(Pocket-lint) - Jaguar has unveiled an updated four-cylinder engine version of the F-Type at the New York Auto Show, scheduled to go on sale summer 2017.
The F-Type has won countless accolades for the way it looks, so it's not a huge surprise to hear the company hasn't tinkered with the exterior design in any major way - the updated F-Type just gains new bumper designs, the option of full LED headlamps and 18-inch alloys are standard from the base model upwards.
In addition to the new four-cylinder engine option, the major update with the F-Type is in the tech department: in the cabin is Jaguar's InControl Touch Pro - the bigger, better and brighter version of its two touchscreen systems, as found in the F-Pace - along with a raft of new kit.
Perhaps of greatest intrigue is the 'ReRun' App, which has been developed in association with GoPro. It allows you to strap a GoPro to the car, sync it with the app and capture drives or track day sessions and then relive your laps, with overlayed speed, acceleration and braking data on your phone.
These tech boosts join the party alongside new lightweight magnesium-frame seats and driver assistance systems, including emergency autonomous braking, lane keep assist and a driver alertness monitor.
In terms of engine, the new entry-level car is now a four-cylinder engine, offering 2.0-litres in capacity and turbo-charged to produce 300PS (295bhp). That makes it just 40PS less powerful than the previous entry level F-Type, the V6. The advantage the new 2.0-litre unit holds is that its fuel economy offers an improvement of 16 per cent over the brawnier car, and CO2 drops to 163g/km - making the F-Type a much more appealing company car proposition. In the UK, it means the price of the F-Type also dips below the psychologically important £50k mark too, with prices starting at £49,900.
The engine drives the rear wheels (4-wheel drive F-Types are available with the bigger engines), and comes as standard with an eight-speed auto box. If you're thinking a 2.0-litre engine sounds a bit puny, we'd suggest you're unlikely to feel too short changed in performance terms, because this entry-level car still runs 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds, and it weighs 50-odd kilos less than the lightest F-Type up until now, so it should handle that bit more sharply than the cars higher up the range.
It might come as a surprise to some that Jag is fitting its leading sports car with such a downsized unit - but it shouldn't. The move follows Porsche making the Boxster and Cayman twins (the F-Type's main competitors) with four-cylinder turbo units quite recently. When we reviewed the new Boxster, we were relatively shocked at the mismatch the new engine creates in that car. The brilliance of the Porsche's chassis is quite significantly undermined by the droning, aurally dull four-cylinder engine, and takes away a key part of the Porsche experience in our view.
Will the Jaguar suffer the same fate? Well, Jag assures us it won't - the exhaust and engine noise has undergone significant tuning to ensure that smallest, cheapest F-Type doesn't miss out on any of the fabulous aural experience, that so enchanted us when we tested the F-Type R. We'll not have to wait long to find out if that's true as we'll be driving the new F-Type in May. Watch this space.