What is it?
The Jaguar F-type R coupé – on home soil. Previous to this, we’ve only had the chance to sample the range-topping new model abroad, and mostly on track; now it must live up to the promise of those previews on somewhat less glamorous surfacing.
It’s fair to say the omens are good. Alongside glowing praise from Messrs Sutcliffe and Cropley, the R has had Jaguar’s chest puffed out for months. In case you missed the fanfare, the manufacturer has repeatedly described it as its most performance-focused production car ever.
Big words, backed, it must be said, by some fairly big numbers. The coupé inherits Jaguar’s all-aluminium 5.0-litre supercharged V8 in its XFR-S spec – meaning a car some 300kg or so lighter than the aforementioned saloon yet with the same 542bhp and 502lb ft. Or, put another way, more than you’d get from an Audi R8 V10.
Significantly more than you’d get in the open-top F-type V8, too. Yet – as we’ve repeatedly been told – that’s okay because the aluminium roof has made it a very different prospect. The most torsionally rigid production Jaguar ever built, in fact. And one with the second generation of the firm's E-diff and, for the first time for a Jaguar, torque vectoring.