What is it?

The Jaguar F-Type is one of the sportiest beasts in the British carmaker’s line-up – it’s the natural successor to the perennially cool E-Type that solidified Jag’s reputation as a purveyor of exciting, luxury cars.

And it’s a worthy successor. The jaw-dropping, modern looks of 2018 Jaguar F-Type remain classically correct, and even though it’s been around for a while, it’s still one of the most beautiful cars on the road.

Jaguar recently introduced a new F-Type with a 2.0-litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. It’s the new entry level in the F-Type line-up, putting it against the likes of the standard Porsche 718 Cayman. And the 2018 model has been updated with a front fascia with newly redesigned headlights, lightweight slimline seats and new interior color options – noble chrome and sienna tan.

How does it drive?

That newly introduced engine produces 300 bhp and 400 Nm of torque – enough for the entry-level F-Type to do 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds. It might not sound enormously quick, but when you consider that the standard V6-engined model is just 0.4 seconds quicker, this looks like a bit of a bargain on paper.

Plus, this 2.0-litre offers so much character. Push the throttle hard, and it suddenly comes alive. It sings as the revs climb higher, the transmission livens and the exhaust note becomes more than decent. In fact, it’d be stellar if we weren’t used to the sonorousness of the V6 in the more expensive F-Type.

Use Sport and Dynamic modes together – or better yet the paddle shifts – and the F-Type L4 is a surprisingly energetic performer. The handling is precise enough, with loads of grip for a rear-wheel-drive car (and potential for a little slip, if you’re in the mood). And the ride is probably the best of the F-Type range.

The gearbox is an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters, and there are no complaints on its responsiveness or its smoothness. Naturally, there are a number of driving modes to choose from. Sport will keep noise levels and heart rates high, though it’s refreshingly refined if you leave everything in Auto.

Interior quality and tech

New additions to the 2018 model are thinner seats, which make the cosy cabin roomier for tall drivers. There are new LED headlamps plus signature DRL and redesigned front and rear bumpers, which combine to keep the car looking fresh as it hits middle age. In terms of infotainment, you get Jaguar’s 8-inch Touch Pro system with MERIDIAN sound. It’s probably the best iteration of the system yet, and nicely brings Jaguar back up into the running with its German rivals. The materials inside are all first-rate and assembly is beyond reproach. And even though it’s a little gimmicky, we still love the centre air vents rising from the dash.

Running costs

The Jaguar F-Type 2.0 starts at AED 245,805, which is pretty good for a car that looks and sounds like this. For insurance, you’re looking at between AED 6,000 and AED 8,500 for a fully comprehensive policy. And that smaller engine pays dividends at the petrol pumps. It’ll cost you AED 170 to fill the 70-litre fuel tank, but with a theoretical range of 970 km, you shouldn’t have to fill up the F-Type 2.0 very often.

Our verdict

The Jaguar F-Type’s 2.0-litre, turbocharged engine does nothing to blunt the car’s character. It provides a thunderous soundtrack and more-than-adequate performance. Basically, the 2.0-litre F-Type is designed for those who want a classically-styled and exciting coupe, but also want a bit of fuel efficiency for everyday running. The lower starting price is nice, too.