How Smart Engineering Puts The $100,000 2021 Jaguar F-Type Back On Top

More precise control of this 575-horsepower cat is a much-appreciated upgrade.

1980s tennis bad boy Andre Agassi used to exclaim that “Image is everything,” and the 2021 Jaguar F-Type seems to be evidence that Agassi’s thesis is still valid. Consider the car’s new LED headlamps, which change both how Jaguar’s two-seat sports car looks and how drivers can see from behind the wheel at night.

These new 128-LED lights slash a bold horizonal line below the car’s hood, where the 2020 car’s lights stretched up and backward. The new look is decidedly more contemporary and menacing, where the original design was maybe anchored a little too firmly in Jaguar’s illustrious heritage.

“The new headlight pulls your eye down, and makes the bonnet look much longer,” noted Jaguar design director, Julian Thomson. This seemingly slight change, along with the addition of some muscular curves elsewhere in the sheet metal, revitalizes the design of a car that debuted in 2013.How Smart Engineering Puts The $100,000 2021 Jaguar F-Type Back On Top

But those lights also change the view from the F-Type, not just of the F-Type. At least, they do at night. The lights feature what Jaguar terms pixel technology, wherein the individually aimed elements of the lights switch on an off according to a computer analysis of the road ahead. This means the car can dim those elements that would dazzle an oncoming car as it passes while leaving the others still at full brightness to light the road ahead.

Image source: Jaguar Land Rover

They similarly dim to avoid scorching the trunk of the car ahead, while still lighting the road around and even potentially ahead of the leading car, giving both cars the benefit of the improved illumination.

Experiencing these lights on the media introduction drive in Portugal was a revelation. Seeing technology fulfill the promise of its promoters is exciting, and we in the U.S. have been denied this technology so far by government regulators who still think in binary on-off terms only for high beam headlights.

Jaguar calls the ability to be more granular with its lighting “pixel” technology, though after driving the car it might be better consider these to be the blocky kind of 8-bit pixels we remember from the Atari 2600 video game console rather than the slick high-resolution pixels of a modern smart phone.

This makes it easier to watch the blocks darken and lighten around other cars as they pass, though surely the technology will advance sufficiently to precisely surround other cars with a light silhouette tailored like a victim’s police chalk outline on a sidewalk.

Image source: Jaguar Land Rover

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