Final Drive: The 2024 F-Type 75 Gives Old-School Jaguar One Last Time To Shine

Drive a Jaguar F-Type and you'll hate to say goodbye. I spent two days driving the new F-Type 75 across Spain, from Barcelona to Bilbao, blasting up mountains, winding through forests, speeding through valleys. And when I finally reached the literal end of the road at the stunning Atlantic coast, I'd have been content to stretch my legs, sip a coffee, daintily sample some Iberico ham and then turn right back around and do it all over again.

Here's the thing: You don't need 435 miles of Spanish countryside to 'get' the Jaguar F-Type. There's no forehead-smack epiphany that comes after driving hundreds of miles. It's a compact two-seater with a bazooka of an engine and looks that could kill. Is it perfect? Hell no. But wowie wow does the F-Type ooze charm.

Jaguar F-Type: History of a stunner

Though the company has always made pretty cars, Jaguar's modern design renaissance was really kicked off by the C-X75 concept that debuted at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. It was absolutely stunning, and subsequently, the following year, Jaguar unveiled the C-X16 concept, giving the world its first glimpse of what would become the F-Type.

Interestingly, while the C-X16 was a spitting image for the F-Type coupe, the roadster came first in late 2013. I'll always remember my first time driving the F-Type roadster, goosing the throttle around every corner, the almost exaggerated exhaust burble reverberating off the walls of Detroit's abandoned factories on my "take the long way home" route.

It didn't take long to gel with the F-Type, but the arrival of the coupe in 2014 is what really sealed the deal. Much as I love a convertible (shoutout to my '99 Miata), the shape of the F-Type coupe is downright provocative. That long hood, sweeping fastback, wide haunches — it all works. A decade later, that original coupe still looks the absolute business, and I will never forgive Jaguar for ruining the F-Type's front end during its 2021 model year facelift. At least that rear three-quarter view still slaps.

Seventy-five skidoo

The 75 is less of a special edition and more of a swan song, bookending the F-Type's 10-year run. For the sports car's final act, Jaguar simplified the F-Type lineup, keeping both the coupe and convertible body styles but making the supercharged V8 engine standard across the board. The base F-Type R-Dynamic has rear-wheel drive, while the F-Type 75 and F-Type R 75 have all-wheel drive (in the US, at least). Unique wheels, dark badges and special interior trim round out the 75's visual changes, while underneath the skin, you'll find stiffer suspension components and a limited-slip rear differential.

Jaguar offered the F-Type with four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines over the years, and you could briefly get the V6 with a manual transmission (it wasn't very good). No surprise, I always liked the F-Type's 5.0-liter V8 best. It sets this car apart from modern competitors like the BMW M4 and Porsche 911. Plus it's super cool. Big V8s are a dying breed — best to send them off in a dying car.

In the F-Type R-Dynamic and F-Type 75, the supercharged V8 makes 444 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque, paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Regardless of whether you have rear- or all-wheel drive, this spec allows the F-Type to accelerate to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. But step up to the F-Type R 75 and you get 575 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, reducing that 0-to-60 time to a scant 3.5 seconds.

Loud and proud

The single most important button inside the F-Type — aside from the ignition, anyway — is the one for the active exhaust. You must press this. Always. And on that note, boo to anyone who makes use of the F-Type's Quiet Start feature. I don't care how old your neighbors are or how early you have to leave in the morning. The quad-pipe boisterousness is a critical part of the F-Type experience, and if you aren't going to hit this button every single time you drive the car, you're totally doing it wrong.

Nail the throttle in the F-Type R 75 and you'll get some initial wheelspin as the engine's revs build. The V8 wails and the crescendo under full throttle is complemented by an absolutely brutal pow-pow-pow from the exhaust out back. It's enough to make you forget about the lag before the torque fully arrives at 3,500 rpm, or the fact that the steering doesn't give you a completely accurate sense of what your front tires are up to. The F-Type R 75 is Britain's muscle car, and it introduces itself appropriately. What I wouldn't give to drive an F-Type R 75 with the titanium pipes from the old F-Type SVR.

Kitty's got claws

Despite its stiffer chassis bits and large 20-inch wheels, the F-Type R 75 is surprisingly comfortable. Nasty patches of road in tiny Spanish towns are no match for the 265/35 front and 305/30 rear summer tires, and even with the car in its most aggressive Dynamic mode, the electronically adjustable dampers behave appropriately.

That same Dynamic setting tightens up the transmission's shift logic, increases the throttle response, and adds additional weight to the steering rack. Even at its sharpest, though, the F-Type is pretty relaxed. The steering is light, the body rolls a bit while cornering, and the eight-speed gearbox is best overridden via the steering wheel-mounted paddles. On a challenging mountain road, even the most basic Porsche 911 will provide a more tactile and technically proficient experience.

But that's not to say the F-Type isn't fun. I kind of like that this car makes you work to get your kicks. You have to wrangle the coupe's tendency to oversteer, you have to slam the throttle to eke out max power. Drive the F-Type like you mean it. This car feeds on ferocity.

A comfy grand tourer

From a usability standpoint, the F-Type is the same as it ever was. The cabin is plush and its design is befitting of a luxury car, plus the coupe offers 14.4 cubic feet of space under the liftback, which is enough for a couple of carry-ons. The F-Type doesn't have the new Pivi Pro infotainment system used across the broader Jaguar Land Rover range, and to be honest, the older multimedia system kind of sucks. Also, the screen totally washes out in sunlight. Sorry, convertible buyers.

The F-Type R 75's big power makes it a hell of a grand tourer, and it's on long, sweeping stretches of Spanish road where this car is a dream to drive. The chassis is balanced and the F-Type feels perfectly stable on the freeway. You truly feel like you should be given a pass to do warp speed all of the time. The F-Type just wants to go faster. And faster. It's so, so easy to hit way-above-legal speeds simply because you'll be digging into the throttle to hear the exhaust again and again. The F-Type is not for commuting. It's for the drive, not the destination.

Goodbye, but what's next?

The F-Type hits the end of its run at a pivotal time for Jaguar. This is the last time the company will launch a new car with an internal combustion engine; from 2025 on, Jaguar is going fully electric. What's in store, exactly? Your guess is as good as mine. Jaguar scrapped the electric XJ replacement it had been developing, and now simply says we'll see a new EV in 2025. Other reports suggest Jaguar will reveal more of its hand this spring.

EVs open the door for lots of performance possibilities, and I hope Jaguar's future electric offerings will have the F-Type's same inherent bliss. I want a car that's perfectly imperfect. I want a car that begs to be driven again and again. I won't mind trading the V8's aural pleasantries for the thrill of instant electric torque. And hey, stopping to charge leaves more time for espresso and ham.