The most beautiful feline in the Jaguar litter now has the claws of all four paws pulling it down the road.

Yes, Jaguar has managed to squash all-wheel drive under its still-effortlessly beautiful F-Type.

By Alex Forrest

The rear-drive F-Type is renowned for its extraordinarily crisp handling and steering which actually feels alive. In adding all-wheel drive, Jaguar had to be very careful not to dilute this and introduce such abhorrent characteristics as power understeer and corrupted steering feel.

Hence, Jag has tuned the all-wheel drive system so it only engages the front wheels in adverse grip conditions, such as in wet weather or other situations where grip is in short supply.

Under brisk acceleration exiting a corner, you can feel the additional torque being drip-fed through the front end, but you have to be looking for it. Torque vectoring, by braking the inside wheel while cornering, also helps in keeping the cornering line and reducing its inclination to go wide.

The only other time the all-wheel drive system is noticeable in normal driving is a slight twitchiness when manoeuvring at parking speeds.

All-wheel drive is available in the 280kW V6S coupé, and 404kW V8 R coupé and convertible. The one we tried was a black V6S coupe. Unfortunately, all-wheel drive can’t be had with the manual gearbox – all-wheel drives get the eight-speed auto.

Importantly, a rear camera is now standard on V6S and R models.

Externally, the differences between the all-wheel drive versions and their rear-drive siblings are a slightly larger bonnet bulge in the all-wheel drive models, repositioned bonnet vents and some subtle badging.

All-wheel drive is not the only addition to the F-Type for 2016. Fans of theatrics will love that the switchable active exhaust is now standard equipment on all F-Types.

That means you can either drive quietly, or open the flaps and let out some extra crackle and blare. It’s the most pointless yet infectiously entertaining feature we’ve ever seen on a car.

Also new for 2016 is electric power steering, replacing the previous hydraulic system.

The cheapest F-Type will cost you $131,000 drive away. All-wheel drive versions start at $187,900 for the V6S.

Specifications 2016 Jaguar F-Type V6S AWD

ice: from $187,900 drive away
Engine: 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol
Power: 280kW @ 6,500rpm
Torque: 460Nm @3,500-5,000rpm
Claimed fuel economy: 9.1Litres/100km
ANCAP Rating: Not rated
CO2 Emissions: 213g/km