SEATTLE, October 9, – Power, elegance, refinement, performance and beautiful are just a few of the appropriate adjectives when describing the 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe R. It’s a car that’s a throwback to the pedigree of Jaguar’s E-Type and yet helps to happily bring the style, posh and pure, unadulterated adrenaline to the modern times. To say that the Jaguar engineers took inspiration from the classic E-Type would be a gross over-statement as the body lines of this new F-Type are clearly harmonious.
It’s quite the rarity when we see literally no flaws in a car’s shape and overall bodylines and the F-Type Coupe does a brilliant job in each department, it makes for some serious rubbernecking action by car enthusiasts everywhere. On a recent trip we took the car on, the sheer amount of guys jacking their jaws, nearly running into open doors etc. was humorous to watch as they couldn’t stop looking at this car.
What has so many car enthusiasts excited is the 550hp V8 that is mated to one of the best-sounding exhaust systems ever conceived. When one opens up the baffles with the flip of a switch inside the cabin, this car sounds like a swarm of banshees escaping out of the gates of hell. It’s the kind of sound that gives most men the same dumbfounded look on their face as ogling a beautiful woman. Yes, that same level of dopamine gets released and we go right back into our primal mode. I can personally attest to this phenomenon as the many friends I provided rides to all started giggling like a little girl who just had her first bite of chocolate. The experience is uncanny, surreal and ultimately very rewarding.
If you need to quiet things down a bit, there’s a toggle inside that allows you to close down some of the exhaust baffles which is perfect for those times while rolling through a neighborhood or even around town. The car’s dynamic mode, however, forces the exhaust to open up all the baffles. Or as I like to call it, the “thunder”.
There is only one transmission available and it’s been the subject of quite of bit of controversy as well. The eight-speed with paddle shifters, does an amazing job of going through the gears, holding them all the way up to 7800rpm and shifts remarkably fast. I grew up driving manual transmissions, so I realize why so many enthusiasts enjoy them, however, for this car, the automatic is a spectacular fit and I’m not sure I’d want it any other way.
This car features quite a bit of decent technology inside as well. There’s on-board navigation, Bluetooth with Bluetooth audio, satellite radio, AM/FM, a HD back-up camera and a high-output audio system powered by Meridian. While it’s overall sound quality is good it’s not great but should suffice as one doesn’t get a sports car and worry too much about how the speakers sound.
Fit and finish inside is exceptional but not totally perfect. The use of stitched leather, “technical weave aluminum” and other high-end materials do help give the inside an upscale look but there is still quite a bit of hard plastic involved. Jaguar’s design to help make everything driver-focused and centric is evident by their decision to put a grab-handle on the passenger side which slopes down towards the driver. Its visual effect does help make the driver feel fully in command.
When one thinks about acquiring a sports car, it’s easy to get caught-up into the performance numbers alone. Things like 0-60, quarter-mile time and top speed are certainly areas to consider but there’s an intangible that’s often overlooked – how does it “feel”? How does the overall experience of the car “feel’ as you grasp the steering wheel and squarely plant your right foot into the accelerator? This is the primary area where the F-Type Coupe R lives up to the hype surrounding it. As you feel the weight of your entire body being forcibly pushed into the seatback and that lateral g-force kicks in, it’s nearly impossible to not giggle. It’s likened to being on a fast roller coaster that shoots its riders right out of the starting area.
Car and Driver Magazine was able to achieve zero-60 in 3.5 seconds and the standing quarter mile in 11.8 seconds and we’re inclined to believe those numbers after spending a week with the car. The sheer amount of thrill this car evokes to those inside it is kind of difficult to quantify with words alone. Of course there are faster cars out there for the money such as the Nissan GT-R and the upcoming Corvette Z06 but those who want more refinement in their car and looks which do a beautiful job of combining the old with the new, the F-Type Coupe may be the best ticket going.
As far as ride goes, this car is spot-on and even rides better than what one may expect from a sports car. We took the car on a nine-hour, round-trip drive to Eastern Washington and were honestly a bit surprised how comfortable it was on longer trips, all things considered. It’s certainly no touring sedan but it’s not a car that makes one feel all “beat-up” either. Jaguar has done a very good job of blending ride comfort, a sense of roominess in the cabin and still making it handle like it’s on rails. Another area the F-type excels in is a very short turning radius thanks to its short wheelbase.
Its rear cargo area was surprisingly large for such a car. It can easily accommodate two medium-sized suitcases with a good amount of room left over. Even around town, you should be able to easily fit a couple sets of golf clubs back there.
This R edition of the F-Type comes in at a starting sticker price of $99,000 but by the time you get it out the door, you’ll be looking closer to the $105,000 mark. Its value will certainly appeal to those who want great performance with a bit more “posh’ included. Think of it as a sort of “gentleman’s sports car”. Let’s face it, we’re a lot more likely to see James Bond driving a car like this over a Japanese import, regardless of its performance specs.
Make sure to check out our new show which I’m the co-host of, “Gearheads” below:
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