration system.

If you're wondering what happened to the V8 S roadster, you're onto something, as the 2015 model year turns out to be its swan song. Going forward, every V8-powered F-TYPE will be known as the F-TYPE R, whether coupe or roadster, whereas the 2015 F-TYPE R was strictly a coupe. Here's the good news: the F-TYPE R roadster will carry the same 550-horsepower version of the supercharged V8 as the coupe, erasing the V8 S roadster's rather odd 55-hp deficit. But for better or worse, all-wheel drive comes standard on every 2016 F-TYPE R (with a slightly more bulbous hood to accommodate the extra hardware), meaning that if you want that awesome V8, you can't have rear-wheel drive anymore.

It's an intriguing development for a purpose-built sports car. Such cars don't need to have rear-wheel drive (the Nissan GT-R is just one of many successful all-wheel-drive supercars). Given that real-wheel drive is standard on lesser F-TYPE models, we're surprised Jaguar doesn't at least let you choose on the top-dog F-TYPE R. On one hand, the all-wheel-drive system sends 100 percent of its power to the rear wheels by default, supposedly preserving the car's real-wheel-drive handling characteristics -- but on the other hand, the system raises the suspension a bit and adds weight. The Porsche 911 Turbo, which is only available with all-wheel drive, is comparable to its rear-wheel-drive brethren, but Porsche also offers the similarly capable rear-drive 911 GT3 for purists.

In any case, enthusiasts who cock an eyebrow at the all-wheel-drive situation will likely be pleased to learn that a 6-speed manual transmission is now available on base and S models with rear-wheel drive. Alas, dreams of a manual-transmission F-TYPE R will have to wait for another auto show.

Inside, the 2016 Jaguar F-TYPE is treated to a refreshed instrument cluster and additional standard features, including the formerly optional 770-watt Meridian audio system, keyless entry and ignition, 14-way power seats and a panoramic glass roof in the coupe. On the infotainment front, the 8-inch touchscreen has a new interface, and Jaguar/Land Rover's proprietary InControl software provides enhanced smartphone connectivity, including full mobile-app integration.

How Much?

TBA

When Can You Get It?

TBA -- we're thinking late Spring 2015.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because...

Well, there are a lot of reasons, right? Maybe you've been waiting for a manual shifter, or perhaps you live in the snow belt and would prefer to drive your Jaguar sports car year-round. The added features are nifty, too.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 BMW M4 -- The automatic-only M4 takes more of a computerized approach to extreme speed, but there's no denying its vast capabilities.

2015 Chevrolet Corvette -- Don't let the 'Vette's vastly lower price tag fool you; even the base model can go head-to-head with the F-TYPE R, and the new Z06 is in a league of its own.

2015 Porsche 911 -- The 911 is actually pricier than the F-TYPE, or at least it tends to be, but there's no substitute for its precise engineering.

Used Audi R8 -- If you're considering higher-end F-TYPE models, don't be afraid to look for a nice low-mileage R8. You can't beat the visual impact, and they're great to drive, too.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Jaguar F-TYPE: LA Auto Show - Autotrader