Jaguar F-Type R Coupe


   It’s the noise you remember most. Long after you’ve pressed the button that switches the F-Type R’s engine off, and long after the exhaust system has stopped pinging itself cool, the sound of Jaguar’s 5.0 litre supercharged V8 lingers long in the air.

   It shatters the morning silence on start-up – four trumpet-like tailpipes playing a fanfare that signals your departure – before settling into a deep, bassy, throbbing idle. It echoes off stone walls as you pass through small villages, and it cackles and pops as you brake and shift down for the corners. It’s akin to controlling a thunderstorm with your right foot.

   And yet, should you want to, you can turn the noise off. A simple press of a little black button no bigger than your thumbnail and Jaguar’s 543bhp E-type echoing coupe retreats from Dymanic mode back into Comfort, it ditches the theatrics and becomes very much the Grand Tourer. It rides well, it steers beautifully, its grip is prodigious. And just look it at. Even now an F-Type can still turn heads.

   And, arguably, so it jolly-well should. The Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is not only the second most powerful F-Type currently on sale – the premier position now belongs to the be-winged and mildly bonkers 567bhp, 200mph, £110,00 F-Type SVR – it’s all-wheel drive. It will alsoset you back the princely sum of £90,860, before options.

   I’m sure you’ll agree that’s still, even in today’s money, and to use the modern vernacular, very serious wedge. 

    But, is it any good? Does this Coventry Cat deserve such a price tag?

   Well, it really depends upon what it is you’re looking for.

 For around half the price of the F-Type R you can still bag yourself Jaguar F-Type; albeit one with half the cylinder count, a quarter of the tailpipes, one driven axle instead of two, and just (all things are relative after all) 296bhp. You’ll still get the same looks (from the car and the bystanders), the four-cylinder car will do 0-62 in 5.4 seconds, and there’s the promise of 39.2 mpg. The 4 pot motor is lighter too, so as a result the 2.0litre F-Type is more nimble, it feels more like a sportscar.

   The “lesser” car’s interior is also, virtually, the same. You get the same low and near-perfect driving position, the same steering wheel, the same gear-selector, the same podded-dial dashboard, the same Ford–sourced (and if I’m being brutally honest slightly low-rent) switchgear, and the same trademark clunky JLR touchscreen. Even the view down that long sculpted bonnet is identical.

    What you don’t get though are the 20in alloys, an electronic active differential, LED headlights, adaptive dynamics and keyless entry and start, the premium leather upholstery, the superbly comfy electrically adjustable performance sports seats, a Meridian sound system, and of course all of the unmistakable extra character that wonderfully burbly V8 gives you.

    Nevertheless the F-Type R still feels more like a GT. Maybe it’s the classic layout of long-bonnet, short tail. Maybe it’s the coupe styling – which incidentally increases overall stiffness by a whopping 80% over an open-topped F-type. Or maybe, simply, it’s because the F-Type R is unmistakeably a Jag. It’s what a friend of mine called a “Tuxedo car”. I think I caught his drift.

    You could happily fill the F-Type R’s boot with luggage and disappear for a long weekend without worry, it would munch the miles for breakfast and it would eat-up mountain passes with ease – the four-wheel drive would help in the snow too. It really is a lovely thing to spend time in and definitely something to be enjoyed.

   But, there’s a fly in the F-Type’s ointment; one which also possesses an instantly recognisable profile that was similarly conceived in the early ‘60s…  

    For the same money as the F-Type R, make that nearly ten-grand less in fact, you could buy a Porsche 911 Carrera 4. It’s four-wheel-drive, it offers very nearly the same performance, its shape is… dare I say it, even more iconic, it’ll carry the same amount of luggage and people, it’s got bank vault-like build quality, … I could go on.

    Is that long lingering 8 cylinder symphony really worth the extra money after all?

  Maybe. But ultimately, that’s for you to decide.



Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD

Engine: 5,000 cc V8, 32Valve. Supercharged petrol,

Transmission: 8 speed “QuickShift”, all-wheel drive.

Power:  543 bhp @ 6,500 rpm

Torque: 488 lbft @ 3,500 rpm

0-62MPH: 4.1 Seconds

Max Speed: 186 mph

CO2: 269 g/km

MPG: 25.0 combined

Price: from £90,860


Many thanks to Jaguar’s UK press office for the loan of their F-Type



Liam Bird Liam Bird

I'm Liam Bird, a freelance Motoring Writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, most of Wales and beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I'm as happy behind the wheel of a super-mini as I am in the latest super-car. I have press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers, meaning that as well as always being on the look out for further commissions, I always have a number of cars arriving each month ready to review.

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