Jaguar has built its brand and reputation on building sports cars that capture the hearts and minds of motorist – mainly because of their excellent looks.
With the F-Type, Jaguar was able to do that yet again and the spiritual successor to the E-Type comes with both an excellent design and chassis setup.
Five different variations of the F-Type are currently on offer, ranging from the entry level model up to the ballistic SVR Coupe – which features a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 and a top speed of 200mph.
We got behind the wheel of the R model, which is a step below the SVR, but still features a V8 and comes with plenty of excellent features.
With the rest of the line-up offered with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder or a 3.0-litre supercharged V6, the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 unit found in the R is a whole other ball game altogether. As a detuned version of the unit found in the SVR, the R has 543bhp and 680Nm of torque at its disposal – compared to the 567bhp and 700Nm of torque available to the range-topping F-Type.
With this unit paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, the F-Type R can go from 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 186mph. With that unit under the bonnet, journeys won’t be boring that’s for sure – as it offers plenty of character and sounds like a brutish muscle car.
Ride & Handling
Despite the additional weight of the engine and four-wheel drive system, the F-Type R feels well-balanced and really nice to drive. Jaguar’s electronic control system sends the power to the rear wheels in most circumstances, but with the system supported by torque vectoring and the electronic active differential, it feels like the front end of the car helps pull you out of the bends.
The steering feels sharp and very responsive – as you would want from a sports car of this performance – with this electric system as good as the former hydraulic version. With the adaptive dynamics, you can set the car up as and how you like it, although for long distance driving we’d recommend leaving it in the softest settings for the majority of the time.See Available F-Type deals
Interior & Equipment
With the compact dimensions, don’t expect the F-Type to be particularly roomy – as there is only seating for two in figure-hugging seats. The finish is up to a high standard – as you would expect from Jaguar – with leather and metal used throughout. Storage space isn’t the best, but that’s not what this car is about. The 310-litre load space is good enough to carry a few bags for a weekend away – with a couple of storage bins in the doors available as well.
On the F-Type, standard features are plentiful, as the sports car comes with an active sports exhaust, dynamic driving mode, emergency braking, sports seats with leather and suede upholstery, leather sports steering wheel, 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a Meridian sound system, satellite navigation, rear-facing camera and parking sensors at each end. Smartphone connectivity is also included, as well as 18-inch alloys, torque vectoring and standard suspension.
For the R version we tested, the F-Type also came with 20-inch alloys, a full leather interior, R Performance seats, R branding throughout and red brake calipers.
Prices for the F-Type start from £51,925, which gets you the base spec model with the 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that actually suits the car quite well. With the R, costs do start quite a bit higher due to the additional performance from the supercharged V8 – at £93,215 in fact.
With that engine on-board, fuel economy is quoted at 25.9mpg, while CO2 emissions are set at 249g/km – so running costs for cars in this spec will be quite high.
The F-Type is easily one of the best looking sports cars around and in this R spec one of the quickest in this price range. With the four-wheel drive system providing added assuredness in trickier conditions, the electronic differential and torque vectoring helps manage the heavier setup with the 5.0-litre V8 under the bonnet and makes the F-Type very fun to drive. Add to that a premium interior for two and a characterful engine note, you should definitely consider the F-Type if you’re after a stylish two-seater.