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Jaguar F-Type R Coupe 2015 review

EXPERT RATING
9
Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the Jaguar F-Type with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Jaguar's F-Type R coupe rates as a "favourite drive" for us in 2014.

It's not the quickest, fastest, most comfortable, best handling, riding or most luxurious, but is right up there on all scores and is arguably one of the best lookers around right now. Then there's the sound of it. Nothing else comes remotely near the F-Type R, except perhaps something V10 powered.

Head nod

F-Type is Jaguar's head nod to the 1960s E-Type - possibly the best looking car ever built. And what a head nod it is.

Cleverly penned by design guru Ian Callum, the F-Type has a cabin-rearward profile just like the E-Type, muscular rear haunches - just like the E-Type and a long nose - just like the E-Type.

The tailgate/hatch opens like a lid, and the whole sculpted exterior is virtually art on wheels - from every angle.

Inside is a modern efficient cockpit environment, highlighted by some clever touches such as the retractable large centre air vents and stitched leather dash.

The instruments have a slightly retro look but there's plenty of high-tech stuff to keep the F-Type's two occupants connected, informed and entertained.

Under the bonnet

Power, all 404kW/680Nm of it, comes from a supercharged 5.0-litre petrol direct injection V8 with variable valve timing. The supercharger feeds two water cooler intercoolers for optimum efficiency. 

It's ample to push this all-aluminium, 1650kg coupe from 0-100kmh in 4.2 seconds while using 11.1L/100km (98 octane) on the combined cycle.

It doesn't rumble, it doesn't growl, it explodes

Power goes to the rear wheels through a sweet shifting conventional eight-speed automatic transmission aptly named "Speedshift". There's precious little difference between this and a dual clutch automatic for gear change efficiency.

Perhaps the only real criticism of the F-Type R we drove was the paddle shift on the steering wheel. Should be remotely on the steering column.

Naturally with all this go, the F-Type R needed dynamics to keep it all under control and in this area the glamorous coupe is well endowed with double wishbone sports suspension all around, an active differential and torque vectoring. Multi drive modes are available acting on steering, suspension, transmission and throttle response. It rolls on large 20-inch wheels with super wide tyres.

Explosive

Push the Active Sports Exhaust button and you get an explosive exhaust sound not dissimilar to Chinese New Year celebrations. It doesn't rumble, it doesn't growl, it explodes like pyrotechnics between upshifts. On throttle over-run this effect is even more pronounced. It's pure joy for a car enthusiast, to the point where you drive with the windows down all the time. To anti-car types the sound would be like "all hell let loose".

We waited a while to drive this car and boy, was it worth it

Driving

Absolutely superb. The F-Type R behaves impeccably on all roads. Throw it at some tight stretches and it's like a sports car, open it up out in the bush and it's like a GT car, trundle down to the shops and it's like a commuter car - well not really but you get the picture. 

It has awesome brakes and direct steering that allows you to precisely place the big Jag and then there's the ever present whack of power and torque you can surf at will. What a combination.

The interior is super comfortable and has a classy feel but the optional spare takes up most of the available boot space.

How much?

The R version we drove tops out the F-Type rear wheel drive range at $219,130. All-wheel drive becomes available soon something we are slightly sceptical about - from a purist's point of view.

The F-Type doesn't need it.

The test vehicle had a glass roof which was spectacular to drive under but unnecessary given the driving rewards provided by the car itself.

Verdict

What can you say? We waited a while to drive this car and boy, was it worth it. Ticks all the boxes, sexy, classy, high quality, beautifully built, huge wow factor awesome performance and handling capped off by that sound.

Pricing Guides

$134,800
Based on 5 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$129,990
Highest Price
$149,995

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
R 5.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $134,800 – 149,995 2015 Jaguar F-Type 2015 R Pricing and Specs
R AWD 5.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $59,510 – 68,420 2015 Jaguar F-Type 2015 R AWD Pricing and Specs
V6 3.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $71,390 – 82,060 2015 Jaguar F-Type 2015 V6 Pricing and Specs
V6 S 3.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $88,000 – 101,200 2015 Jaguar F-Type 2015 V6 S Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
9