Jaguar F-Type Coupe dramatic style and dynamic drive
- Credit: Jaguar
Not content with basking in the critical sunlight thanks to the success of the F-Type Roadster, Jaguar has unleashed a more focused coupe version, says Iain Dooley, of the Press Association.
Following swiftly on from the roadster, this is the tin-top version of Jaguar's bold new F-Type. The car's rakish looks signal a bold new direction for the company, as it seeks to tempt younger buyers away from the traditional German alternatives.
The all-petrol line-up consists of 340bhp 3.0-litre V6, a beefier 380bhp S and 550bhp flagship 5.0-litre V8 R – all with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox offering a manual mode and paddle-shifters.
Factor in a wealth of technology and options – carbon ceramic brakes, trick stability control, sports exhaust – to make the experience even more enjoyable and you've got something to give the Germans a few sleepless nights.
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Where do you start with a car like the F-Type Coupe? As bold as the roadster from the front thanks to its aggressively-style nose, the real drama happens towards the back. With its streamlined profile and sloping fastback tail, there's more than a hint of E-Type if you include the wide, muscular haunches.
The bold design theme continues inside, with the F-Type Coupe offering occupants a snug, leather-upholstered cabin, plus all the usual mod-cons such as a decent infotainment system comprising a quality audio unit and navigation – accessed via a central touchscreen.
The big XJ saloon and medium size XF are Jaguar's way of demonstrating that it had distanced itself from overtly retro design, and the F-Type Coupe is a further illustration of Jaguar's determination to encourage ownership among younger professionals.
Space and practicality
You don't buy a two-seat coupe to shift flat-pack furniture, but if you do need some space the F-Type Coupe's hatchback gives you ample room for shopping, golf bags or a few large soft bags.
This layout is more versatile than the roadster, although the coupe's cabin mirrors the drop-top with a generous armrest storage box and open cubbyhole behind the seats. Door pockets could be a little bigger but at least you get two cupholders.
Behind the wheel
Not only does the F-Type Coupe look the business when parked, it's also the real deal on the road. The flagship V8 R is not the monster you think it might be. Predictably rapid, it's also composed and agile at speed. Plus, its rip-snorting soundtrack is unlike anything else at this price.
The likely best-seller, the V6 S, takes it down a notch but you're none the poorer for it. It, too, is capable of delivering a raucous exhaust note when worked hard, and its 380 horsepower proves more than ample for everything from swift overtakes to relaxed motorway cruising. A willing and capable performer, it flatters the novice yet boasts sufficient depth of abilities to engage skilled drivers.
Value for money
In the grand scheme of things the F-Type Coupe is pleasingly affordable. Well equipped for a car in this market, it comes with more than enough safety and convenience kit to keep demanding owners happy. It's not the most frugal car on the planet, but that's to be expected for something this potent. And you're hardly going to be taking it easy all the time, are you?
Who would buy one?
Jaguar hopes the F-Type can attract a new generation of younger buyers to the brand, although the desire is relative given the considerable price tag. That said, keen drivers will love the car for its playful abilities, while those who simply want to be seen in the car will be pleasantly surprised by F-Type's ease of use.
This car summed up in a single word – invigorating.