As summer drew to a close, we sought to end the driving season with a traditional British sports car.
We set off in a 2019 Jaguar F-Type P300 to take in the beautiful coupé’s seductive style and handling. This latest F-Type is a little different; now sporting the newest engine in the slew of available power options, a 2.0L turbocharged four cylinder. The new base engine for the F-type, it had me a little curious as to how it would change the persona of the car.
Despite its small size, the in-house designed Ingenium 2.0L turbocharged four does pack a punch putting out 296 horsepower at 5,500RPM, and 295 lb-ft. of torque between 1,500 and 4,500RPM. In a sports car weighing only 3,350 pounds these are very healthy numbers, and after spending a week with the F-Type I didn’t come away feeling like I needed more power. Jaguar rates 0-100km/h acceleration at 5.7 seconds, which is impressive, and the F-Type pulls hard from just about any speed, making merging and passing an absolute blast.
Where the new four-cylinder leaves a bit on the table is in character. The supercharged V6 and V8 options not only have that little bit of extra thrust off the line, they sound like an incredible mechanical symphony, and that adds a lot to the driving experience of the car. The 2.0L on the other hand can be loud, especially when the Active Exhaust button is activated, but it sounds a bit a loud and snarly. If anything, the sound is what I missed most while driving the new P300.
The Ingenium four is mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic, the only transmission available for the P300, as the manual is reserved for V6 models only. The ZF makes for a good dance partner and Sport mode dramatically changes the character from a quick shifting cruiser to a snappy performance tune that does an excellent job keeping RPMs up to maximize the boost. Shifts can also be controlled by nice aluminum paddles behind the steering wheel.
The one big advantage the four-cylinder car has over its higher-powered siblings is weight, and the P300 feels notably lighter on its feet, making for more engaging handling dynamics. The F-Type carves corners like a proper British sports car should, and remains extremely well composed. It does use electric power steering and an open rear differential instead of a limited-slip, depending on the brake system for torque vectoring. Regardless, it all comes together well and the chassis does an amazing job keeping the massive Pirelli P-Zero tires planted on the road.
Another strong point is the F-Type’s ride quality; on the daily commute into the city the car is comfortable and relaxing to drive, only fussing over the worst of the city’s broken streets. Noise levels in the cabin are also well controlled, and highway cruising is met with a nice and confident on-center steering feel and comfortable ride. The kind of performance the F-Type is able to deliver while still remaining a usable everyday driver makes it one of only a handful of sports cars I’d consider living with.
The four-cylinder is obviously the most fuel conscious of the F-Type lineup, and while it can get thirsty if pushed hard frequently, under normal driving conditions over our test we observed an average of 10.3L/100km on the recommended 91-octane fuel. A car this light, aerodynamic and benefitting from the smaller displacement should be capable of better numbers out on a dedicated highway run, but given the performance this car delivers, this is fair consumption.
Before even getting behind the wheel of the Jag though, it’s impossible not to notice just how gorgeous the F-Type is. Even though this design has been around for a few years now, it’s still as striking and seductive as it was on its release. Our test car came finished in Santorini Metallic Black (a $670 color option) and sports simply beautiful 20” split spoke gloss black wheels detailed with red Jaguar center caps and polished rivet accents (add $2,550 for the wheels).
To add to the slick black look our tester also came with the Black Pack ($1,180) which blacks out all the trim and side vents on the car. The result is a stunning sports car that commands attention for all the right reasons. The P300 model gets a huge single center exit exhaust tip, and beyond that it looks almost undistinguishable from the much wilder “R” with its supercharged V8. This means you can have the looks without the added costs of the bigger motors.
More good news is that the interior is worthy of the exterior with high quality materials throughout, outstanding overall fit and finish, and a very driver-centered cockpit that makes you feel like you’re driving a proper sports car. Everything is focused on the driver, and everything is at your fingertips. The tester came with the optional Performance Seats ($1,740) which are gorgeous sculpted leather buckets with huge bolstering.
The seats are heated and cooled, and adjustments are made via the buttons on the door panel, so there is no need to reach down onto the seat. In our tester it was soft black leather on the seats, which is carried up onto the door panels and dashboard, with tasteful red accent stitching, but Jaguar offers a number of interesting interior color combinations including a leather finish headliner.
Being a Jag, even a fairly basic F-Type comes very well equipped, and our tester benefitted from the addition of a fixed panoramic glass roof, which can really make interior brighten up. Being a coupé as opposed to the available convertible (reviewed here), practically isn’t totally out the window here either. There is a rear hatch that conceals a cargo area that’ll handle a suitcase or a couple of overnight bags. Storage up front is acceptable as well given the car’s size – you get a generous glove box, small center console storage and deep door pockets.
In-car technology has not recently been a strong point for JLR vehicles and the F-Type follows in the same trend. Although these tech hiccups are much more forgivable in a pure sports car like this, they still exist and are worth calling out. The InControl Touch Pro infotainment system gets the job done, but it can be cumbersome to navigate. However it does power the Meridian stereo system, which sounds phenomenal.
The base price for an F-Type Coupe is a tempting $69,500, and at that price you get a very nice toy or one heck of a fun daily driver. Our tester got a bunch of “nice to have” options totalling $13,850. Options include the Cold Weather package ($1,840), the Windsor Leather package ($2,250), performance seats ($1,740), panoramic roof ($1,230), and a handful of other incidental options. The total price comes to $83,350 – that’s more than enough to get into a supercharged V6 (reviewed here) model if you’re willing to give up a handful of options.
Regardless of engine choice, the 2019 Jaguar F-Type P300 is a rare and unique mix of raw excitement and daily driver livability that make it hard to ignore. The F-Type captures the true spirit of the British sports car and is sure to be a future classic. If I were in the market for something like this you can be sure that this Jaguar would be right at the top of my list.