New F-type R coupé gets 542bhp supercharged V8 for 0-60mph in 4.0sec and 186mph, three models from £51,235 to £85,000, on sale in March
Jim Holder
20 November 2013

This is the Jaguar F-type coupé, a car that its maker calls the most dynamically capable, performance-focused production car it has ever built. It also significantly undercuts the convertible version on price in base form.

The entry-level coupé and coupé S closely mirror the performance spec of the V6 roadster range, but the range-topping F-type R coupé is heavily modified. It is powered by the 542bhp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 used in the XKR-S and XFR-S, as well as the Project 7 concept seen at Goodwood this year. The R coupé accelerates from 0-60mph in 4.0sec and has a governed top speed of 186mph. Its power-to-weight ratio is 325bhp per tonne.

Where the base F-type and F-type S do differ from the roadster, though, is on price. Each is £7285 less than the equivalent open-top F-type, which has drawn criticism for its lofty pricing. The R coupé starts at £85,000.

The car will go on sale next March, with Jaguar putting the main focus on the R coupé, which, the company says, takes best advantage of the car’s torsional rigidity of 33,000 Nm/degree — the best figure yet for a production Jaguar. 

Jaguar dynamics chief Mike Cross said: “It is the best expression of Jaguar’s core values of sweet and intuitive steering and a great blend of ride and handling.” 

That rigidity owes much to the innovative single-piece aluminium pressing that encompasses the coupé’s body side. This eliminates the need for multiple panels and cosmetic joints. Jaguar claims that it is “probably the most extreme cold-formed aluminium body side in the automotive industry”. 

To enable a low roofline with no B-pillars, a high-strength, hydroformed aluminium beam runs over each door opening from the bottom of the A-pillar to the back of the C-pillar. 

The bonded-in roof panel is available as either aluminium or as panoramic glass, and neither option alters the 
car’s rigidity.

“The body stiffness gave us more scope to dial in driving characteristics that were more linear and precise without compromising refinement,” said Cross, who is currently running an R coupé as his daily driver as part of the final evaluation programme. “Achieving that stiffness in a lightweight structure is key to what I believe to be the sweetest car in our range.”

The R coupé’s performance is marshalled by two new pieces of technology: a second-generation Electronic Active Differential (EAD) that works with ‘torque vectoring by braking’, pioneered on the 
new Range Rover Sport, to enhance handling and make 
it more exploitable on the limit in all conditions. 

EAD controls the amount of driveline torque fed to each wheel, operating like a more advanced version of a limited-slip differential. Operating with the torque vectoring system, it reacts to deliver any setting, from open to full locking, in just 200 milliseconds.

Additionally, the torque vectoring system brakes inner wheels when it detects potential understeer. Jaguar says it “works at a subtle level” to finely adjust the car’s trajectory and improve handling feel and balance.

These new systems work in tandem with Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics System, which actively controls vertical body movement, roll and pitch rates by adjusting damper rates up to 500 times a second according to driver inputs and the attitude of the car on the road. 

The R coupé’s spring rates have been increased by 4.3 per cent at the front and 3.7 per cent at the rear compared with those of the V8 S convertible. As on the convertible, drivers have the option of selecting a Dynamic mode, which firms damper rates, increases steering weighting, allows faster gearchanges and sharpens throttle response.

Neither EAD nor torque vectoring is available on the F-type and F-type S models at present, although Cross emphasised that it was technologically possible. “It’s a matter of pricing, and giving the customers at each price point what they want,” he said.

The R coupé uses Jaguar’s so-called Super Performance braking system as standard, featuring 380mm front discs and 376mm rear discs. Carbon-ceramic brakes are available as an option on the R coupé and S coupé models, offering an unsprung weight saving of 21kg, as well as performance gains.

All coupé models utilise the eight-speed Quickshift transmission also found on the F-type roadster, but the R coupé’s software has been recalibrated to suit the greater engine outputs. 

Jaguar’s switchable active sports exhaust is also standard on the R coupé. The company says it takes “aural excitement to new levels”.

The styling of the coupé is almost identical to that of the Jaguar C-X16 concept first shown at the Frankfurt motor show in 2011. In order to keep that form, a rear spoiler rises automatically at 70mph, before lowering again when the speed drops below 50mph. 

The interior is also familiar, although the R coupé gets add-ons such as ‘Performance’ seats, which have side bolsters that inflate under heavy cornering. Boot space, heavily criticised on the roadster, is put at up to 407 litres. Jaguar says that’s enough for two golf bags.

Q&A Mike Cross, Jaguar chief engineer, vehicle integrity

What makes the F-type coupé special?

“The body stiffness gave us a great platform on which to work and develop the car. We had experience of the platform from the roadster, but the extra stiffness opened up a new level of capability. The new technology also opened new possibilities: the electronic differential brings a new handling focus and the torque vectoring adds a new degree of sharpness.”

What will roadster drivers notice is most different?

“The handling and linearity of response are exceptional. It is more dynamic, it is more focused and it is faster and more precise. Its capacity to entertain is wider.”

Do the electronic aids detract from the driving experience?

“Quite the opposite. It has been developed to drive well regardless of the driver’s ability, and the systems are developed to be intuitive and immediate. It inspires confidence in every ability of driver. The systems are seamless and the car feels authentic in its responses.”

Can you give us a ’Ring time compared to the convertible?

“It’s not really relevant, so all I’ll say is that the coupé’s time starts with a seven. It is a fast car. But the real gain from ’Ring testing is not the lap time. I’m prouder of how it handles on a Welsh B-road than I am the ’Ring lap time.”

The R coupé sounds ripe for further developments.

“I would agree. It’s possible.”

Our Verdict

Jaguar F-Type Convertible

The Jaguar F-Type convertible provides direct competition to the 718 Boxster and the 911 Cabriolet, but can the big cat take a bite out of its Porsche rivals?

Join the debate

Comments
25

20 November 2013
Jaguar have done a brilliant job on the F-type coupe. I wasn't expecting them to do an R version at launch. This is going to give the Germans some serious competition, especially Porsche; it makes the 911 look dull and overpriced. I hope Jaguar offer a manual gearbox in the future. Onwards and upwards JLR.

20 November 2013
..this is the first Jag of the modern era that i actually really like.. I didnt like the roadster verison for some reason but this is an absolute stunner.. especially in black! Best rear view of coupe/ sports car in he market to date..why Jag didn't launch this first... still not totally taken by the interior..it doesn't look premium enough for me and the roadster I tried out the quality wasn't the best in all areas...

A34

20 November 2013
But to be a 911 competitor it has to pretend to have rear seats (ie 2+2). As a pretty coupe for surgeons and lawyers it looks the biz though!

20 November 2013
For me this sits in the JLR portfolio like the original V12 Vantage did for Aston Martin - a handsome, desirable, brawny coupe. And like that car this F-Type Coupe is only product from the company I'm remotely interested in.


20 November 2013
[quote=bomb]For me this sits in the JLR portfolio like the original V12 Vantage did for Aston Martin - a handsome, desirable, brawny coupe. And like that car this F-Type Coupe is only product from the company I'm remotely interested in.[/quote] The British marques produce cars which stimulate, thrill and tug at your heart, something so many other nations fail to do. Only the Italians come close, but their cars are generally flawed or substandard compared to the Brits.

21 November 2013
[quote=Roadster][quote=bomb]For me this sits in the JLR portfolio like the original V12 Vantage did for Aston Martin - a handsome, desirable, brawny coupe. And like that car this F-Type Coupe is only product from the company I'm remotely interested in.[/quote] The British marques produce cars which stimulate, thrill and tug at your heart, something so many other nations fail to do. Only the Italians come close, but their cars are generally flawed or substandard compared to the Brits.[/quote] Yeah, the McLaren MP4-12C is a real charmer......... By the way, are you talking about car marques or nations? You seem to have conflated two totally different arguments and have ended up comparing cars to nations. [quote=Roadster] Only the Italians come close, but their cars are generally flawed or substandard compared to the Brits.[/quote] Which Italian cars "come close" to British people? [quote=Roadster] The British marques produce cars which stimulate, thrill and tug at your heart, something so many other nations fail to do.[/quote] Which nations fail to "stimulate, thrill and tug at your heart"?

21 November 2013
[quote=The Special One][quote=Roadster][quote=bomb]For me this sits in the JLR portfolio like the original V12 Vantage did for Aston Martin - a handsome, desirable, brawny coupe. And like that car this F-Type Coupe is only product from the company I'm remotely interested in.[/quote] The British marques produce cars which stimulate, thrill and tug at your heart, something so many other nations fail to do. Only the Italians come close, but their cars are generally flawed or substandard compared to the Brits.[/quote] Yeah, the McLaren MP4-12C is a real charmer......... By the way, are you talking about car marques or nations? You seem to have conflated two totally different arguments and have ended up comparing cars to nations. [quote=Roadster] Only the Italians come close, but their cars are generally flawed or substandard compared to the Brits.[/quote] Which Italian cars "come close" to British people? [quote=Roadster] The British marques produce cars which stimulate, thrill and tug at your heart, something so many other nations fail to do.[/quote] Which nations fail to "stimulate, thrill and tug at your heart"?[/quote] I suppose I am saying that cars actually display certain traits and characteristics in their styling and the way they feel depending on where they're from. To asnwer your questions, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa, Maserati, Pagani, Fiat are the Italian companies, they all produce cars that have flair, zest and that x-factor, cars that are desirable and make you go wow. Cars from German and Japanese marques, for example, fail to thrill and stimulate in a way which Italian and British marques do. Look at all cars from Japanese companies for example, they generally all display a similar theme in the way they look, feel and are conceived, the same with German cars, British ones, Swedish, Italian etc.

20 November 2013
Jaguar have obviously seen limited interest in the soft top because of the high price, reflecting the £7,000 reduction for the coupe (surely its no where near that much cheaper to build?) but its good news for tin top fans. I had hoped there would also be news on the manual box (we have been told its likely to happen) and the base price might drop below £50k then.

289

20 November 2013
looks really good, well done Jaguar, but then I am no fan of soft tops and always thought it would look better as a coupe. The exhaust thing is confusing now...so the 6 cylinder gets twin pipes....the V8 gets quad pipes.....and the V8R gets twins again - is that correct or are the pictures of the red car a 6 cylinder car? Oh well,I think the twins look better anyway.

20 November 2013
Absolutely gorgeous. We've pretty much seen it already before in the leaks, spyshots and patent picture thingys but buy God.....what a stunning car! The convertible is lovely but this is beautiful. Very clever of Jag to release the conv first IMO....it's given a bumper boost.....to do it the other way round might have been a slight disappointment, in my eyes at least. Very clever by Jag....still a stupidly expensive car but i'm sure it will sell on looks alone!

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