2015 Jaguar F Type Coupe Review
2015 Jaguar F Type R Coupe at a glance
BODY STYLE: Two-seat, luxury performance sports car.
DRIVE METHOD: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive.
ENGINE: 5.0-litre supercharged V8 (550 hp, 502 lb/ft torque) with an eight-speed QuickSelect? automatic transmission.
FUEL ECONOMY: (Premium) 15/10.2/12.8L/100 km city/highway/combined.
CARGO CAPACITY: 324 litres.
PRICE: $109,900, as tested $128,950.
2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe turns heads
As if the 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe wasn?t one of the most spectacular looking cars on the planet, there?s another aspect to the car that would be music to the ears of any automobile lover.
It?s the exhaust sound from the 550 hp 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine in the F-Type R when you punch the throttle.
The Active Sports Exhaust system has been specially tuned to provide a rich, aural sound as exhaust gases travel through electronically controlled bypass valves to the four outboard mounted chrome tail pipes.
The ?snap, crackle and pop? sound is spectacular inside the cabin, but you know Jaguar has hit the sweet spot when you see a retired Mercedes-Benz mechanic come to investigate where the ?gurgles? are coming from.
This happened to me as I sat in the driveway of our neighbourhood friends Skip and Sheryl. With Dynamic mode selected in the car, the gas routing is redirected to get the richest sound from the exhaust.
So when I tapped the accelerator a few times to demonstrate, out popped Ralph from the front door across the street to see what was producing the gorgeous ?musical? sound.
?Is something broken?? he asked, before breaking into laughter, a big smile on his face.
But if the sound doesn?t sell the F-Type Coupe to well-heeled customers, the styling will.
Many feel Jaguar?s design chief Ian Callum has outdone himself this time round, creating an instant classic with the F-Type Coupe, building on the design of the stunning C-X16 concept sports coupe and F-Type Convertible that won the 2013 World Car Design of the Year award.
Now Callum is no stranger to creating beautiful designs? think of the Aston Martin DB9 that I personally consider the most spectacular looking automobile ever built.
Regular readers will know that I?m a big fan of modern Jaguars, having fallen head-over-heels for the XK line that sadly is into its final model year.
But with the F-Type model range now expanded to include the Coupe in addition to the Convertible, Jaguar?s fortunes are sure to rise.
Next year, an all-wheel drive version of the F-Type will make its debut, turning what for most in Canada would be a three-season car now into what could be an all-season plaything. The AWD models will debut at this month?s Los Angeles auto show.
But back to the story at hand, the F-Type Coupe lineup is headlined by the R-model tested here.
Not only is the car beautiful with outstanding exhaust notes, it?s also one of the quickest cars on the block. Jaguar says it will go from 0-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds and 80-120 km/h in a scant 2.4 seconds. Top speed is 300 km/h, but sadly, where would you use it unless you?re lucky enough to do track days or drive the German autobahn.
Jaguar has always done things a little differently and the F-Type is no exception, coming out with the convertible model first before the coupe. Most manufacturers would have done things the opposite way.
The new two-seat coupe is much more than just the F-Type Convertible with a hardtop. To begin with, I thought it would be impossible to capture the same emotion with a coupe that you get with the convertible, but Callum has done it. In fact, to my eye the F-Type has even more beautiful styling.
Jaguar again goes with lightweight aluminum on the F-Type Coupe, producing an extremely rigid body despite the lack of B-pillars on the sleek, low roofline.
The body side of the coupe is made from a single piece of aluminum stamping, thus eliminating the need for multiple panels and joints. Jaguar said torsional rigidity has been improved by 80 per cent.
The F-Type Coupe comes in three models ? the F-Type with a 340 hp supercharged 3.0-litre V6 engine; the F-Type S with a 380 hp supercharged 3.0-litre V6 engine and the aforementioned 550 hp supercharged 5.0-litre V8.
Our tester had a number of options that took the $109,900 base price up to $128,900. Among the options was a fixed panoramic glass sunroof that is bonded into the main roof structure. Other options included the Vision Pack that combines a number of visibility and safety technologies like adaptive front lighting, intelligent high beam, blind spot monitor and front and rear parking aids. The Black Pack adds a variety of exterior trim and appearance enhancements.
One big-ticket item was the Carbon Ceramic Matrix braking system with contrasting yellow calipers. This features 15.7-inch front brake discs and 15-inch discs on the rear. Made of carbon fibre and ceramics they are extremely hard and long lasting.
The F-Type R has an eight-speed ?Quickshift? ZF automatic transmission that has been recalibrated to exploit the rev range of the 550 hp V8 and ensure it stays in the optimal power band for each gear change. It also allows manual shifts with the steering wheel-mounted paddles or the SportShift selector.
All Coupe and Convertible F-Type models are equipped with a stop/start system that turns the engine off when the car comes to a stop. The engine quickly restarts when the brake is released.
This is a car that is loaded with performance features like the Adaptive Dynamics system that controls vertical body movement, roll and pitch rates. It continuously monitors the input of the driver and the car?s reaction by adjusting damper rates up to 500 times a second for optimal stability.
With Dynamic mode engaged, is the exhaust sound optimized, but the damping rates are firmer, steering weight is increased, gear changes are quicker and throttle response is firmer.
The F-Type Coupe has rear spoiler, hidden on the tapered rear tailgate for aesthetic reasons. It deploys at speeds above 100 km/h and then lowers when speeds drop to 80 km/h. The tailgate itself is made of composite materials, the only body panel that is not aluminum.
Also hidden are the door handles that fit flush to the door panel until the car is unlocked when they magically pop out.
Inside, the cabin is beautifully finished with impeccable stitching (available in three contrasting colours) on the leather instrument panels, door panels, grab handle and console. Dressed in a Polaris White exterior paint colour, our tester had handsome contrasting ivory inserts in the Jet black seat surfaces.
Seats in the R model are performance rated with inflatable boosters for support during hard cornering. There is an embossed ?R? logo on the headrest and on the flat-bottomed steering wheel. Standard is a 770-watt Meridian surround sound audio system. And it also has 324 litres of cargo space under the rear hatchback, enough to carry two sets of golf clubs.
There?s so much more to this vehicle and not enough space to cover it all here, but suffice it to say, the Jaguar Type-F R Coupe is a vehicle that dreams are made of.
It?s a cat that has beauty, power and luxury all rolled up into a package that would satisfy the car lover in all of us.