Jaguar F-Type Coupe R

A genuine showoff Jag

"In terms of design, there's and influence from the Jaguar E-Type of the 70s"

"The Type R Coupe is 80 percent stiffer than a Roadster"

"Switch on the active sports button and it turns out to be one of the best Jag roars ever heard" said Ershad

"F-Type R Coupe is the company's most powerful series production ever"

We took the all new Jaguar F type Coupe R for a ride and I can tell you: here's a genuine Porsche 911 rival!

Unveiled in the 2014 Los Angeles Motor Show, the F-Type Coupe R was a hotshot right away. While visually, both variants look similar, Coupe R is a lot different from the F-Type roadster. One quick glance and you'd say it's the same car, almost. Let me drop a small note about the difference; the F-Type Coupe R has an extra 60hp. There's more to follow.

In terms of design, we see there's influence from the Jaguar E-Type of the 70s, and the model took its urban avatar, thanks to the inspiration from C-X16 concept. By the way, F-Type Coupe comes only with an "R"; so no V8 S Coupe.

Our tester was a showoff and people love to see the new Jag. Unlike the old Jags, which were more of an executive carrier with costly wood and leather inside; this one's a stud with loads of muscles and a nice sweeping roofline.

A full width panoramic glass roof goes all the way to the cabin-rearward skewed profile and ends at the rear spoiler which sits within the tapered shut-line. When the car exceeds 110 kph, the air deflector on the tapered shut-line rises to reduce lift and goes back to its old position when the speed dips. The long bonnet with power vents joins the aggressive grille. The gloss black front vanes under the shark gills come with flat side sill extensions. Our Black Pack edition had black window finishers, side power air vents and a grille surround in gloss black. The front splitter, side power vents, door mirrors casings and the engine cover was made of carbon fiber.

The catch, however, is the aluminum metal deployed almost everywhere. The Type R coupe is 80 percent stiffer than a Roadster. The side body is made out of a single piece of aluminum pressing without panels and joints. As B pillars don't exist, the designers used an aluminum beam that runs over the A pillar all the way to the back of D pillar, door opening lines and to the rear quarter window. The silhouette remains low and sleek while leaving enough space inside. The rear visibility was slightly choked though.

Interiors are still the same roadster type. Premium leather with contrast red stitching on instrument panels, door casings, grab-handle highlight and cubby box add to the luxury feel. Seats were meant for performance driving with inflatable side-bolstering and projecting wings for support. The 'R' logo was embossed on the headrest of each seat. The flat bottomed steering wheel was wrapped in leather with the R logo.

Under the hood, we've got a powerful 5.0 liter V8 supercharged engine capable of delivering 550hp and a torque of 680Nm. Power is directed to the rear wheels and the whole set up runs on Jaguar's eight speed close-ratio Quickshift transmission to use the power completely. We can also manually shift gears from the central SportShift selector or steering wheel mounted paddles.

Our tester featured a set of 20 inch storm forged alloy satin black polished wheels which were quite attractive with a combination of ultra-high performance tires and yellow monoblock calipers. Now the F-Type R has an option to add Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes which has a six-piston at the front and four-piston at the rear. They are extremely hard and fade resistant.

Let me get to the best part. Switch on the active sports exhaust system and drown the pedal hard. It turned out to be one of the best Jag roars ever heard. You seem to agree that all the power was channeled well inside; every time the rev nicked on top. Some electronic bypass valves are the culprits, which work out a calculated exhaust routing map all the way to those gorgeous quad tailpipes.

It looks as though the engineering team has taken every possible measure to avoid lag and that's a crucial substance in sports industry. To keep the power on check, they got the second generation electronic active differential (EAD) that automatically redistributes engine torque between the rear wheels. Torque vectoring by braking applies precise braking force in cornering maneuvers. Together, these technologies deliver excellent handling. So, here's a performance car, but you are a failure without efficiency; hence, spray-guided direct injection (SGDI) and dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT). The drive was always on a firmer side and credit goes to the all aluminum body. Lightweight yet extremely strong, the frame adds a lot to the overall dynamics.

Throttle response was immediate. As you unleash the beast with all the power supplied to the rear wheels - BANG! You can stay assured though, as the traction battalion will join the action quickly. Steering was so direct, I could almost feel the road there was so much grip. I believe it's a result of super tires and brakes put on to great effect. Brakes weren't soft, so I actually had to abuse them. Yeah, like we do it on a track. On the move, it kept reminding me about the monster inside so there was no point hiding the rumble. Slalom and fast action curve drive was an easy job and I found out that our tester had a bespoke sports suspension with adaptive dynamics damping finely honed to be accurate and engaging. We can also configured the system to adaptive dynamic mode. In this mode, the car's response is modified according to the road condition, speed, brake and throttle - shifting gears as appropriately needed. Gear paddles under the steering wheel were great and they barely wasted any time thanks to those extraordinary sporting ratios - closely stacked and quick.

Jaguar claims that the F-Type R Coupe is the company's most powerful series production ever. We second that statement. As I pointed out before, the R Coupe is a lot different than a roadster and the difference is about precise driving dynamics. The model was magnetic in terms of drawing attention and the ride was exhilarating.

Verdict 
I am sure that Porsche won't ignore the new rival's arrival in town, considering the match in terms of performance and yet have an upper edge on pricing!
Pros: the Jaguar roar, fantastic design, handling, brakes, price bracket against competition
Cons: rear visibility

Rivals: Porsche 911 Carrera GTS, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S, Audi R8
Engine: 5.0 L, V8 supercharged, 550hp @ 6500 rpm, 680Nm @ 2500 rpm
Transmission: 8 speed automatic with manual shifting mode, RWD
Performance: 0-100 kph: 4.2 sec, 11.5 L /100 km, top speed: 300 kph
Weight: 1776 kg
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