Jaguar’s major success with its F-Pace, E-Pace and I-Pace SUV/crossover lineup has prompted speculation on whether sports cars had any future in the company’s model portfolio. But Jaguar fans can now breathe a sigh of relief at the news that the famed British manufacturer is not only sticking firmly to its sports car heritage, but is bringing us a widely updated F-Type coupé and roadster for 2021.

Ever since the demise of the legendary E-Type, Jaguar aficionados have been looking for its successor and the company has certainly brought us some wonderful products over the past few decades. Most agree, though, that the F-Type is the closest to that original groundbreaking 1960s sports car. Anyone who has driven both cars would have to admit in all honesty that the F-Type is a far better car in just about every possible respect.

aguar describes its new design F-Type as ‘a purer, more sculpted and assertive expression of the definitive Jaguar sports car’ and few will argue with that. Although low and sleek, the car has a muscular appearance and in fact, the V-8 models feel a lot like the best of the American muscle cars. In traditional fashion, the car uses a front engine, rear-wheel drive configuration. A range of engines includes a thrifty 4-cylinder turbo and at the top of the line, a 575-horsepower V-8. In some markets, a V-6 is offered too. The V-8s have a nicely aggressive growl to them and provide exceptional response and flexibility.

This engine note can be adjusted with a switch so that the ‘crackle and pop’ overrun sounds are there for the asking. This is great fun to play with as long as your neighbours are forgiving types! The biggest V-8 is supercharged and comes with the ‘R’ model that also boasts all-wheel drive to get all the power to the road when it matters. Transmission is an 8-speed automatic with manual override.

The F-Type is easier to get into than many rivals and once behind the wheel, drivers enjoy the usual feast of Jaguar craftsmanship and luxury ambiance. This is a two-seater car, plain and simple, and there was no attempt to shoehorn in the rear ‘shelf’ seats that are usually a waste of space in vehicles like this. The seats are very comfortable and supportive and grip driver and passenger securely during tight cornering. As with all serious performance cars, there’s a big tachometer at the central point of the 31.2 cm instrument display. The F-Type features advanced infotainment features and a full suite of electronic safety aids.

The F-Type has always been enjoyable to drive, especially the V-8 versions with their visceral power and grippy handling. The 2021 car takes the whole Jaguar sports car experience a stage or two further, adding features and styling cues that should make it a sleeper for many years to come. The future may well bring electric versions but traditionalists will be hard to part from their attachment to cars like the 2021 F-Type.

ENGINE: 2-litre 4-cylinder turbo plus 5.0-litre V-8s. TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic.

ACCELERATION: Zero to 100 km/h 3.7-secs (top V-8). TOP SPEED: 300 km/h (top V-8).

I LIKED: F-Type’s wonderful driving experience with its combination of traditional sports car performance and handling plus all current technological aids to more enjoyable and safer motoring. Great looking car, even more so than its predecessor.

I DIDN’T LIKE: It’d be good to see all-wheel drive right through the range.

MARKET ALTERNATIVES: Porsche Boxster S, Porsche 911, BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLC.

WHO DRIVES ONE? Jaguar enthusiasts ready for something new that won’t date for many years. Drivers of rival makes looking for a change and a more visceral driving experience.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: Available now at base prices ranging from €70.600 (coupé) to €78.300 (roadster).