What is it?
The Jaguar F-type coupé, seen here in top-flight R specification and bulging at the seams with 542bhp of supercharged 5.0-litre V8, a set of 20in wheels and tyres and, for the first time in a production Jaguar, the option of carbon ceramic brakes.
It’s a prototype rather than a full blown production example, and we were only allowed to drive it on a track - around the famous GP Circuit de Catalunya at Barcelona - but even so, just a few brief laps in this car were all it took to twig that it is very much the star of the show within the new F-type coupé line up.
The F-type R coupé is, in Jaguar’s opinion, the model that stands up best beside the Porsche 911, and to the Porsche 911 Turbo in particular. Its all-aluminium bodyshell is an incredible 80 per cent stiffer than that of the roadster, which itself has one of the stiffest structures money can buy. Its power steering is a touch sharper than the soft-top’s and its suspension only a touch stiffer, but Jaguar claims both the handing and ride are significantly improved, all of which stems from having a body that is fundamentally so much more rigid.
The brakes are also bigger, with ventilated steel discs being fitted as standard front and rear with the new carbon-ceramic discs featuring as either £7400 or £8400 options, depending on whether you go for the cast or forged 20in wheels to go with them. For the first time in a Jaguar, there’s also a torque vectoring system that tickles the unloaded inside wheels during hard cornering to help improve traction and reduce understeer.