What defines a sports car is subjective. But if superior performance, top handling, keen acceleration and a personality emphasizing the thrill of driving count, welcome the 2022 Jaguar F-Type P450.
New this year and available as a coupe or convertible and with rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive, the Jaguar has handsome styling and a modernized interior. It presents a mighty challenge to several esteemed German rivals—Porsche and BMW—and the Chevrolet Corvette.
The new Jaguar has an immediate edge over some competitors with its V8 engine throughout the trim lineup. The 5.0-liter engine generates 444 horsepower and is propelled by an eight-speed automatic transmission; the F-Type R boasts 575 horsepower and the same transmission but with all-wheel drive as standard.
Beyond its re-sculpted exterior with similarities to Aston Martin, the new Jaguar offers a sizable array of features at its starting base price of about $70,000.
The 2022 F-Type has 20-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, heated side mirrors, adaptive suspension, 6-way power-adjustable seats and leather/simulated suede upholstery. Single-zone automatic climate control, a self-dimming rearview mirror and a 12.3-inch configurable digital driver information display also are included. The F-Type R upgrades to 12-way power-adjustable seats with memory settings, a power-adjustable steering column with memory, self-dimming mirrors, keyless entry/ignition, full leather upholstery and a powered trunk lid.
Technology is further represented with a 10.1-inch touchscreen that controls an infotainment system including the navigation system, WiFi, satellite radio, a USB port, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration and a 10-speaker/380-watt Meridian sound system.
Safety considerations impress—a rain/snow/ice setting among selectable driving modes, automatic emergency braking, front/rear parking sensors and lane-keeping assistance.
The F-Type offers a folding fabric roof and rollover protection, a $3,000 option. It retracts and returns in 15 seconds via a lever on the console. With the top down, the Jaguar exemplifies driving as fun.
For around-town use, the Jaguar can have its quiet time. Less aggressive driving and disabling the active drive provide a more subtle experience. Further, the new Jaguar channels its long-ago relative, the XKE models often cited as the most beautiful cars ever made. Whether a fan of an aggressive exhaust note or more appreciative of a humbler drive, the F-Type doesn’t go far without being noticed.
The new Jaguar has one downside. The ride is particularly rough and noisy; a feel-every-bump drive is part of the experience.
Sports cars also are notorious for tight quarters, but the F-Type is better than most. Considering the segment, the driver’s and passenger’s seats are form-fitting but comfortable. The coupe offers 14.4 cubic feet of cargo space; the convertible less than eight cubic feet, good only for two full grocery bags—the convertible top, while efficient, has to go somewhere.
Is the Jaguar the best choice for a sports car? It’s all subjective, with a better perspective the notion that a half-dozen superior choices make for healthy competition.
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 4.4 seconds
Fuel economy: 16 mpg city, 24 mpg hwy
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $104,350
Manufacturer’s website: jaguarusa.com
Price As Tested: $113,445
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 5 years/60,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 6 years/unlimited miles; Roadside Assistance, 5 years/60,000 miles