F-TYPE: THE INSIDE STORY
Much has been written about the stunning exterior styling of the new Jaguar F-TYPE roadster, but here, the car’s interior designer Jonathan Sandys, Principal Design Manager, Jaguar Cars, singles-out his five favorite features in the cabin of the 2014 F-TYPE.
1. Driver-Focused Cockpit
The F-TYPE is unashamedly and unapologetically all about the driver. This is a car that begs to be driven, and driven hard. We wanted to make the driver feel like the king of the road and the absolute center of attention. To do this, we created a 1+1 cockpit layout with this bold, unique cabin divider that follows the line of the hood’s power bulge, across the top of the dash and down through the cockpit. It’s a lovely feature, and it also makes a great grab handle for the passenger.
2. The Toggle Switch
At Jaguar, we love having fun with design and we did just that in creating the toggle switch at the side of the shifter, which you use to select Dynamic Mode or Winter Mode*. I think most of us in Jaguar Design are closet Top Gun superfans. We tend to have photos of F-15 and Eurofighter Typhoon cockpits pinned to our walls and that’s really what inspired the design of the toggle switch. As for that lovely bronze color found on the paddle shifters and start button, the inspiration for that actually came from a wristwatch that our Studio Director, Wayne Burgess was wearing one day. We all liked it so much; we decided that it would be the perfect accent color for the F-TYPE.
3. Deploying Center Vent
Something we love to do at Jaguar is to make an event of a car’s particular feature. Instead of having an ordinary fixed vent, when you need ventilation on the F-TYPE, we designed this feature so that the vent actually pops up out of the dash. It’s like the rising shifter and rotating vents in our XF sedan - it adds a little theater and a little visual drama. It also has a more important function in that it allowed us to lower the top of the instrument panel for better visibility. So many sports cars have this vertical design to their dash that makes you feel like you’re looking over a cliff. This design allows the driver to get a fantastic view over the hood.
4. The Joystick
Like most chaps of my age, I grew-up playing video games. Most of us had an Atari® 2600 console with its joystick control. When you moved it around, you felt like you were flying an F-15 fighter jet. That’s where a lot of the inspiration came from for the shifter in the F-TYPE. It was the first thing I worked on when I joined Jaguar three years ago and I really wanted to make it feel special and engaging. I think it works wonderfully and feels great to hold with its lovely mechanical feel.
5. The Wheel
We call this steering the Flat Bottomed Racing Style Wheel and it’s one of three options of steering wheels (Leather 3-Spoke Multi-Function Steering Wheel and Suede Cloth Steering Wheel) that we offer for the F-TYPE. This is my favorite and it’s an entirely new steering wheel for Jaguar and one you’ll see versions of in future Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. I love the flat bottom, which gives the wheel a dramatic look and makes it easier for taller drivers to get in and out. The shorter lower spoke also pushes the visual balance of the wheel more up into the center of the instrument panel and gives a great view of the dials. I think it’s really the thickness of the rim and the thumb “bumps” that make it feel so special. It’s truly just a wonderful thing to have in your hands.
*These features are not a substitute for driving safely with
due care and attention and will not function under all
circumstances, speeds, weather and road conditions, etc. Driver
should not assume that these features will correct errors of
judgment in driving. Please consult owner’s manual or your
local authorized retailer for more details.