Good news! Jaguar has made some huge announcements regarding its Porsche 911 rival, the F-Type. The 2016 model year will bring a lot of changes into Jaguar's lineup, expanding the available types of F-Types consumers will be able to purchase from the current 6 models (not including the insane, limited production Project 7) to 14. These changes will allow Jag to vastly widen the appeal of the already sought-after car, which is probably already giving the Germans a bit of a headache.
The first, and most driver-oriented, change to the F-Type lineup is the introduction of a proper, six-speed manual transmission. This new transmission will be available on both convertible and coupe variants of the V6 and V6 S models. It will not be an option on the flagship R models, equipped with their 5 liter, supercharged V8s, but regardless it is still a great addition to the lineup.
Another major change to the F-Type is the introduction of all-wheel drive. As every current car in the F-Type range is rear-wheel drive, this will definitely be considered a plus for those customers that are not interested in the F-Type's tendency to oversteer. The AWD system is now an option for the V6 S versions of the F-Type, and will come standard on the V8 flagship models (in America). Overseas, customers will still have the option of a RWD F-Type R, which I am slightly jealous of as I believe that still should have remained an option for customers in the states.
A third change to the current lineup is that the V8 S convertible, with its supercharged V8 capable of 495 horsepower, will not continue production. It will instead be replaced by the F-Type R convertible, which is essentially exactly the same as the V8 S, with an added power boost. The R convertible will now rely on the same powerplant as the flagship F-Type R Coupe, delivering 542 horsepower.
With the addition of a manual gearbox, AWD, and an even more powerful range-topping convertible, the F-Type lineup has never been more attractive. These changes will undoubtedly bring in even more sales of the F-Type than Jaguar has already recorded, and has the potential to steal a lot of potential 911 buyers away from Porsche. The English-German rivalry just got a lot more interesting...