Last year we tested, and loved the Jaguar F-Type range, but I have never been a fan of cabriolets…now there is a full Coupe F-Type hitting the streets; naturally we had to try it out.
We opted for the top of the range V8 monster, the R. It is fitted with the same engine found in the Jaguar XKR-S, making the R the most powerful F-Type so far. There are also numerous upgrades and tweaks under that oh so pretty aluminium skin.
The R packs a 5.0 litre V8. producing 542 BHP and 680 Nm of torque. 0-60 is achieved in 4 seconds flat, top speed is limited to 186 MPH. It’s a bit of an animal!
If you leave your R Coupe standard expect to pay £85,000, our car however was just over £89,000 with a few optional extras. These included: keyless entry, rear parking sensors, rear camera, heated seats, dual zone climate control, panoramic roof and a powered tailgate.
There is no denying Jaguar have got the looks spot on. From any angle the F-Type Coupe is stunning! Its side profile is very much reminiscent of an Aston Martin Vantage, but smaller, tauter…younger.
Toward the rear is when the Coupe is at its most striking, those curvy rear haunches meet with a tightly pinched in tailgate, it’s all rather sexy.
External differences on this range topping R model are subtle, but include a red backed growler emblem up front along with an R moniker, whilst at the rear quad exhaust pipes are matched with a deep rear diffuser.
It’s a modern classic, and I’m sure Enzo Ferrari would approve.
I have to say that I wasn’t a fan of the V8S in the cabriolet…it just seemed a little too much.
Out of corners it span the rear wheels under light acceleration. Once in motion when you wanted to get the power down, the rear would start to slide sideways before the traction control stepped in to calm everything down. But oh what a difference a solid roof and some new tech has made!
You still get that amazing V8 exhaust note, it burbles and crackles superbly. Totally engaging and engrossing, if you are a petrol head you really don’t need a stereo in this car! In fact, Jag should make it an option!
Due to the new stiffer chassis Jaguar have been able to increase spring rates at the rear, but not only that they have added a new electronic diff and torque vectoring system. This now means that putting your foot down out of a corner the R finds grip and pushes you onward…instead of spinning wheels followed by a sideways slide.
In corners at speed you can feel the weight of the car move as if it’s going to push wide, but thanks to that all new torque vectoring system it never actually happens. The inside wheels brake slightly (without you even knowing) and the grip just continues, it’s damn clever stuff.
When you select ‘Dynamic’ mode you really feel the coupe tighten up, suspension is stiffened, steering becomes sharper and the revs sit slightly higher, this mode also engages the active exhaust automatically.
We have to pass comment on the wonderful 8 speed ZF gearbox too, it’s lightning quick and manages the power beautifully. It also makes the Coupe into a great GT cruiser, sitting at 70 MPH in 8th gear and that big V8 sits at 1,500 RPM making the beast nearly inaudible, maybe this is when you use that rather nice Meridian stereo?
Oh, and the power? It’s insane! Push the go pedal to the floor and watch everything in the rear view mirror get smaller very quickly, by the time you look down at the speedo you are well over the legal limit and have to jump on the brakes. The V8 is ludicrously fast, but it’s very reassuring to know you have all that power at your disposal…in case the situation arises.
With the latest additions and modifications Jaguar have truly tamed this V8, all that power is now far more useable on the road.
Inside the F-Type Coupe is very familiar, you get the same chunky steering wheel and smartly laid out interior as in the cabriolet.
This time however you can have a glass panoramic roof above your head, it makes the cockpit feel more open and airy, with the blind closed you get back to feeling cocooned as you are surrounded by the black headlining.
One good thing about all that extra bodywork is that you get a decent sized boot. 407 litres to be precise, this is easily enough room for a suitcase or a couple of overnight bags.
Our test car had the powered tailgate which was a nice option, and can be opened remotely from the key fob.
Without doubt the R Coupe is a supercar, the performance figures and superb driving dynamics mean it can easily go toe to toe with the big boys.
Jaguar have managed to reign in all that power, they have made the R Coupe far more driveable than the V8S drop top.
It’s still a thirsty motor though, we only averaged 13 MPG over the time we had the R…and the road tax is an eye watering £1,065 a year. Still, if you can afford the R these would be the least of your worries!
Jaguar F-Type R Coupe – Ludicrously quick, drives better than the V8 cab, stunning looks!
We would like to say a big thank you to Stratstone Jaguar Milton Keynes for the loan of the F-Type.
Northfield Drive, Northfield, Milton Keynes, MK15 0EB
Tel: 01908 350 819 – Email: [email protected]