The Jaguar F-Type 75 And R 75 Special Editions Remind Me Why I’m Going To Miss The Absolute Hell Out Of The F-Type

Jaguar F Type Topshot

The end of the Jaguar F-Type is nigh. It wasn’t so long ago that Jaguar was spitting out fire-breathing supercharged monsters into virtually every model range. The XFR-S, the Project 8, and the XJR were all brilliant cars for those with a penchant for speed. Come 2025, the speed will likely remain, but the soundtrack of British gravel will disappear as the brand goes all-in on the electric future.

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Photo credit: Jaguar

To celebrate the last model year of the F-Type, Jaguar’s launched the F-Type 75 and R 75 to commemorate 75 years of Jaguar sports cars. Back in 1949, the Jaguar XK120 became the fastest production car in the world, topping out at 124 mph. While this seems a bit silly now, imagine wandering down an A-road in your Ford Anglia, only to get absolutely blitzed by a swooping specter of inline-six speed. From there, Jaguar sports car history is filled with greats. The paired-down XKSS, the iconic E-Type, the bewitching XJ220, and of course, the F-Type.

Strangely, the F-Type 75 and R 75 don’t get much in the way of special stuff. Aside from badges, wheels, a black headliner, and the option of Giola Green Metallic paint, these special cars are virtually identical to their standard counterparts. No extra power, no special handling bits, just a bit of cosmetic glimmer. However, how do you improve the F-Type?

interior
Photo credit: Jaguar

Admittedly, there’s a lot wrong with the Jaguar F-Type that could be improved. It weighs as much as a cathedral, the view out is through a mail slot, the trunk can only hold an orange, and the rather corporate facelift makes it look like two different cars taped together. Long-term reliability on early models hasn’t been brilliant, the base four-cylinder engine feels a bit inappropriate, the short-lived manual V6 models were initially troubled by a batch of bad clutches, the car itself is a decade old, and it arguably started the stupid trend of artificial pops and bangs. However, none of this really matters, for the F-Type is loved.

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Photo credit: Jaguar

Every engine has character, and V8s are some of the most characterful around. They writhe and bellow like living things, especially when there are no pesky turbochargers to dull exhaust note. While the base F-Type does feature a fairly cooking-grade four-cylinder engine, a five-liter V8 in two states of tune is also available. Oh, and did I mention that it’s supercharged? Whether you opt for the standard 444 horsepower version or the 575 horsepower R version, there’s no wrong way to order a V8 F-Type. Sure, the 444-horsepower rear-wheel-drive version is twitchier than a Jack Russel Terrier, but that’s part of the fun. Many modern cars dull the sensation of speed, whereas the rear-wheel-drive V8 F-Type really makes you feel its speed.

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Photo credit: Jaguar

From the rear three-quarter view, the F-Type still looks incredible. Wide, near-horizontal haunches, delightfully slim tail lights, and massive wheels combine to create one of the best rear three-quarter views in the automotive kingdom. So what if the interior’s a bit crap? This car oozes style. More importantly, it’s stylish without being trashy. If you pull up in a Toyota GR Supra or Porsche 718 Cayman, you’ll either look like you’re about to start talking about crypto or like you couldn’t afford a Porsche 911. Not so with an F-Type.

cabriolet rear
Photo credit: Jaguar

Complex love is what makes a car great. The joy of owning it, the odd pain of running it, and the pantomime of brilliant internal combustion. Old BMWs have terrible cooling systems and brittle plastics, yet because the straight-six engines are so characterful and the suspension systems were tuned by people who love driving, everyone wants a Bavarian banger. Most old muscle cars can’t turn or stop particularly well and weren’t assembled with anything approaching precision, yet people pull out their phones when one drives past because muscle cars are affable louts. In twenty years’ time, we’ll look back on the F-Type in a similar way, as a car made by people who love cars. Not people who love software, not people who love technical challenges on paper, not people who love objective speed, people who love cars. Buy one while you still have the chance.

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18 Responses

  1. I bought a convertible F-Type V8S in 2014. The coupe hadn’t even been released yet. This was my first REALLY cool car. I loved it then and love it even more now. It sounds great, looks great, and drives very well. It looks like nothing else on the road. Lots of heads turn. People chat me up at the gas station, which I usually don’t mind. A couple of kids on bikes loudly exclaimed, “Whoaaaaaa!” when I was driving quietly enough to actually hear something other than the bonkers exhaust note. That is probably one of my proudest moments ever. Took it to autocross and slid/spun all over the place (RWD) making horrible lap times but lots of smoke and noise. One of the organizers told me it was more fun to watch than all of the Miatas making perfect lines all day. Every year or two, I think I should sell it and move on to something else… then I go for a drive and smile ear to ear from the fun and the noise and the sheer obnoxiousness of the thing. I’m in love. I just can’t let it go. The pain of missing such a cool fun unique automobile would be soul crushing. Plus it isn’t worth much anymore. So go buy one while they’re still so damn inexpensive!

  2. I couldn’t agree more Thomas. The F Type has what so few cars today too…emotion, and it’s what makes it brilliant. I don’t care that it isn’t the fastest, or the most reliable, or the most modern. Just LOOK at the damn thing!

    It’s oozing with beauty and the heritage of countless brilliant British roadsters before it. It’s both modern and classic. And under the hood there’s a roaring V8. Much like the car, not the most practical, efficient, modern choice…but WHO CARES?!? Have you ever heard a V8 with the top down at wide open throttle?! It’s like a personal symphony for your ears.

    This is a car that is greater than the sum of its parts and statistics. And those are the cars that we ought to be celebrating as enthusiasts. I view the F Type much like I view the LC500…I don’t care that it doesn’t compete on paper, just look and listen to it. As much as Ive dreamt of owning a Porsche, if I were in the position to buy one would I pick it over either of these two? I’m really not sure. When I see a 911 I think “hey cool”. When I see an LC500 I do a triple take and go LOOK! AN LC500! to my passenger.

    Where’s V10emous? I feel like I’m chugging his kool aid haha but guess what? The “V8 or bust” people have a point. My source is myself…Ive driven big honkin V8 sports cars and there’s nothing that can give you the same experience. I’m not sure if I’ll ever own one, but I consider myself fortunate to have been able to drive them. That’s an experience our kids probably won’t have, and while the environment will be better off for it, it still kinda sucks. Not everything needs to be rational. It’s okay to enjoy a fast, loud car.

    1. This is true. It’s a car that makes me happy on a purely emotional level. I’m not even a V8 guy (though I appreciate them as the general-purpose right answer), I don’t like how heavy and large it is, and they’re reasonably common like a 911. It’s fast, but there are faster.
      But unlike the 911, I do still get excited when I see one. It’s art. It’s beautiful like an old Ferrari instead of gaudy like a new Lamborghini. It’s flawed yet gorgeous. It’s there just to excite you and it nails it!

    2. Good mention of the Lexus. Every time I see one, I shake my head at what an outstandingly elegant looking car it is and the engine sounds fantastic, like the F-Type. Even as a diehard manual guy, I’d most likely choose either of those auto-onlies over a manual 911 (they’ve never done much of anything for me, they’re like an attractive, successful person you admire, but somehow don’t want to sleep with). Doesn’t hurt that the people buying the F-types and LCs tend to choose actual damn colors from excellent color palettes and they’re more rarely seen so that they really stand out as opposed to the almost ubiquitous Porsches primarily bought by people lacking cone vision in spite of an also excellent color palette.

      1. The metallic green over the orange-brown interior LC500 is one of the most striking cars I’ve ever seen…but the design is so elegant that it even looks good in plain colors like white and silver. But I agree…I’d absolutely hold out for the green or the metallic red personally. Maybe even the yellow. I’m not a big yellow car guy but something about yellow and Japanese performance cars just works for me…probably because it’s been a Honda Type R color since the 90s.

        I’m not a manual or bust type because I didn’t learn to drive stick at all until the last few years and my commute is pure traffic….but I do understand why you’d want it in certain cars. While I personally think a stick is almost mandatory in a drop top since I’d only be using it for pleasure I’d happily make an exception for the Jaaaaaaag or Lexus.

        Plus the Lexus will let you smash it off the rev limiter to your heart’s content anyway….and when you have that sonorous V8 soundtrack accompanying it you’d damn well better be doing it every single day, as god intended.

    3. I agree. The F-Type and the LC 500 are cars that don’t need to insist upon themselves or really compete with anything on paper, because each is a glorious exhibition of its respective automaker’s ethos.

      I’m seriously thinking about an LC, before Lexus discontinues it. I get the sense they’ll quietly kill it and the IS 500 off, and then that will be all she wrote for Lexus (and indeed Toyota) V8s.

      1. I’m not in the position to consider either today, but in a few years a secondhand LC500 will definitely be on my radar. The wife has become convertiblepilled over the course of our relationship and has relented that having a weekend drop top “would be nice in a few years”.

        I’ve made progress, mainly by insisting we rent them when we travel. Sadly I don’t think she’d budge on a V8 pony car drop top (which we could afford today) but an elegant luxury brand one a few years down the road? There’s a chance! And since so many of them are owned by older folks and garaged I don’t think it’ll be too hard to find a nice one.

        The real question is whether they’ll depreciate at all…because a six figure fun car wouldn’t be a smart use of our money, but paying half that in cash for one in a few years? It could be done, but we’ll see. All of these last hurrah ICE cars are going for a premium these days and the market may never correct.

    4. “Where’s V10emous?”

      I’m never far from these kind of articles 🙂

      “Ive driven big honkin V8 sports cars and there’s nothing that can give you the same experience.”

      I actually have to disagree with you here, if only to say that V10 powered sports cars are pretty great as well.

  3. In the summer of 1969, I had just bought a brand new VW that was sorta fun, very practical, and standard for San Diego streets. I liked it but I didn’t love it.

    Then on a Saturday drive down auto sales row, I spied a car that really kindled a spark of insane desire; a 1957 XK120. As I was driving a decent car and was a clean cut Marine I had no problem getting a test drive. Up and down canyon roads, that wonderful straight six growling up and down the gears. When I returned, he already had a contract written up that would leave me upside down on the VW by a third of its value. Payments so huge it would have meant no more hamburger for dinner. I was still up for it until I noticed something odd.

    Even though the car had been parked for several minutes, it was still making odd noises. The salesman reluctantly raised the hood to show water and steam escaping from all manner of places.
    Finally good sense took over and I walked.

    But god did it sound sweet!

  4. It’s not a Jaguar unless it’s a charmingly flawed product, and the F-Type fits that bill neatly. I would love to see Jaguar eventually come up with an electric sports car, and they’ve even promised to, but I get the horrifying sense they’re going to cancel that and merely going to do SUVs and be the alt-world curviness to Land Rover (and specifically the Range Rover sub-brand’s) linearity. So, this is probably it for the Jaguar sports car.

    Along with the F-Pace SVR, the F-Type is one of the last products still using the Jaguar AJ-V8 series. The new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport have switched over to using BMW V8s (again, lol), so that entire engine family is likely on its way out.

    The F-Type is also one of the last vestiges of the long-lived DEW98 platform engineering.

    The DEW98 platform was one co-developed by Ford and Jaguar for their D- and E-segment sedans, and first saw use in the Jaguar S-Type, Lincoln LS and final Ford Thunderbird, then later in the S-Type’s replacement, the Jaguar XF. From what I understand, Jaguar basically took the DEW98 engineering and translated it to a bonded-aluminum structure, redesigning little other than the front under-frame in order to get it through crash tests. That aluminum platform debuted in the “retro” 2003/4-2009 X350 Jaguar XJ (I have had two of those). Because the aluminum X350 was so lightweight, it was even able to share things like control arms and axles with the smaller DEW98 cars, rather than needing dedicated suspension hardware for a larger car.

    That aluminum X350 platform then went into the 2007 X150 Jaguar XK (2007-2015), which was the first of the Ian-Callum designed, sleeker Jaguars that would make a clean break from Jaguar’s traditional styling. The platform was modified for the subsequent (and final) X351 Jaguar XJ (2010/11-2019), which was called the D2a platform. Then the X152 F-Type, which debuted in 2014, received an offshoot of it called D6a. I’m not sure how much of the original aluminum platform, or indeed of DEW98 itself, is left in the F-Type’s D6a platform, but the lineage is there.

    Funnily enough, the “retro” S197 Mustang (2005-2014) was *also* a DEW98 platform offshoot. Ford initially wanted to just take the DEW98 platform as it was and use it for the Mustang, but as the project wore on, they realized they’d never be able to hit price targets for an affordable sports car with such an expensive platform. So they began cost-cutting the crap out of it (even adding back the live rear axle), and when they were done, little was left of DEW98 other than the fuel tank design, front frame rails and parts of the floor pans.

  5. “If you pull up in a Toyota GR Supra or Porsche 718 Cayman, you’ll either look like you’re about to start talking about crypto or like you couldn’t afford a Porsche 911.”

    I died. It’s not very nice, but oh my god is that so on point.

    A convertible F-type R is one of my dream cars. I know they’re flawed, but those looks and that V8 are just so much better than just about anything else I can think of. Maybe when I get my electrician’s license I’ll sell the Miata and pick up a used F-type convertible instead. Maybe. There are good reasons not to. But I don’t think buying an F-type is ever a truly rational decision.

  6. “If you pull up in a Toyota GR Supra or Porsche 718 Cayman, you’ll either look like you’re about to start talking about crypto”

    This is funny, but don’t crypto guys buy 4 owner salvage titled Gallardos?

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