With its muscular hips, vented hood and big-cat arrogance, the Jaguar F-Type has been and remains one of the sexiest sports cars on the planet.

Happily for drivers, controlling all that sexiness has become far easier with the 2016 rendition of the car.

First, a tight, smooth-shifting, six-speed manual transmission is now available on the base model’s 340-horsepower, supercharged V-6 engine. With short throws and fast shifts, the driver has full control of the power and fun. Forget those dull, sometimes sluggish paddle shifters.

The manual transmission is only available with the V-6, which in the slightly souped-up S (sport) model delivers 380 horses and nearly 340 pound-feet of torque.

In base or sport, the V-6 sprints to 60 mph in about 5 seconds.
Second, a new all-wheel-drive system helps drivers keep the F-Type under control on bullet-fast straightaways and while powering up out of a turn.

The system generally behaves like a rear-wheel-driver but can send up to 50 percent of the engine’s torque to the front axle if it senses wheel slippage.

The all-wheel-drive system is a sophisticated one – Jaguar calls it Instinctive All-Wheel-Drive – and it uses sensors and monitors to detect not only slippage but also oversteer, which it can correct while the car is still coming through a corner. It is a technical marvel, so smooth you won’t even know it’s at work.

The car’s top-line R (race) trim combines seductive beauty with a growling, supercharged V-8 that gets 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. The R is only available with all-wheel-drive and eight-speed automatic transmission, which makes quick, rev-matching downshifts during dynamic runs.

It’ll leap to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and growl all the way from its quad exhausts. Do that too often and you’ll wind up with less than the EPA-estimated 15 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. For better economy, the V-6 bests those figures with an estimated 19 mpg in town and 28 mpg highway.

Perched on 20-inch wheels with yellow brake calipers – bigger in the front and rear than the other trims – the F-Type R also gets an electronic active differential with torque vectoring, which enables the differential to vary the power sent to each wheel.

F-Type handling is exceptional; you won’t meet a corner you don’t like. Improving the experience is a new and nicely weighted steering system; all F-Types now have electric power steering instead of the hydraulics of last year.

On the highway, the Jag quiets down to a purr and has the feel of a true luxury car. Around town, an adaptive suspension system helps to smooth out ruts in the road. Still, the ride isn’t as smooth as in many in the luxury segment.

Inside, as might be expected from a $100,000-plus car, the F-Type R offers craftsmanship and comfort. But it’s the race car-like look, with contrast stitching and a grab handle on the center console, that will elicit the first smiles.

You’ll notice a brash orange start button. When you tap it, the engine cranks up and air conditioning vents come up from the dash. A flat-bottom steering wheel and metal pedals complete the race car theme.

The F-Type also gets some tech upgrades this year to go with its 8-inch touchscreen. And, standard on all trims now is the symphonic-quality 12-speaker Meridian sound system.

Bolstered sport seats are firm but comfortable enough for the long rides. Head room is good but opinions on leg room may be divided among taller drivers.

Likewise, cargo quarters are a bit cramped with only 11 cubic feet of space – just seven in the convertible. That’s barely enough for even midsize suitcases. Plus, the awkward dimensions might make it a strain to get anything else in there. The coupe does have a power hatch, though.

The two-seater comes as a hardtop coupe with a panoramic glass roof or convertible, and is available in base, S and R trims. The base gets 18-inch wheels, fake suede upholstery and lots of tech goodies like eight-way power, Bluetooth and navigation.

The S gets more power, 19-inch wheels and adaptive suspension, plus selective driving modes. The R gets the supercharged V-8, 20-inch wheels and the electronic diff.

Any way you go, you’ll be in one of the most aggressive luxury-performance creatures on the planet. And you’ll be in greater control of the power band but not your excitement level.