Chris Miller road tests and reviews the 2015 Jaguar F-TYPE.
Emotional, dramatic and beautiful, the Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupe is the essence of a sports car.
From the minute you catch a glimpse of the Jaguar you know you are in for something special. Hit the start button and you realise this car is more than just looks.
Under the bonnet is a sonorous 5.0 litre Supercharged V8 that unleashes its 404kW and 680Nm of torque with a noise unlike anything else on the road.
Open the baffles in the exhaust via a button on the centre console and the big V8 bellows even louder…it crackles and pops when you lift your foot off the gas producing a sound that is almost arousing and utterly addictive.
It is so loud pedestrians are frightened. I wouldn’t be surprised if the F-TYPE Jaguar set off alarms in nearby cars, in fact I’m still scratching my head as to how it is legal.
The power comes on fast equating to a 0-100km/h time of just 4.2 seconds. Put your foot down at any speed, in any gear, and the back end of the Jag squirms as the traction control grabs it, and it hunkers down and slingshots you down the road like a bullet.
Well balanced, the 1764kg Jaguar F-TYPE is adept in the corners.
The steering is well weighted and provides plenty of feedback. The ride is firm but forgiving and dynamic mode ensures when you really want to give it the beans the suspension, steering, transmission and throttle map are primed, pumped and ready to deliver.
The big V8 is mated to an 8-Speed automatic that is intuitive and gentle under light throttle loads, and lightning fast and almost violent when the accelerator is buried in the deep plush pile carpet.
Flick it over to Sports mode and the F-TYPE Jag hold the gears longer, blipping the throttle as you come back down through the gearbox for more of those addictive pops and crackles. Take manual control via the steering wheel mounted paddles for even more fun.
The classic sports car proportions designed by Ian Callum (the man behind Aston Martin) are beautiful from any angle. From the long, wide bonnet, to the short, beautifully sculpted rear end; the elegant, almost aggressive look is one that guarantees you’ll find hand smudges all over the windows from keen passersby every time you leave it parked on the street.
And those people keen for a look at the interior wont be disappointed!
Understated yet luxurious, the tight Jaguar F-TYPE cockpit envelops you in leather and carbon fibre. The driving position is spot on although visibility can be a bit restricted thanks to biggish A-pillars and the fat rear haunches on the Jag.
The big chunky steering wheel with mounted controls for the audio and cruise frames the classic instrument binnacle that glows red when you engage dynamic mode.
Air vents rise gracefully out of the dash when you turn on the dual climate control, and the carbon fibre edged central colour touch screen is simple to use although can be a bit fiddly for fat fingers.
The trigger action gear selector is a thing of beauty and the leather stitched central grab handle reinforces the intent of the Jaguar F-TYPE R.
The optional electric seats with memory function ($2,040) are comfortable and supportive and the frameless doors close with a reassuring thunk.
The British build quality is first class with the Jaguar heritage promoted via a Union Jack plaque mounted in the glove box.
Summing it up; The Jaguar F-TYPE R does have a few niggling annoyances like the way the leather seats rub and squeak against the back of the interior when in the furthest back position. The audio system isn’t the greatest going around, and the lack of a spare wheel could leave you stranded.
Space is at a real premium, a couple of bags of shopping fill the boot and there’s only space for your wallet and a phone in the centre console. Many items found standard in a $25,000 Hyundai are expensive options in the Jag, like a reverse camera and parking sensors for $1,725 and blind spot monitoring for $1,500.
A panoramic glass roof adds $2,000 and high performance tyres will cost you $4,500. Annoying and expensive, but far from a deal breaking.
The look, the sound, the power and the drama that is the Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupe mean that I’d be happy with it even if it came with vinyl seats and wind up windows.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2015 Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupe
Engine: 5.0 litre V8 producing 404kW and 680Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Three years
Origin: United Kingdom
Price: From $219,130 (R version)