The 2023 Jaguar F-Type will soon no longer even exist. At least, that’s what Jaguar recently said. Apparently the car will be phased out for the 2025 model year. And that brings a tear to my eye, because although the F-Type is very much outclassed by sports cars costing a lot less, it’s arguably one of the last new cars on the market to still have a personality.
Still Properly Stunning
The last F-Type I drove was a pre-facelifted model powered by the supercharged V6 engine. A lot has changed ever since. For starters, there was a global pandemic, which forced all carmakers to slow down their production, deeply hindering the availability of certain models. Meanwhile, Jaguar changed the front end on the F-Type, reshuffled the available engine choices and, well, left pretty much everything else intact.I’m gonna come and say that I don’t know if I like this facelift better than the old model, but I do still find the 2023 Jaguar F-Type to be the sexiest automobile currently on sale. Painted in British Racing Green, with the contrasting butterscotch leather interior, my tester looked British-appropriate and elegantly spec’d. I personally would have ditched the black rims though. They just look wrong on this car. Are black rims still in fashion anyway?When I say Jaguar has simplified the engine choices for the F-Type, I mean it now only offers V8 options the way God intended it. Gone is the old turbocharged four-cylinder (good riddance!), as well as the supercharged V6, an engine I liked quite a lot. The F-Type now solely relies on a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that’s hidden underneath a clamshell hood. It also still comes in either coupe or convertible form, with output changing when opting for the more track-focused F-Type R.The model you’re seeing in these photos is a P450 R-Dynamic with all-wheel drive. Yes, the F-Type still comes in a rear-wheel drive configuration if that’s your fancy. In this form, it pumps out 444 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque. That engine is mated to a ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic transmission. Oh, and the F-Type is expensive. Porsche 911 expensive. My tester stickered for a whopping $119,150, or about the equivalent of two Ford Mustang GTs.
The Goodbye Drive
Since the F-Type will soon become an object of the past, I figured it would be appropriate to give it one final drive before I handed over the keys. So I did what I do best and drove the fuck out of this prancing cat as if there was no tomorrow.Let’s begin with the cold hard truth: the F-Type is dynamically flawed when you compare it to sports cars of the same price bracket. Yes, in every way, a Porsche 911 is a better sports car. And one could argue that you’d get more acceleration and handling from a BMW M4 for way less money. But that’s not the point.Because what the F-Type misses out on in dynamic poise, it very much makes up for it in the emotions it conveys through its steering wheel. The moment you fire up its V8 engine, it burbles as if bothered from being woken up. This car has a soul.On the road, even in its most tame Comfort setting, the F-Type is an event. Everyone looks at the car, and everyone is happy to see one. That’s because the F-Type has curves, the kind of curves the auto industry seems to have forgotten how to draw. The F-Type sits low, wide and its bulging rear fenders taper towards the rear in a way only the sexiest classic sports cars can.Set the 2023 Jaguar F-Type in its Race mode, and those quad exhausts spew out a satisfying snarl, telling you they’re ready to party. Meanwhile, the steering wheel firms up and the adaptive dampers engage their sportiest settings. Drop a few gears using the steering wheel paddle shifters, and the ZF gearbox hands you the ideal gear in the blink of an eye. When doing so, the V8 bellows underneath you, checking to make sure you’re ready to control its fury.The F-Type accelerates hard, yet the V8 is always smooth all the way to its 6,500-rpm redline. It never feels overstressed, always willing to generate good power and torque. And man does it sound good. There are good sounding V8 engines on the market and then there’s Jaguar Land Rover’s AJ133. At every rpm, it emits one of the most satisfying melodies this side of a Lexus LFA. It yelps, barks, growls and screams, raising every hair on your body during the process.Enter a corner hard with the F-Type AWD, and the car simply glues itself to the tarmac, presenting very high levels of adhesion. Kicking out the rear in this specification is a hard act to accomplish as the car’s entire drivetrain was engineered to prevent just that. But this old girl still knows how to dance. One really needs to commit and throw her hard into the apex in order to get her to have a bit of fun. Once all hell breaks lose, bringing this kitten back into its trajectory only requires a slight input of the throttle.But driving the Jaguar F-Type hard around apexes isn’t exactly what this car was designed to do. While plenty capable, it’s better appreciated during a casual session of grand touring. Because from the driver’s seat, it’s mostly its snug cabin, immensely comfortable leather seats and the feeling that you’re driving something special that really makes this Jag a unique beast.Sure, its infotainment system has tiny icons that make operating it a bit of a hassle, and the storage solutions in this car are all but non-existent, but as you reach highway velocity, a rear spoiler retracts in your rearview mirror. That’s just cool. Oh, and the way those air vents slowly move their way out of the center of the dashboard when activating the climate control system reminds me of the afterburner nozzles on an F18 fighter plane.The thing is though, the 2023 Jaguar F-Type will never be a Porsche 911 replacement, but the 911 will also never convey the kind of emotions this Jaguar manages to inject into your veins. There’s just something so masculine (sorry ladies) and so pure about the sound of its V8 engine. The way its body was designed pleases the eye from every angle. And there’s a tangible connection with the machine that the Germans – while plenty capable – simply don’t know how to convey.Once you’re done enjoying the F-Type out there in the open, you’ll want to look back at what you were driving. What you’ll see will not be a car, but a work of art that’s about to become extinct. Farewell, Jaguar F-Type.
Review of the 2023 Jaguar F-Type R-Dynamic by William Clavey
- Sounds like it was tuned by God himself
- Plenty of power, impressive grip and highly comfortable
- Conveys the kind of emotions you expect from a Jag
- Finicky infotainment system
- Limited storage
- There are better sports cars for less money
9 / 10
Clavey’s Corner is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Prices and trim levels discussed in this article reflect the Canadian car market.
Special thanks: Jaguar Canada
Photography: Guillaume Fournier
Contact the author: [email protected]com