By bridging the span between the front and rear pillars with aluminium alloy beams, Jaguar has reconciled the formerly open-top platform as a genuine monocoque and apparently improved stiffness to the tune of 80 percent in the process.
The entire structure is bonded and riveted rather than welded, and the side panels are single-piece aluminium pressings. Jaguar's expertise in such matters is unquestionable, but – as with the convertible – the implication of low mass is relative.
A V6 S we weighed tipped MIRA’s scales at 1755kg, predictably lighter than the V8 S roadster examined in 2013, yet some 375kg heavier than the last 911 Carrera we weighed.
The roadster we originally tested made up for this with 488bhp drawn from its 5.0-litre V8. The V6-engined coupés are a good way back from that, with the entry-level V6 producing 335bhp, 375bhp from the mid-range unit and topped off by the 394bhp version joining the range in 2017 (the same outputs as the convertible V6s). A supercharger ensures both develop decent torque – 339 and 332lb ft respectively – delivered via the same eight-speed ZF Quickshift automatic transmission.
Starting the range is a 2.0-litre petrol engine punching out 295bhp, which is the same as the Porsche 718 Cayman but less than a 2.3-litre EcoBoost Ford Mustang, will be recognisable through its single centre mounted exhaust. At the pricey end is a pair of supercharged 5.0-litre V8s producing 542bhp and 567bhp in the nose of the F-Type R and SVR models.
As before, the starter model gets an open differential, while the V6 S uses a mechanical LSD to manage slip between the rear wheels. It was partly this feature – distinct from the e-diff used on the V8 – which made the mid-spec car our choice from the open-top range.
While you might imagine them to be the preserve of F-Type R buyers, Jaguar has made its Carbon-Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes an option on the V6 S. Ticking the box swaps the already large standard steel discs for a set made of a much harder-wearing mix of carbon and ceramic, measuring 398mm at the front and 380mm at the rear.
The size upgrade means opting for the bigger 20in Storm wheels, which is no bad thing as their larger rims’ colours — satin grey anthracite as standard or optional gloss black — make for a better contrast with the CCM set-up’s conspicuously large, yellow monoblock calipers.
Jaguar says the greater heat generated by the carbon-ceramic discs is dealt with not only by air intakes on the front bumper, but also by deflectors on the anti-roll bars designed to direct air towards the brakes. New heat-resistant valve caps are also fitted.
A pre-fill function (which places all four calipers under low brake pressure even when not engaged) is claimed to ensure a consistent pedal feel no matter whether they are being applied on a motorway or in a car park. The firm says the CCM system is the most powerful braking set-up ever fitted to a Jaguar road car.
That may be, but the most compelling reason we can see for adding £8900 to the asking price is the 21kg reduction in unsprung weight and its prospective enhancement of the coupe’s ride quality.
For 2018, Jaguar has given the F-Type a light refresh, with LED headlights and rear light clusters added, a reformed bumper set and an updated version of Jaguar's InControl Pro infotainment system, but tellingly nothing has been tweaked mechanically bar the addition of the petrol Ingenium engine to the range.