Jaguar F-Type R Coupe — Cutting-edge styling, performance

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

If open-air motoring is not to your taste, a coupe version of the delightful Jaguar F-Type will give you the head turning styling and outstanding performance you so desire. The all-aluminum F-Type Coupe delivers the uncompromised design vision of the Jaguar C-X16 concept, and complements the existing F-Type Convertible.

This Jaguar's styling is a marvel. Its beauty draws stares. It features an athletic stance sitting low with muscular front fenders and rear haunches, an oversized front grille, and aggressive air intakes.

The 495- horsepower V8 S found in the convertible has been replaced in the Coupe with a 550-horsepower 5-liter Supercharged V8 R. Priced at $99,000 it’s a magnificent road car that will easily find its way to a bevy of race tracks hither and yon.

The F-Type R Coupe according to Jaguar reaches 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds although in testing it achieved a time of 3.6 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph. 50-75 mph passing acceleration takes a mere 2.4 seconds.

We found it one of the most invigorating driving experiences we've enjoyed in recent times, perhaps since we drove the convertible version six months ago. Power delivery is linear and reaching highway speed is remarkably effortless. Flick a switch into the Dynamic mode, and the sports car turns into a wild, snarling beast.

All F-Type engines deliver not only exhilarating performance but also excellent efficiency thanks to such technologies as spray-guided direct injection (SGDI) and dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT). The four-valve cylinder heads are fed by a Roots-type twin vortex supercharger via two air-to-liquid intercoolers.

The F-Type R Coupe offers a higher state of performance capability than the formidable F-Type V8 S Convertible, not only with more power but also a specifically tuned chassis and dynamic control systems. Spring rates on the R Coupe are increased by 4.3% at the front and 3.7% at the rear. All-wheel-drive will become available on the 2016 model as well as an R convertible.

An impressive eight-speed automatic transmission with manual paddle-shifter controls is part of the current equation. A six-speed manual is not on the menu yet but that didn't bother us because the auto shifter is so superb.

The R Coupe EPA ratings are 16 mpg in the city, 23 on the highway with a combined number of 18. But to get those numbers you will have to use almost super-human restraint and be willing to severely dampen the fun factor built into this brutish British beauty.

The F-Type R Coupe includes the Jaguar Super Performance braking system, which is also featured on the F-Type V8 S Convertible. This system features 15-inch (380mm) front and 14.8-inch (376mm) rear discs with red painted calipers. Brake cooling is optimized via under-body channeling of air. For those that want to head to the track the R Coupe, V8 S and S models are available with optional Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes, which offer absolute consistency of performance and excellent fade resistance.

Tuned by Meridian the F-Type R Coupe has as standard equipment a 770-Watt surround sound tuner with a separate digital amplifier playing through 12 speakers, including a subwoofer. HD Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio are standard on the R Coupe and optional on all other models.

The base F-Type Coupe comes with a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 making 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque starting at $65,925. This is for people who want the Jaguar F-Sport experience at a relative bargain. The V-6 does not embarrass the F-Sport with a 0-to-60 time in the lower reached of 5 seconds. In addition, it will yield a fuel efficient 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. The S version of the V-6 starting at $77,925 pumps the supercharged engine to 380 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque and gives the coupe 0-to-60 times in the 4.5-second range.

But it's the R that makes this beautiful coupe the king of the road. Our test car carried a base price of $99,925 (including destination charge) and a bottom line price of $104,974 with $4,000 in options including 20-inch Grymodyne black alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, red seat belts, and the Vision Pack 3 that includes adaptive front lighting, rear parking camera and blind spot monitor.

The new Coupe is a wonderful vehicle with magnificent style and outstanding performance. It is likely the F-Type will capture the grace and elegance and the remarkable obsession of the E-Type which found its place in automotive history and art some 50 years ago. Another brilliant Jaguar sports car!

Base price: $99,925; as driven, $104,975
Engine: 5.0-liter supercharged V8
Horsepower: 550 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 502 foot-pounds @ 2,500 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drive: rear wheel
Wheelbase: 103.2 inches
Length: 176 inches
Curb weight: 3,638 pounds
Turning circle: 35.8 feet
Luggage capacity: 11 cubic feet
Fuel capacity:18.5 gallons (premium)
EPA rating: 23 highway, 16 city, 18 combined
0-60: 3.8 seconds (Edmunds)
Also consider: Porsche 911, Audi R8, Aston Martin Vantage

The Good
• Exhilarating performance
• Gorgeous styling
• Luxurious cabin appointments

The Bad
• Small trunk

The Ugly
• Performance trumps comfort