It's the end of the line for the stunning F-Type, and Jaguar has saved the best until last with its V8-only send-off range.

Saying goodbye is never easy, and the direction the automotive market is going means we’re starting to say goodbye to some real gems. Hotted-up sedans, sports cars, and even some brands’ entire petrol-powered lineups have been given the axe in recent months and years. However, the hardest goodbye I find myself having to say is to the gloriously stunning 2024 Jaguar F-Type.

Since it first entered production way back in 2013, I’ve been besotted with it. Intended as the spiritual successor to the famed E-Type of the 1960s, it has continually been every bit the car it needed to be. From its looks, both pre- and post-facelift, to the way it drives, and of course the orchestral noise emitted from its tailpipes regardless of which engine powered it, it’s a car you could perhaps file under the label ‘the last of its kind’.

To send off its flagship sports car, Jaguar has perhaps saved the best until last. Although there used to be a multitude of engine and body-style configurations available in years past, the 2024 range has been simplified significantly with three variants to choose from. All are V8-powered, and all are badged as special edition 75 models to mark Jaguar’s 75-year history of building sports cars.

The one you see here is the P450 Convertible which uses a lower-output version of the brand’s 5.0-litre supercharged engine, although its 331kW and 580Nm outputs are nothing to sniff at. It’s priced from $186,920 in this guise – that is, if you can find one of the very last examples still sitting at a dealership – although a few well-chosen options took my tester up to $193,940 as it sits. You can have the P450 powertrain in a hard-top for about five-grand less, while the raucous F-Type R Coupe still sits atop the range for a near six-digit premium.

Calling a near-$200k sports car good value seems like a bit of a stretch in the current financial climate, but I recall a time where the same money ‘only’ got you a V6-powered F-Type. It’s particularly competitive on price with the mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette, while it undercuts a base Porsche 911 by almost a six-digit amount.

The usual level of Jaguar luxury is clearly on display. You’d be mad not to opt for the $2110 extended leather interior, as it wraps every surface all the way to the top of the dashboard in supple leather, while the cabin incorporates its decently-sized screens in a way which doesn’t look tacked on, and therefore should help it age well.

From behind the wheel it’s an ergonomic delight, with extremely comfortable and supportive bucket seats which are heated and cooled, while the driving position is spot on. There are evenly-placed grab handles on the passenger side so you know they won’t be getting thrown around, either.

While its infotainment system might not be the most up-to-date, lacking wireless smartphone mirroring in particular, it is very straightforward to operate which is far more important than cutting-edge graphics in my opinion. The 10.0-inch screen its housed on looks well-sized in the F-Type’s cabin, while the 12.3-inch driver display looks just as cleanly incorporated and has plenty of customisability with different dial layouts and a full-screen map view.

I could go on about the 10-speaker Meridian audio system, 12-way seat adjustment, and the usual active safety technology, but these aren’t really the things that make the F-Type as good as it is. It’s really about the way sitting in this cabin makes you feel. The low-slung position, sporty seats, high-quality materials, and the views of the long bonnet ahead of you and the big rear haunches in the side mirrors are what makes this feel like a special place to be.

Also, I must give kudos to whoever specified this particular vehicle. Green over tan is one of those iconic colour combinations, particularly for a British sports car, and this combination of Giola Green and Tan Windsor Leather, along with the 20-inch gloss black five-spoke alloys, offers a particularly unique but equally fitting twist on the theme. Although, when you’re working with a design this timelessly elegant, you could almost do no wrong painting it any hue.

But with the F-Type in its twilight, celebrating just what a stunning vehicle it is to drive is the more fitting way to send it off in my eyes. And with a brutish supercharged V8 under the bonnet, the industry-standard ZF eight-speed automatic transmission hooked up behind it, and a classic rear-wheel drive layout, how could it be anything but brilliant?

Despite this being the drop-top, the chassis still feels poised when pushed hard on the road. You might find its limits more quickly on a track, but the R Coupe exists for that market. That’s why I actually think this one is the sweet spot, as it’s not too hardcore, with its ride finding the right balance between sporty tautness and GT-like comfort.

The steering is even better than in the R model as well, thanks to there being less weight over the front axle without the all-wheel drive system added in. Its razor sharp response even just off centre reminds you that this is truly an out-and-out sports car, with it feeling tight without bordering on being twitchy. The weighting of the steering is right on the money as well – neither too heavy nor too light, but right in the sweet spot where it feels nice and deliberate.

Plus, this P450 powertrain is a real gem. It might be the less-powerful version of this engine, but it still rockets the F-Type from 0-100km/h in just 4.6 seconds, and it emits a truly heavenly noise as well. I’m talking Marvin Gaye and Ray Charles levels of soulful as it opens up its lungs past the 3000rpm mark – you can clearly hear the exhaust valves open up, letting it breathe freely – to produce pure majesty from its quad-pipes, while there’s a bit of James Brown’s utterances scattered on top in the form of its whip-cracks and burbles on overrun.

While I was blessed with a largely rain-free week of driving, searing temperatures of as much as 40°C meant the ventilated seats and ice-cold air conditioning truly came into their own even with the top down. It felt like the most appropriate car I could have been driving at the time, though, as this immense heat matched the spice levels of the F-Type’s experience in whole. Even this ‘base’ model ought to come with three chillies next to it on the menu.

Despite the tractor-width Pirelli P Zero tyres, it’ll happily indulge you in just the right amount of oversteer when you punt it through some well-cambered corners on the right road, with utterly predictable handling given the shorter wheelbase and wide wheel track. Plus, its weight – 1793kg for this version, which is a realistic figure that includes a 75kg driver, all fluids, and 90 percent fuel in its calculation – helps it feel manageable as well, with it quick enough on its feet while still feeling solidly planted.

There’s no denying that every part of driving a car like this feels special. Combine an engine this spectacular with a poised yet playful chassis, add in a dose of luxury and a world-class exhaust note, and you get what I would consider one of the most complete and well-rounded automotive experiences on offer.

Having been able to sample almost every drivetrain and body configuration of the F-Type over the past few years, I firmly believe Jaguar has saved the best until last with this one. Of all variants I’ve driven, this one feels like it has found the best balance between performance, luxury, and usability. It’s dignified, yet raucous; timeless, yet the perfect capstone to the V8 sports car era.

When you add up just how phenomenal a car the F-Type is, it makes saying that goodbye hard, but not knowing what’s next for the future of Jaguar’s sports cars makes it even harder. Not only is the last of its era, but potentially the last of its kind, at least for the foreseeable future. Let’s just appreciate the majesty of it while we still can.

2024 Jaguar F-Type 75 Convertible P450 List Price: $186,920 | As Tested: $193,940
  • 9/10
    Performance - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Ride & Handling - 9/10
  • 8.5/10
    Tech & Features - 8.5/10
  • 7/10
    Practicality - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Value for Money - 8/10

Pros: Glorious V8 engine, stunning styling, interior feels special, spot-on driving dynamics for a rear-drive sports car
Cons: Tech feels a tad outdated, you won’t be able to buy one anymore

In a nutshell: The F-Type is utterly special, and in my opinion, absolutely unforgettable. It’s the perfect bookend to the V8 sports car era, and you’ll need to act quick if you’re of the same mindset. 

Principal photography by Marcus Cardone. Additional photography by Patrick Jackson.

Full Disclosure: The vehicle tested here was provided by JLR Australia for six days with a full tank of fuel upon collection. All additional fuel expenses were covered by the author.

Patrick Jackson
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