Jaguar brings an end to its internal combustion lineage with the 575 bhp ZP Edition - inspired by racing E-types of the 1960s, and why we feel Jaguar has let an amazing opportunity slip through it's claws.
After more than a decade in production, Jaguar's likeable F-type reaches the end of the road with the ZP Edition, and you'll forgive us for shedding a small tear at its demise. We've always been a fan of the F-type here at RUSH, but we're also dabbing the tear ducts for a related reason - with a commitment to be all-electric by 2025, Jaguar has confirmed the F-type will be the firm's last ever petrol-powered sports car, bringing the curtain down on over 75 years of style and innovation.
The ZP Edition will be an exlusive car - Jaguar is limiting production to just 150 coupes or convertibles inspired by the successful racing E-types of 1961, which competed under the Project ZP banner. Out of that 150, just ten cars have been allocated to the UK market, and each one will carry a £30,000 premium over F-type R 75 upon which it's based. That means if you are keen on owning a piece of history, your Jaguar dealer will relieve you of £134,925 for a coupe - or if you prefer the wind in your hair - £138,390 for the roadster.
So what do you get for the privilege? The 5.0 litre supercharged V8 pumps out the same 575 bhp and 700 nm of torque as the F-type R, while the drivetrain also uses the same all-wheel drive transmission and eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox. Still, it's not like the F-type needs more power or performance - 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 186 mph is more than ample.
How about some chassis revisions to bring some extra sparkle to the handling? Sorry to disappoint once again, but the Jaguar press release made no mention of any changes. If some tweaking has gone on, Jaguar has ensured it flies under the radar.
This means that the ZP Edition is essentially just a cosmetic workover, with "specially curated" interior and exterior details commissioned by Jaguar's in-house SV Bespoke programme. Two exclusive colours will also feature derived from the racing E-types - Oulton Blue Gloss with Mars Red and Ebony interior, or Crystal Grey Gloss with Navy Blue and Ebony trim. Each car will also feature hand-painted Porcelain White roundals and grille surrounds, echoing the E-type racers. Rawden Glover, Jaguars Managing Director, has dubbed the ZP Edition an ‘unrepeatable celebration of Jaguar’s internal combustion sports car provenance’.
That endorsement feels like a bullshit PR-laden stretch to us for a basic paint and trim tickle. We can only hope Jaguar is concentrating its efforts on discovering its EV mojo to produce another 75 years' worth of exciting electric sports cars. A £30,000 styling exercise seems a rather meek way to pay tribute to such a rich heritage and is indicative of the turmoil Jaguar currently finds itself in.
It is a shame to see the F-type bow out with a murmur. After trying to be both a Boxster rival in the V6 and a 911 rival in the V8, the F-type had finally found its feet by going V8 only. The F-type always had the looks, ability and handling to compete, the problem was the car lacked a sense of identity and confidence in the marketplace - the less said about the fleet buyer chasing 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, the better. It would have been truly special to properly pay homage and see the F-type ride off into the sunset in a Project 7-style blaze of glory.
Should you wish to snap up a regular F-type whilst you still can - and we encourage you to do so - visit Jaguar for more information.