“Every aspect of a sports car, dimensionally, allows us to create something that is visually exciting; visceral as well as physical. To me the definition of sports car design is being fit for purpose, wrapping up the occupants and mechanicals in the most exciting, beautiful and sensual package possible with no unnecessary surfaces or adorn-ment.” That’s Ian Callum, director of design, Jaguar, talking about the Jaguar F-TYPE, a two-seat convertible that the company officially revealed at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
Callum went on to say, “A piece of design should tell a story and this is why every line in the F-TYPE has a start, a direction and a conclusion. If you approach every line individually and get it as aesthetically correct as possible, get the dimensions right, it will stand the test of time.”
That said, it is worth looking at some other aspects of the car.
• This is an aluminum-intensive vehicle. Skin and bones. They’re using AC600 aluminum alloy to form the panels of the car. This material provides the required formability for the panels, permitting the creation of such things as 8-mm radii on the “heartlines” that run from the front of the grille along the tops of the front fenders and long the side toward the rear of the car. (It was recently announced that Novelis (novelis.com) was named the exclusive aluminum sheet provider to Jaguar Land Rover.) Structural components are made with a 6000-series aluminum alloy, AC300. The assembly is performed with a combination of rivets and adhesive bonding. Aluminum is also used for suspension components, front and rear.
• This is the fourth-generation Jaguar aluminum architecture.
• The vehicle weighs as little as 3,521 lb.
• More than half the aluminum used comes from recycled or reclaimed sources. Jaguar has a closed-loop recycling system that it is rolling out to its suppliers, so waste metal from manufacturing is reused.
• Composites are also used. The F-TYPE features more com-posites than any other Jaguar produced to date. There are structural applications under the sill and for the trunk lid.
• The clamshell hood is a single stamped piece produced on a 1,000-ton press.
• Door inners are produced with a warm forming process. The metal is heated to 500°F before it is stamped. This allows them to not only get the required part shape, but it eliminates a need to have several parts that would be subsequently joined to produce the panels.
• Extensive use of computer-aided engineering (CAE) was used to help improve characteristics like lateral stiffness. They achieved gains up to 30% (e.g., in the front suspension mounting points) compared with other Jaguar models.
• The vehicle is available in three models (F-TYPE, F-Type S, and F-TYPE V8 S), which means there are, respectively, a supercharged 3-liter V6 that is available in 340 hp and 380 hp and a 495-hp 5-liter supercharged V8. The 340-hp car goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, the 380-hp version in 4.8 seconds, and the V8 in 4.2 seconds.
• The F-TYPE is 176-in. long, 75.7-in. wide, 51-in. high, and has a 103.2-in. wheelbase.
• It is scheduled to be available in the U.S. market in the summer of 2013.