F-TYPE | Driver Environment

“We wanted the experience of sitting in the F-TYPE to be exciting. A sports car cockpit should be an intimate place and so we aimed to get a sense of the surfaces falling towards and then wrapping around the driver.

“What we’ve done is given it the essence and spirit of doing what you want to do rather than what’s expected of you. The more processed this world becomes, the more important that is.” Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar

The intent behind the F-TYPE is apparent from the moment the door is opened. The cabin architecture reflects its role as a ‘one plus one’ sports car, focused upon the driver and their interaction with the electronic and mechanical components that come together to create an experience far greater than the sum of its parts.

The aim was to create an enveloping cockpit for the driver with all the controls placed naturally to hand and logically grouped so that there would be no distractions from the driving experience. A clear division exists between the driver and passenger sides of the cabin, created in the first instance by the grab handle which sweeps down from the top of the centre console and wraps around behind the SportShift selector and Dynamic Mode buttons, sending the clear message that these are driver interfaces. The handle also, of course, serves as a signal to the passenger that spirited driving could be in store.

Further differentiation is provided by the use of different finishes in the driver areas with a more technical grain to the top of the instrument panel and centre console in comparison to that found on the passenger side of the car. In the S and V8 S models, the main control interfaces – the Engine Start button, steering wheel mounted gearshift paddles and Dynamic Mode toggle – are highlighted in an orange finish, Ignis, similar to that used on the markings on professional divers’ watches.

The small diameter three-spoke steering wheel is additionally available in either flat-bottomed or alcantara-trimmed options. The wheel frames a brace of analogue instruments – very much a Jaguar sports car signature – with the numerals on the rev counter being larger and bolder than those on the speedometer to offer a reminder of the car’s purpose and also subtle encouragement to the driver to exploit the engine’s performance to the full. A TFT screen between the two dials provides further information for the driver as necessary.

Jaguar pioneered the use of a touchscreen interface for controlling the majority of its cars’ functions but with the F-TYPE it was important that there were more physical interfaces and touchpoints for the driver. The heating and ventilation functions have been separated out from the touchscreen and now have physical controls beneath it.

Rotary dials control the climate for each side of the car and feature a screen at their centre to indicate temperature and status. This also allows the controls to fulfil a dual-purpose – in cars fitted with heated seats, pushing the left or right hand rotary controls alters their functionality allowing them to control seat temperature. A row of toggle switches below the dials echoes Jaguar sports cars of the past and control further climate functions.

A further example of the pure driving environment is provided by the innovative ventilation system which features deployable vents on top of the centre console. Governed by algorithms within the climate control system, these are hidden until required to provide rapid high-level temperature regulation, at which point they rise up from the top of the centre console.

As with all Jaguars, the F-TYPE is luxuriously trimmed, but equally the palette of switchgear colours is deliberately understated and technical to ensure nothing detracts from the driving environment and experience. Switches are finished in soft-feel matte black with white markings for maximum legibility while the highlight accents are deliberately understated satin chrome and dark aluminium. Underlining their greater intent, the two ‘S’ models feature darker finishes than the standard V6.

Sports seats featuring electric adjustment of the recline and height functions with manual control of fore and aft movement (the latter in order to save weight) are the standard specification. Optional Performance seats can be supplied with additional side bolstering and prominent wings for greater support during high speed cornering. Both variants can also be specified with full electric adjustment which includes adjustable lumbar and side support.

The F-TYPE is available with three audio systems, two of which come from globally recognised British experts Meridian. These offer either 10 or 12 loudspeakers with outputs of 380W and 770W respectively. The Meridian systems benefit from the company’s huge experience in digital signal processing to create audio reproduction that is second to none. The top of the range offering also features Meridian’s proprietary Trifield System which places both occupants at the centre of their own perfectly focused surround sound field.

Find more Photos of the F-TYPE in our GALLERY.

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