It looks like the small engine is delivering big fun.
We love the sound and visceral gut-punch offered up by V8 engines, but a small turbocharged mill can be fun, too. Just look at this prototype for the facelifted Jaguar F-Type, attacking the Nürburgring with all the power its boosted 2.0-litre turbo four-pot can muster.
The clip comes from Carspotter Jeroen on YouTube, and the sports car looks like it’s doing just fine. Early in the video we see a Porsche 911 Carrera trailing it past Brünnchen, with a Mercedes-AMG GT bellowing its V8 in the same famous corner a bit later. We’re not saying the F-Type is a match for these cars, but it didn’t look considerably slower through the corners, either.
How do we know it’s a lower-spec F-Type? The V8 models boast quad exhaust tips, with a pair at each corner of the rear fascia. Additionally, the V6 F-Type has a pair of round tips in the middle, while the turbo-four has a single trapezoid outlet. The video clip doesn’t give us a crystal clear view of this prototype’s backside, but we can at least identify the trapezoid opening in the centre.
Gallery: Jaguar F-Type spy screenshots
This also means the facelifted F-Type likely won’t have much change at the back. Previous spy shots of V8 models confirm the rear fascia will be updated while retaining much of its original look, with new taillights installed above. The bigger changes are happening up front, where we can easily identify completely redesigned headlights that adopt a horizontal orientation as opposed to the vertical units on the current car. This will necessitate an all-new front fascia, fender wings, and bonnet, though the new F-Type will retain it grinning, open-mouthed grille shape.
Power updates across the F-Type range are unknown. The base-model turbo currently develops 296 bhp, though it shouldn’t be difficult for Jaguar to extract a few more ponies from that formula. The bigger news is that a BMW-sourced 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 could be the new mill for range-topping models.
We’re expecting to see the significantly updated F-Type revealed for the 2021 model year, with the camo peeling away either late this year or in the first half of 2020.