A Fond Farewell to an Old Favorite: The 2024 Jaguar F-Type R75 Convertible
The conclusion is that although if the 2024 Jaguar F-Type R75 convertible has an antiquated interior, its gorgeous outside and loud V-8 make it impossible not to fall in love with it when you drive one.
Comparing the 2024 F-Type R75 convertible to its competitors, it is still a relative performance bargain at $120,000 and has a soul that some rivals lack. However, due to technological shortcomings and the fact that this is the model year’s last, it will never catch up.
With new special edition trim levels inspired by its racing and sports car background, Jaguar is releasing the two-seat sports vehicle ahead of its planned 2024 model year production termination. I drove a convertible top R75 trim model for this test, which has a powerful 575-horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine and all-wheel drive as standard.
Related: The 75 Special Edition 2024 Jaguar F-Type Marks the Start of Its Final Year of Production
The Jaguar F-Type was almost brand-new when I started working over ten years ago, and it was one of the first vehicles I fell in love with while working there. Even though Jaguar hasn’t made many changes to the F-Type in its long history, that affection has persisted because of it, or perhaps because of it. The 2024 model I recently rode felt very familiar, despite a few changes (Jaguar gave it a facelift for 2021, updating the R versions’ suspension and adding more contemporary electronics, while the available drivetrains have undergone changes throughout time).
I won’t lie: driving a tiny convertible with a roaring supercharged V-8 under the hood is a lot of fun. It made me smile almost as much as it did over ten years ago, but is the F-Type going out with a bang or a whisper? That required some deciphering.
Grins along the Mile
Most of the time, driving an F-Type R75 is a pleasant experience, with a variety of features to suit your preferred mood. The car is shockingly and pleasantly calm when driven in Normal mode. With almost 600 horsepower buried beneath the hood, the throttle isn’t jerky, the brakes aren’t overly grabby, and the ride is pleasant. You can commute and drive in the city without too much trouble.
However, when you go into the sporty R Mode, the F-Type feels like an eager partner for canyon carving since everything becomes much more precise and tight. The adaptive exhaust roars under strong acceleration with one of the greatest exhaust noises I’ve ever heard, and the steering is direct and communicative. Despite not having driven one, my prior exposure to F-Type coupes makes me think the 2024 model will have a little sharper feel than the convertible. I’m prepared to make the trade to hear the exhaust sing more clearly if that’s the only issue with the convertible. that’s impressive that the F-Type can still be driven somewhat comfortably in R Mode; that was my favorite setting. To achieve the best of all worlds, you can also alter the suspension, drivetrain, and steering settings.
Not to be overlooked is the eight-speed automatic transmission that comes standard on every F-Type model. It switches gears quickly, and even though the steering wheel has paddles that let you manually adjust ratios, the transmission performs so effectively that I found myself disregarding the paddles. However, if you do use the paddles, the reaction is great, so you can have fun using them.
But there are certain concessions to the driving experience, if not outright defects. Although not very hard, the ride can feel brittle over big bumps and even tiny ones that happen quickly after one another; hits resonate throughout the chassis. This is normal for a sports vehicle with a shorter wheelbase, but it was occasionally uncomfortable to drive the F-Type on Chicago’s patchy freeways, and it occasionally lost balance when turning over bumps. Additionally, the steering of the F-Type may be quite active and needs to be adjusted frequently to prevent excessive wandering. Drivers may wish to maintain the steering in a sportier setting as this is more common in the F-Type’s more relaxed steering settings, albeit doing so will require more work during lower-speed manoeuvres.
Another trade-off in a convertible is outward visibility, particularly for drivers who are taller. When I was first in line at a crossroads, I had trouble seeing traffic signals because of the car’s low seating position and sloped front glass. When the top is down, the convertible’s integrated windscreen effectively reduces wind intrusion; nevertheless, it obstructs the rearview mirror’s view. When the soft top is up, it provides some sound insulation, but the interior is still heavily exposed to wind and road noise.
Elegant Comfort for All (Max: 2)
Apart from the visibility and noise problems, the F-Type’s inside is beautiful, including soft seats and premium materials on almost every surface. Although the cabin is small, I never felt crowded in. A 10.2-inch touchscreen display and a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel were installed when Jaguar last redesigned the F-Type’s cabin, and they are still there. The F-Type’s cabin has some technology advances, although they are limited to wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Physical controls are located in the center console for lowering and raising the convertible top, changing the drive mode, and adjusting the adaptive exhaust. The remaining audio and climate controls are also easily operated. In contrast to some high-end vehicles with intricate control systems, the F-Type’s configuration is clear-cut, easy to understand, and much appreciated.
It would be easy to think that the F-Type has evolved into a grand tourer with its opulent cabin and composed driving style, but that is untrue given the interior’s small baggage capacity. Despite its cozy inside, the BMW 8 Series, Lexus LC, and Porsche 911 all have something that at least resembles a backseat, but I haven’t yet seen a person of any age who can fit in any of them. The F-Type’s trunk is quite small for a sports vehicle, and grand touring also necessitates at least some cargo room. A package of toilet paper the size of Costco was managed to fit in the trunk by one editor, but not much more; any luggage bigger than a carry-on suitcase will likely be a stretch. The Chevrolet Corvette has an advantage over the F-Type since even a single golf bag is a stretch. That being said, this is more of a fact than a weakness. The F-Type is primarily meant to be driven for pleasure. It’s okay.
The 10-inch touchscreen’s inability to be seen clearly with the top down, even in partial sunshine, is a drawback. Although it’s unlikely that someone would attempt to use the screen while driving, individuals would still attempt, making it an unintentional safety feature. On the other hand, the Mercedes-AMG SL boasts an integrated screen tilt function that may function autonomously when the top is lowered, guaranteeing optimal visibility of the screen. The F-Type’s screen is built into the dashboard rather than mounted atop it like the Mercedes, hence it is unable to accomplish that. The interface is slow and confusing, and the graphics look antiquated even when the screen is visible. Even while the inside appears opulent, the shift paddles have the feel of cheap plastic, and several editors have complained about the dashboard’s excessive creaking and squeaking.
Goodbye and farewell.
I relished every minute of my time behind the wheel of the F-Type despite those problems. In fact, I would contend that those problems lend the F-Type some individuality, something that is sadly absent in the majority of modern cars, when almost everything is, at most, passably good. The F-Type feels very on brand for Jaguar, and its outdated technology and cozy yet creaky cabin only served to increase my appreciation for it.
The F-Type R75 we tested was slightly under $120,000 as-tested, so it’s definitely not a cheap car, but when you take its performance into account, it’s still a good buy. The base price of the reasonably powerful Mercedes-AMG SL 63 is above $180,000, whereas the lowest priced AWD Porsche 911 convertible is $136,150 without any extras. While the Jaguar and BMW are nearly identical in price and power, the M8 Competition convertible, which has greater performance, is far more expensive than the F-Type I drove, costing tens of thousands of dollars more.
The F-Type is a stunning vehicle with a ton of personality and surprising performance; I’ll be sorry to see it depart. However, it’s also glaringly out of date for 2024; Jaguar has ignored it as the company switches to an all-electric portfolio, and ideally any future electric vehicle will at least partially retain the F-Type’s personality.
Back to Blog