The entry-level engine is a turbocharged 2.0-litre with 300PS, and we reckon it’s the pick of the bunch in terms of delivering bang for your buck. It’s not particularly quick in the normal everyday driving modes, but it’s tractable enough to for easily around-town pootling. However, slot the selector for the standard automatic gearbox across into its Sport setting, and the car’s character changes from gentle cruiser to snarling monster. The engine thrives on revs, needing at least 4000 of them to deliver the kind of punch you want from an F-Type, and this gearbox mode give the engine exactly what it needs. The pace it delivers is astonishing given the engine’s modest capacity, and with pops and crackles coming from the exhaust, the noise it makes is just as entertaining.
Next on the list is a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 with 340PS, but even though it’s more powerful than the 2.0-litre, it has a rather lazy power deliver that makes the acceleration less exciting, and it doesn’t feel as fast as a car like this should. Yes, it makes a ballistic noise, but that only serves to remind you of what you’re missing. The V6 S has the same engine, but it’s uprated to give 380PS. Thankfully, it feels much faster, and its rev-hungry nature really encourages you to play. Especially in the six-speed manual version, which lets you wring the engine out more often than in the auto. However, it's not the smoothest-shifting manual 'box we've tried, and the awkward placement of the lever and the inconvenient obstacles surrounding it (like the side of the seat, the lid of the central storage compartment and a protruding part of the trim on the centre console) means you’re constantly catching your elbows and wrists as you change gear.
The R is only available with an auto, with its supercharged 5.0-litre V8, it’s an absolute nutcase compared with lesser F-Types. With 550PS, the slightest pressure on the throttle pedal results in an eye-widening explosion of acceleration, and because the eight-speed automatic gearbox shifts around quickly to find exactly the right ratio, the engine’s full fury is pretty much always at your disposal. The soundtrack is just as dramatic: the glorious full-throttle howl being punctuated with a gunfire-like medley of coughs and cracks. It really does sound like nothing else on the road. The S model doesn’t sound quite as fearsome as the R, but it still sounds naughty enough to get your pulse racing.
If that still doesn’t quench your thirst for power, the range-topping SVR, developed by Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations, has a massive 575PS and will hit 60mph in just 3.5 seconds. Oh, and it’ll reach 200mph. However, you’ll pay a big premium over other models for that extra grunt.