The changes made to the new all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive stick-shift versions of the Jaguar 2016 F-Type are subtle, but substantive.
The F-Type is the first Jaguar sports car to use Electric Power Assisted Steering. Jaguar says the system provides power assistance only when needed, reduces fuel consumption, and cuts carbon dioxide emissions. A 770-watt Meridian audio system, keyless entry and ignition, 14-way power seats, and an InControl smartphone integration system are also standard.
All-wheel drive and an 8-speed QuickShift automatic transmission will be standard on the 2016 F-Type R coupe and convertible. Their 5.0-liter V-8 engine combines direct injection with a twin-vortex supercharger capable of generating 550 hp and 502 ft lbs of torque. The all-wheel-drive versions are differentiated from their stablemates by AWD badging on the rear, a redesigned hood and rear diffuser, body-color side sills, and body-color venturi on R models or valence exhaust tips on S models.
Default mode sends all of the engine’s torque to the rear axle. Under certain circumstances, up to 50 percent of the torque can be sent to the front axle instead. The cars’ weight balance was moved forward by only 1.2 percentage points compared to the rear-wheel-drive models. The all-wheel-drive system in the F-Type R is 176 pounds heavier than the standard F-Type’s rear-wheel-drive system, but it is still capable of going from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and reaching a top speed of 186 mph.
The 380 hp V-6 F-Type S Coupe comes standard with rear-wheel drive and an automatic transmission, though it can be equipped with an optional 6-speed manual transmission.
The 2016 models will be available in late spring 2015, with pricing yet to be announced. (jaguarusa.com)