Jaguar F-Type Coupe Details:
- Looks to die for | Incredible performance | Flagship R model
- 0-60mph in 4sec | 550hp 5.0L supercharged engine or 340hp or 380hp V6 supercharged engines
- 8-speed auto | Torque vectoring by Braking | Carbon-ceramic brakes available for first time
- All-aluminum structure | 80% stiffer than Convertible
- Prices from $65000 | Coupe is $4000 less than equivalent Convertible models
Electronics: Adaptive Dynamics suspension | e-differential | Adaptive aerodynamics
+ Pros: It's gorgeous | Sounds incredible | Goes like stink | Unbeatable at the price
- Cons: Not as light as you'd expect | Trunk space still limited
Let's get something out of the way first: The F-Type Coupe drives as well as it looks. So if, like us, you're thinking "Screw the reviews, I have to get one," you won't be disappointed when behind the wheel.
So feel free to admire the Jaguar photos, check out the stats and go online to configure your new car. After all, with the F-Type V6 model starting at $65000, you won't find a sports car that looks this good for less money anywhere.
With that said, if you'd like to discover more about the new Jaguar, please read on...
Outwardly, the Coupe is very similar to the F-Type Convertible, but a few details distinguish them. For starters, it's $4000 less than the equivalent Convertible model. It's also the stiffest Jaguar ever built, and the first to receive optional carbon-ceramic brakes. For the first time, the Coupe gets the 550hp R specification to create a flagship model, but don't assume there won't be a similar R Convertible in the near future if you prefer the sun on your scalp.
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8S vs. 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51
Fitting a solid roof not only looks spectacular but inevitably increased the aluminium bodyshell's torsional rigidity. In the process, Jaguar engineers made things more challenging by wanting to retain the pillarless styling. As a result, they ran an aluminum-alloy beam from the A- to D-pillars, reportedly making it 80% stiffer than the Convertible.
Of course, it's not like the soft-top was wobbly. In fact, we were impressed by its overall finesse and composure, so the stiffer F-Type Coupe is simply a bonus.
Despite its aluminium construction, the Jaguar isn't especially lightweight at 3638 lb for the V8 model. It compares to 3538 lb for the 560hp Porsche 911 Turbo S, for example, which combines steel and aluminium in its construction. The Coupe's weight is very similar to the V8 S Convertible, which is either a benefit or disadvantage of designing the car as a soft-top from the beginning.
We were somewhat surprised to discover the F-Type Coupe still suffers from a lack of useful storage space. Rather than extending to the front seats, trunk space is truncated by the wide central bulkhead also found in the Convertible. Engineering a new structure for the Coupe was a big ask for the small British company, but it means you can't reach back to access your belongings.
Let's not dwell on the shortcomings, though. The F-Type Coupe is a triumph of design and engineering, providing us with one of the greatest driving experiences we've ever had, in combination with some of the best roads in Europe.
If we're going to nit-pick, we found the ride quality in the V6S rather fussy. The center-exit exhaust also droned slightly under medium load. However, we haven't driven this version of the Convertible to know if it was a common trait.
Aside from that, the 380hp V6S was a pleasure to drive. As with the R Coupe, which exhibited neither the ride nor noise problems, the steering was perfectly weighted and the brakes well matched to the impressive performance.
If you didn't know there was a V8 option, the V6S would be all the car you need. It has the same gorgeous Jaguar aesthetics, with no sign of penny pinching. Priced at $77k, it's probably the car we'd choose since it's a significant saving over the R model but gets you from A to B in equal style.
All models are equipped with the excellent ZF eight-speed auto trans that gets paddle shifters for spirited driving. This Jaguar responds instantly to driver inputs and always knows what gear you need. With talk of a manual transmission on the horizon, this is a great solution until that becomes available.
We did notice the bite point of both the brakes and accelerator were set particularly high in the V6S pedal travel. Most of the work was done in the first inch or so of travel, initially making it difficult to modulate them. The result was jerky progress before you were accustomed to the action, but it does make the car surprisingly responsive on first acquaintance.
The V6S also gets Adaptive Dynamics and the e-diff as standard equipment, giving it a very sporty nature. The diff helped reduce understeer and increase traction. It's also infinitely adjustable, giving you the confidence to turn-in at high speed and be rewarded with superb stability.
Moving up to the $99000 R Coupe, you also get Torque Vectoring by Braking as standard - a technology that will apply the inside brakes to reduce understeer. This was graphically demonstrated on a wet kart track where we were invited to corner too fast and witness the car pull itself around the turn. It's a remarkable feat that will undoubtedly save a lot of crumpled metal on the road.
Additionally, the R has revised suspension settings, re-tuned with faster acting dampers and 4% stiffer springs. While this might not seem much, when combined with the stiff body, it produced a remarkable compliant ride that exhibited almost no body roll. Its "Normal" mode was sufficient for most journeys, although activating "Dynamic" mode tightened it up when you hit hyper-speed. This gave additional control to the driver without ever becoming spine-jarring.
In addition to the suspension, the Dynamic button can also affect steering weight, throttle response and gear shift speed. It also opens the exhaust valve, although we have to confess to driving with that button pressed at all times. The bark under acceleration and pops on the over-run were inspirational, especially in confined canyons, tunnels, narrow streets, etc.
Rather disconcertingly, on a particularly rhythmic section of Spanish country road, we did notice the exhaust "tune" was repetitive.
You imagine the pops and bangs are a function of a wide-open exhaust, but with the precise nature of direct injection, that can't really be the case. In reality, an ECU program allows unburnt fuel to ignite in the exhaust, which generates the sounds. As such, it's repeatable, which alters your perception slightly but didn't prevent us from enjoying the Jaguar exhaust note.