THE BRITISH MAKER’S MOST PERFORMANCE ORIENTED MODEL THE JAGUAR F TYPE FOR 2020 GETS UNIQUE BODY TWEAKS, A SUPERCHARGED ENGINE, AND ADAPTABLE EXHAUST FOR ITS THRILLING R DYNAMIC CONVERTIBLE VARIANT
BY EVAN MONROE
We hate to rollout an article with a quibble, but at Jaguar’s celebration of 70 years of sports car manufacturing the company pointing to the 1948 XK 120 as its first true sports coupe just ain’t correct. The SS Jaguar 100 two seater, built between 1936 and 1941, was actually speed enthusiasts’ numero uno for the then Black pool, UK based maker. Both models were lovely and remarkable, and admittedly, the latter had more stylistic zing, and certainly buzz (in 1949, the first XK was delivered to Clark Gable, no less). But no matter; Jaguar has, ever since, managed to divide itself capably between luxury grand tourers and unabashed sports coupes and convertibles, with the early 1960s launched E TYPE regularly ranked among the most gorgeous vehicles ever built. The most dynamically capable and performance oriented current model among Jag’s seven car and crossover lines, the F TYPE continues to evolve for 2020, with slightly tweaked exterior features, new powertrains, and the addition of standard technology previously unavailable. First seen at the 2012 Paris Motor Show and Good wood Festival of Speed, the F TYPE was marketed as a successor to the E TYPE, which was brand bravado of a particularly high order. Parent company Jaguar Land Rover, the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer, reported that worldwide sales were down by 4.6% in 2018, but it was actually Jaguar’s best ever sales year, up 1.2% from the previous. Still, the Coventry, UK maker thought a little refining and new market seeking was in order.
This year’s changes (the 2020 model was released in early spring) were almost entirely improvements, to be sure, even if they did start with a loss the absence of a manual transmission. Bowing to a tragic broad trend away from sticks in favor of paddle shift automatics, the brand’s best sports models, including the R Dynamic Convertible seen here, shift quickly and capably, but we’ll still miss the thrill of heel and toe involvement (manuals accounted for just two percent of all vehicles sold in 2018, according edmunds.com). The two seat R Dynamic offers a single engine choice: a 3 liter, 380 horpsepower supercharged V 6 that delivers a crisp 4.9 second jump to 60 miles per hour and a top speed of 171 miles per hour.
As a way of differentiating the R Dynamic from base model F TYPEs (prices start at $87,400 and $61,000, respectively), a number of signature visual [POETRY IN MOTION] Jaguar Monmouth 807 NJ 35, Ocean / 877.672.8680 jaguarmonmouth.com distinctions are on board, including a Gloss Black Body Package, LED headlights with daytime running lights, an aluminum center console, unique tread plates, 20 inch six split spoke “Style 6003” wheels with dark grey Diamond Turned Finish, and switchable active sports exhaust.
The compact supercharger’s sophisticated boost control and secondary throttle valve give bursts of power with minimal lag. The 380 horsepower R Dynamic engine produces 339 lb ft of torque, yet achieves a relatively thrifty 19 miles per gallon city, 27 highway.
Even the top is fast; it can be raised or lowered in just 12 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph. Built with composite materials designed to reduce wind and road noise, the compact and weight saving fabric top includes a flush fitting heated rear glass window. Its compact size when folded keeps the F TYPE rear deck low and sleek, avoiding the need for a tonneau cover.
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