2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Subtle Heritage Cues
August 1, 2014
Well before the 2015 Jaguar F-Type went on sale, I had the distinct pleasure of attending a small presentation by Jaguar's Director of Design, Ian Callum. As the resident design geek here at Edmunds, I was in heaven.
Mr. Callum was fairly adamant from the beginning that the Jaguar F-Type is not a tribute car. By tribute car, he's referring to retro-inspired cars like the Ford GT, Mini Cooper, Chevy Camaro and Fiat 500. He clearly conveyed that the F-Type isn't an E-Type for the 21st century, but rather, an all-new sports car that pays subtle homage to its heritage.
Some of the E-Type's styling cues are obvious, some aren't. The F-Type's overall shape, falls somewhere in between. The nose isn't nearly as the E's, but the greenhouse (window sections) has some hints in the basic shape. The most significant nod to the past is the tapered tail that ends in a point and the rounded fender bulges over the rear wheels. The F-Type's sharper sculpting gives it plenty of distance from the E-Type's curves, though.
The E-Type's whisper quiet styling echoes are what really make me happy. The rounded cutaway element in the taillights is cool on its own, but knowing that it's inspired from the E makes it all the more enticing. Then there are the twin center-mounted exhaust pipes for the V6, both with appropriate growls. Finally, the barrel-sided doors clearly hint at the past, but the way they blend into the rest of the body are thoroughly modern.
The Jaguar C-X16 concept that laid the groundwork for the F-Type had one last heritage cue, and it's one that I wished had made it into production but totally get why it didn't: a side-hinged hatch. My fifth grade teacher had a V12 E-Type coupe, and when I saw that hatch I was awestruck. Given the potential weight penalty, issues with curbside loading for right- or left-hand-drive countries and a more restrictive trunk opening, it's a good thing the F-Type has a conventional hatch.
All things considered, there are few cars on the market today that have the allure of the Jaguar F-Type. At least for me, it's the complete package, convenience be damned.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 4,810 Miles