Spannerhead Dot

Epic Styling Fail:
The Upcoming Jaguar F-Type

September 21, 2012 by Matt

Jaguar F-Type FType Convertible Cabriolet Cabrio Droptop Ragtop

Why? Why on God’s green earth, with modern materials and engineering know-how, did they do it? I am a whirlwind of righteous design fury; Jaguar is dead to me.

It’s the bar. The Bar. The big black bar bisecting the upcoming F-Type’s grille. It stands out; it’s obvious; it pushes up the logo and bloats the otherwise attractive grille shape.

Shown above in a teaser photo, I had high hopes for Jaguar’s XK replacement. And as much as I took issue with the styling direction represented by the automaker’s C-X16 concept, whose look heavily influences the F-Type’s, I never argued that it was an ugly car. On the contrary, the C-X16—notably devoid of a blocky grille obstruction—was drop-dead gorgeous, and a worthy, if somewhat unoriginal, inspiration for a future Jaguar.

And it seems as if the Coventry automaker followed that path almost to a tee…except for the fatal flaw in the most prominent area of the car.

Yes, I understand there are new European Union pedestrian safety regulations that have been impacting (pun intended) the fascia design of cars as notable as the new BMW 6-series. But Jaguar should have tried harder to design around the regulations for as important a car to the brand’s image as the new F-Type. As juvenile-looking as it is, as it stands now, I’d take an old XK over the F-Type in a heartbeat.

Am I overreacting? I just hate to see Jaguar repeat its styling history, when by the end of their productions runs, initially stunning cars were rendered well-nigh unrecognizable underneath all the design bloat (XK120, E-Type, etc). And now it seems as if they’re building in the bloat from the beginning…

Filed under: Aesthetics, Jaguar, News


  1. John D says:

    I don’t quite feel your intensity of emotion on this one, but do agree with your view. It’s still a beautiful car…but you would think that any manufacturer would want to maintain a certain traditional distinction from other makers, especially when it is one that is so universally recognized and admired. I don’t dislike the grille bar in and of itself, but the car would look better without it for sure. If I had the means I would buy one and have a custom grill made to replace that one…can’t be too difficult and would make your car stand out from the crowd.

    • Matt says:

      Perhaps…but then if the bar is added per the new regulations, chances are those same regulations prohibit its removal or modification.

      It just sucks, especially since Jaguar has already been raked over the coals for doing the exact same thing (cluttering up a lovely grille) with their Series 2 and 3 E-Type… I guess you’d just think they’d learn.

  2. Barry H says:

    Ian Callum deserves to be grilled (pun intended). Your comments are absolutely right on! That grille looks like it’s wearing braces, a bandaid or a mouth guard. Off with it! Matt, you need to pack up your convictions right now (before you cool off) and march off to Ian Callum’s doorstep and demand he make changes. It is your duty! It is your destiny!

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