Jaguar F-Type Coupe

Too good to be true!

"The "F" is for Fanciful"

"3 B's: beastly beauty with bloodcurdling speed"

"The F-Type Coupe will make it into the history books"

"Most powerful Jaguar F-type Coupe is dramatic to drive," said Issam

Nothing can describe my inner feelings when I found out that the F-Type had been made into a coupe shape. I still reckon my first drive of the convertible in Spain last April, in Pamplona in the F-Type on the Navarra Circuit. This time I flew to Lleida to drive the F-Type Coupe on the Aragon Motorland circuit.

Exterior
Visual appeal is fundamental to Jaguar and, as such, the F-TYPE Coupe is immediately recognizable, building on the design of the stunning C-X16 concept sports coupe and the F-TYPE Convertible - winner of the 2013 'World Car Design of the Year' award.

The F-Type Coupe's visual message is defined by three key 'heart lines', that visual message beginning with the formidable grille. It is from the twin 'shark gill' openings that sit either side of the grille that the essential first heart line - which mirrors the design of the F-Type Convertible - flows and begins to take shape. Running up through the headlamp and accentuated by the LED 'J blade' daylight running lamps, the line then arcs up over the front wheel arch before dropping elegantly as it runs through the door, washing out into the muscular rear haunch.

The Coupe's second heart line, also shared with the Convertible, begins at the rear edge of the door, swelling outwards and upwards to create a visually strong wheel arch, emphasizing the car's rear-wheel-drive layout before dropping vertically through the tail lamp.

The third heart line forms the Coupe's dramatic, cabin-rearward, sweeping roof profile. Providing an unbroken silhouette, it highlights the visual drama of the tapered cabin nestled between the powerful rear haunches. The distinctive side window graphic, finished as standard in bright aluminum, accentuates both the compactness of the car and the roof profile.

Chassis
Jaguar's expertise in aluminum vehicle architecture has been essential in enabling both the F-Type Coupe's uncompromised design aesthetic, while delivering the fundamental dynamic attributes - essential to any sports car - of low mass and an extremely rigid body. Measuring 33,000 Nm/degree, the F-Type Coupe is the most torsional rigid production car Jaguar has ever built.

A fundamental requirement for excellent dynamic attributes, delivering that rigidity figure required some innovative engineering solutions in order to maximize strength without impacting on the design vision. Due to the lack of B-pillars, Jaguar's engineers were presented with the challenge of keeping the design's sleek, pillar less, low roofline - combined with the need to create the optimum amount of interior space - while still achieving the necessary rigidity and strength targets. The solution was a high-strength, hydro-formed aluminum alloy beam which runs from the front of the A-pillar through to the back of the D-pillar, through the door opening line and back to the rear quarter window.

The F-Type Coupe is available with either aluminum or panoramic glass roof panels that are bonded into the main roof structure - torsional rigidity is identical regardless of which roof is fitted.

The F-Type Coupe's dramatic body sides are single-piece aluminum pressings - probably the most extreme cold-formed aluminum body side outer panels in the automotive industry. These exceptionally deep-draw aluminum pressings have totally eliminated the requirement for joints in the panel surface. The body side panel is fabricated from high-strength and formable AC600 aluminum, which has also been used for structural reinforcement - both engineering firsts for Jaguar. The use of AC300 T61 aluminum in the body structure of the car provides additional strength thanks to its energy absorbing properties, ensuring maximum occupant protection.

In order to achieve the required aesthetic at the rear of the car, the F-TYPE Coupe features a hidden rear spoiler that sits within the tapered shut-line of the tailgate, and rises at speed in order to balance front and rear lift. The spoiler automatically rises at 70mph and lowers when the speed drops below 50mph, reducing lift by up to 120kg.

The width of the tail is emphasized by the slim, full-LED lamps that wrap all the way around the wings almost to the trailing edge of the rear wheel arches. These lamps feature hidden-until-lit technology, appearing solid until one of their functions is activated. The F-TYPE Coupe also features a 'ribbon of light' LED high-mounted stop light, which is hidden at the top of the beautifully engineered tailgate. The tailgate, available with powered open/close functionality, is made from composite materials, the boot-volume itself being up to 407 liters.

Aluminum forms a significant part of Jaguar's commitment to sustainability with up to half the content of the body coming from recycled metal. In addition, the F-TYPE Coupe's structure is exclusively riveted and bonded - this manufacturing process emits up to 80 percent less CO2 compared to that from welding a comparable steel structure. Jaguar is also rolling out its closed-loop aluminum recycling system to its suppliers, ensuring all offcuts of metal from the manufacturing process are reused.

Interior
Like all models in the F-Type range, the R Coupe's driver-focused cabin clearly conveys the car's pedigree and sporting prowess, through a combination of taut, technical styling, involving interfaces and premium materials and textures.

The F-Type R Coupe's performance seats have inflatable side-bolstering and prominent wings for support during high-speed cornering. The seats are finished in premium leather, with the 'R' logo embossed on the headrest. A pure 'Jet' interior color way is offered with three options of contrast stitching - Ivory, Red or Firesand - on the instrument panels, door casings, grab-handle highlight and cubby box. There are a further three sporting options on the Jet seats - Ivory, Camel or Red duo-tones, each with similarly-matched contrast stitching.

The F-Type R Coupe's premium trim also includes leather on the instrument panel and binnacle, armrests, door inserts and the center console. Leather or suede cloth head linings are optional. The driver-focused cockpit conveys its sporting intentions with a small-diameter, flat-bottomed steering wheel wrapped in Jet leather with the R logo. A round wheel is a no-cost option.

A new, full leather and suede cloth Jet interior (with Cirrus contrast stitch) is also optional on all derivatives. Suede cloth is used on the seat facings, door casings, instrument binnacle pods and headlining - and can also be combined with a suede cloth steering wheel.

Dynamic Features
The F-Type R Coupe is fitted with Jaguar's adaptive dynamics system that actively controls vertical body movement, roll and pitch rates. The system continuously monitors driver inputs and the attitude of the car on the road, adjusting damper rates accordingly up to 500 times a second to optimize stability. For the F-TYPE R, the adaptive dynamics controlling software has a bespoke tune, working in tandem with revised spring rates all-round to deliver consistent, progressive and exploitable handling. Spring rates are increased by 4.3 percent at the front and 3.7 percent at the rear (compared to F-TYPE V8 S Convertible).

Engaging dynamic mode delivers an even more focused driving experience thanks to enhanced body control through firmer damping rates, increased steering weighting, faster gear changes and sharper throttle response. In the F-TYPE R Coupe, dynamic mode is configurable as standard via the central eight inch touchscreen, allowing the driver to select and save settings according to their preference.

In addition to the fundamental suspension tune changes, the F-TYPE R Coupe features a new second-generation electronic active differential, which, for the first time on a Jaguar, works in conjunction with torque vectoring by braking. Together, the two systems ensure agility at all speeds and exploitable on-the-limit handling.

The F-TYPE R Coupe's electronic active differential (EAD) builds on the progressive handling advantages of a mechanical limited-slip differential by intelligently controlling the amount of driveline torque fed to each wheel. The EAD utilizes an electric motor which operates a multi-plate clutch; by rapidly and continuously analyzing a range of electronic inputs, it is able to immediately vary torque transfer to each driven wheel to maximize traction in any condition.

The EAD system fitted to the F-TYPE R Coupe features a highly sophisticated second-generation controller. It continuously estimates surface friction, comparing that to the driver's torque demand and delivering accurate locking toque as a result. A new handling controller also means the EAD has the ability to match the car's response more accurately with the driver's inputs during both on-power under-steer or off-power over-steer conditions. Working in parallel with the torque vectoring by braking system, the controller is capable of reacting to the ECU's torque request - ranging from open to full locking torque - in under 200 milliseconds.

Torque vectoring by braking - a standard feature on F-TYPE R Coupe - applies finely metered braking torque individually to the inner wheels as necessary, helping to turn the car into corners more precisely. Using the F-TYPE R Coupe's array of electronic sensors, the torque vectoring system determines when corner entry speed may induce understeer. It then calculates the level of brake force needed to correct the car's direction and, via the ABS system, applies that precise braking force to individual inner wheels as necessary. Torque vectoring by braking works at a subtle level by correctively and predictively finely adjusting the trajectory of the F-TYPE R Coupe for optimal handling.

The F-TYPE R's EAD and torque vectoring by braking systems - which work together with the car's dynamic stability control system - complement each other to optimize traction, cornering ability and, most importantly, to maximize steering feel and agility. Torque vectoring by braking works to fine-tune trajectory around a corner, and as the car is pushed further to its limits, there is a natural, seamless transition to EAD.

As a result, the use of available grip is always optimized, enabling the F-TYPE R Coupe to carry more speed into, through and out of corners, while delivering precision handling during high-speed maneuvers.

The F-TYPE R Coupe uses Jaguar's super performance braking system as standard. This system features 380mm front and 376mm rear discs - with red or black painted calipers. Brake cooling is optimized via under-body channeling of air, the air-flow being derived through the use of computational fluid dynamics analysis.

The R Coupe is also available with optional Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes which offer consistent performance and excellent fade resistance even during extreme performance driving conditions, while retaining the precise pedal feel of the standard system and extending disc life in everyday driving use.

The F-TYPE R Coupe's switchable active sports exhaust system - with its signature quad, outboard-mounted tailpipes - takes the aural excitement delivered by the 550PS engine to new levels. It offers an authentic, rich sound, developing to a howling crescendo as the upper limits of the rev range are reached. The system uses electronically controlled bypass valves in the rear section of the exhaust which are mapped to open according to a range of parameters, effectively altering the exhaust gas routing into a free-flowing straight-through arrangement to both reduce back pressure and enhance sound quality. Selecting dynamic mode also opens the bypass valves, an optional override button enabling further driver control of the system.

Drivetrain
The Jaguar F-Type Coupe is also available in two V6 supercharged powered petrol variants, both driving the rear wheels through eight-speed Quickshift transmissions: the F-Type Coupe and the F-Type S Coupe. Featuring the same rigid yet lightweight Coupe bodyshell as the F-Type R and combined with a finely tuned focus on ride, handling and performance, both the F-Type Coupe and F-Type S Coupe are true driver's cars.

F-Type Coupe V6
The F-TYPE Coupe is powered by Jaguar's 3.0 liter V6 supercharged petrol engine in 340PS/450Nm tune, and is capable of 0-60mph in 5.1 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 161 mph. Standard features include dynamic mode, sports exhaust - both V6 models use twin, centrally-mounted tailpipes - sports suspension and Jaguar's performance braking system (354/325mm discs front/rear) with silver calipers. The F-TYPE Coupe is fitted as standard with 18in Vela wheels, partial leather/suede cloth sports seats and a leather steering wheel with black paddles.

F-Type Coupe V6 S
The F-TYPE S Coupe, powered by Jaguar's 3.0 liter V6 supercharged petrol engine in 380PS/460Nm tune is capable of 0-60mph in 4.8-seconds on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 171 mph. It features dynamic mode, dynamic launch, active sports exhaust, sports suspension with adaptive dynamics, Jaguar's high performance braking system (380/325mm discs front/rear) with black calipers and a mechanical limited-slip differential. Both Jaguar's super performance and CCM braking systems are optional. The F-TYPE S Coupe is fitted as standard with 19 inch propeller wheels, partial leather/suede cloth sports seats and a leather steering wheel with Ignis paddles.

F-Type Coupe V8 R
The F-TypeR Coupe represents the pinnacle of the F-Typerange. Powered by Jaguar's 5.0 liter supercharged petrol V8 all-aluminum engine in 550 hp and 680 Nm form, the F-TypeR Coupe achieves headline figures of 0-100 kph in 4.1-seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 300 kph.

Driving Impressions
At first sight, I might genuinely prefer the Brit brand's two-seat sports car in convertible form. The F-Type Coupe is faster around the Nürburgring than the massive XJ220. That's right - the V8-powered F-Type R Coupe lapped the Grune Hoelle in 7:39, a full six seconds better than the XJ220, making it the fastest production Jaguar ever.

So what's the difference between the F-Type Convertible V8 and the F-Type Coupe V8 R?

The all-aluminum body is a whopping 80 percent stiffer than the soft-top's, and the suspension is firmer. Then there's the supercharged 5.0 liter V8 R model, which I've driven on Aragon Motorland circuit, which is available only as a Coupe. The R actually makes for more tolerant and controllable responses than I got from the Convertible especially if I suddenly lifted off the throttle mid-corner. It feels a proper, serious sports car; it's alert and likely to bite you back if you get it wrong and a much more severe rival to the Porsche 911 than the Convertible one.

Although my first drive on the circuit was on rainy asphalt, I had the best experience ever. The Middle East and Dubai - no rain, but as for Lebanon, it is the most amazing feeling to drive under the rain. The Coupe R is a high performance sports car with a completely different character than the convertible. I would also say it is a much more track-oriented and hardcore sports car.

And again, the most excitement that I got from the convertible and now from the Coupe was the big roar from the quad-tipped exhausts especially when going through tunnels. I used the easy and quick paddle shifters to change up the gears. The shifter is outstanding - so quick and so smooth.

The fun part for me was the torque vectoring feature that we tried on the other side of Aragon circuit, the karting track. Before a corner, get the throttle to reach around 60-70 kph, remove the throttle and turn sharply, and then the system will lock the two wheels and adjust the car to get safely from through corner.

Verdict
All in all, after such a drive I can honestly admit that the F-Type Coupe could one day be in my garage instead of a 911 Carrera which I adore too! Due to the 80 percent more stiffness in the coupe, I would rather select the convertible. Whatever F-Type model you pick, you are in for one hell of a ride, so make sure to keep your wits about you.

4.5 stars

One word: beauty
Rivals: Porsche 911 Carrera, Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe, Audi R8 Coupe, Mercedes-Benz SL
Pros: Fabulous look, luxurious interior, great handling, exciting performance
Cons: Rear visibility 

 

F-TYPE COUPE

F-TYPE S COUPE

F-TYPE R COUPE

Engine Capacity (L)

3.0L

3.0L

5.0L

Cylinders

V6

V6

V8

Transmission

8-speed 'Quickshift'

8-speed 'Quickshift'

8-speed 'Quickshift'

0-100km/h (sec)

5.3

4.9

4.2

Top speed - electronically limited (km/h)

260

275

300

Power (hp)

340

380

550

Torque (Nm)

450

460

680

Combined economy (l/100km)

8.8

9.1

11.1

Weight from (kg)

1577

1594

1650

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