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The Jaguar F-Type Is Getting a Major Facelift with Some Radical Changes

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 5/20/2019 Daniel Golson
a car parked on the side of a road: Jag's gorgeous F-type is getting a big design overhaul for the first time in more than six years.© KGP Photography Jag's gorgeous F-type is getting a big design overhaul for the first time in more than six years.

If you can believe it, the Jaguar F-type is getting a bit long in the tooth. First shown in concept form in 2011, the F-type has been on sale since 2013. Jaguar has steadily updated the car with new powertrains and minor styling updates, but new spy photos seem to indicate that the fast cat will be getting its first major facelift in more than six years.

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a car parked on the side of a road: 2021 Jaguar F-type Prototype © KGP Photography 2021 Jaguar F-type Prototype

Although almost all of it is covered in a swirly camo wrap, we can see a number of details on this F-type R coupe that set it apart from current F-types. (We know it's an R because of the quad exhaust tips.) Everything ahead of the A-pillars looks to be totally new given the different front fender/bumper cutlines, which are more horizontal than before. While they're almost completely covered up, it looks like the F-type is trading its tall headlights for very slim units reminiscent of those found on other Jags like the I-Pace, which would be a major design change for the model. A sticker that creates a fake cutline is placed above the actual bumper cut to make it seem like this prototype still has taller lights. Look closely, and you can see the outline of the actual lights and the creases that run above and below the lights to create definition.

a close up of a car: 2021 Jaguar F-type Prototype © KGP Photography 2021 Jaguar F-type Prototype

The grille has the same classic rounded shape with a central bar through it, but the design of the mesh pattern is new. There are also reshaped intakes on each side of the grille that look more angular than before, and the front splitter is slightly different. It also seems like the hood is smoother than the current car's, although there could be a panel covering up the actual design. The only other changes we can see is are at the rear, where the car is getting a redesigned license-plate area and taillights with squared off lower graphics like those on the refreshed XE.

a gold and black helmet: 2021 Jaguar F-type Prototype © KGP Photography 2021 Jaguar F-type Prototype

We don't know anything else about this upcoming F-type refresh beyond what we can see here, but that won't stop us from speculating. Jaguar Land Rover recently introduced a brand-new turbocharged and hybridized inline-six engine on a few Range Rover models, with the new six supplanting the existing supercharged V-6. If it fits in the F-type-and given how long the F-type's hood is, we bet it will-we think it's highly likely the straight-six will replace the V-6 in Jag's sports car, too. Don't expect a manual transmission, as that option was already killed from the V-6 this year. The base turbocharged four-cylinder and top-end supercharged V-8 engines should remain, as will the all-wheel-drive system. The F-type should receive a number of tech updates to keep it feeling fresh and modern, and the interior could see big changes as well.

There is a chance that what you see here is actually a mule for the next-generation F-type, but we don't think that's likely. All of the new styling elements seen here look extremely production-ready, and there's nothing about this car that indicates it's a test mule using a new platform or powertrain. Ian Callum, Jag's head of design, has all but confirmed a next-gen F-type, but it's at least a few years away-and it could get a four-seat layout. This facelifted F-type could be revealed as soon as this summer, likely going on sale as a 2021 model.

Research the Jaguar F-Type on MSN Autos | Find a Jaguar F-Type near you

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