4-Cylinder F-Type Debuts At New York Auto Show And Breaks Our Hearts

Amongst the loud presentations and hoards of journalists lay a gray F-Type. It’s a car we’ve all seen but this one looked a little different. The rear exhaust feature a single oval outlet and the badging read R-dynamics. After speaking with some Jaguar representatives my fears were realized. This was the infamous 4-cylider F-Type, a car I don’t quite understand.

With a starting price of $59,900, the 4-cylinder F-Type is only slightly cheaper than a base model V6. It may offer an easier point of entry but it’s hardly the bargain I was hoping for. The 4-cylidner offers 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque which isn’t too far off the V6’s power levels but that’s not the point. The best part of driving an F-Type isn’t the power, it’s the exhaust note.

To me, the F-Type was just a musical instrument wrapped in a gorgeous body. After driving the SVR, which admittedly has far too much power, I came away thinking, “Wow that sounded incredible.” Speed was just a side effect of wanting to row through the gears to make the big V8 sing. Now with a 4-cylider I hardly see the point.

Who wants to drive a modern British sports car that will most likely sound like a Focus RS? If you want an affordable F-Type look at the used market. British sports cars depreciate faster than a used toothbrush. If we need any indication of how a car defined by an engine fairs with a 4-cylinder look to the EcoBoost Mustang.

The EcoBoost Mustang is fairly quick, it looks good, and it’s very tuneable. Yet Ford has to give them away to move units at any pace. Jaguar is betting on the same principal, customers will buy the 4-cylinder F-Type because of its looks. However, I cannot see this selling well. In the premium market why buy a neutered automatic only 4-cylinder F-Type when you can own a proper V6 for a couple grand more?


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