2018 Jaguar F-Type 2.0T First Drive Review

Jaguar is eager to promote its Ingenium turbocharged inline-four as a legitimate object of performance desire, and what better way to do so than drop it into its most desirous car? The 2018 Jaguar F-Type Coupe to this point has featured six- and eight-cylinder engines, all supercharged, but this is the first time that the other type of forced induction has made its way under the F-Type’s long, sculpted hood.

The new pairing looks pretty good on paper. The 2.0-liter engine’s 295 pound-feet of torque is available from 1,500 to 4,500 RPM. It makes 296 horsepower at 5,500 RPM, 44 horsepower shy of the blown V6 model, but weighs 117 pounds less. That’s enough to motivate the 3,360-pound F-Type to 60 mph in the mid-5-second range, only 0.3 seconds behind said V6.

I’ll posit, however, that the F-Type isn’t a raw numbers car. It’s a passionate thing that appeals to an emotional part of our brain. Just look at it! The coupe we tested, in Fuji White, was fresh as a mountain stream despite the platform’s age. The sheetmetal is, quite simply, most of the appeal. Even the base wheels, 18-inch, 10-spoke alloys, look phenomenal. And since the F-Type 2.0 is sexy, undeniably quick enough to back up its sporting looks, and a significant price savings over a V6, it’s almost a killer app.

The lighter 2.0-liter coupe feels pointier than the last V6 model I drove, and the steering feel is excellent. Get into a rhythm in a windy section of road, and the F-Type’s handling is engaging enough to let the engine recede into the background. To repeat an earlier point, you’re enjoying the F-Type despite the engine, rather than because of it.

But, other than the ovoid bazooka exhaust, this version doesn’t alter the F-Type’s sexy lines. At a starting price of $60,895, it’s considerably more affordable than other F-Types, and more efficient – all of which will attract an entirely new buyer into many Jaguar showrooms. The un-sexy engine doesn’t change the fact that this is the kind of car you park and look back at, over your shoulder, until it’s out of sight. If that’s your yardstick, it’s hard to beat the value proposition the Ingenium-powered F-Type offers.