Jaguar F-Type Coupé: car review
Stunning looking and to drive, a supercar from any angle..
What is it?
A big cat badged supercar, Jaguar’s 21st century successor to the iconic E-Type. The F-Type Coupé joins the convertible model and is both a great looker and a corker to drive.
How safe is it?
Very. The F-Type has lots of safety kit, including adaptive airbags that adjust to your size and weight, and a pop-up bonnet device to cushion a pedestrian
Who should buy one?
Petrolheads with good taste in cars and a generous budget to indulge themselves in head-swivelling bodywork and precision machinery. Anyone who appreciates a fast car with fabulous driving dynamics.
DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
This is where the F-Type Coupé excels. It is stunningly good to drive, even more so than its convertible brother. With an all-aluminium body that swoops overhead as well as around you, the Coupé has a structure than is 80% more rigid than its drop-top twin. Drive both, and you certainly feel the difference. While the fabric-top F-Type is pretty good, the Coupe is noticeably better, an absolutely top-notch drive. There are three versions of the F-Type Coupé, two with V6 engines in differing power outputs, and a range-topping V8 at an eye-watering £85,000. All three have supercharged engines.
This is the mid-range model, but even so it has over 90 mph still in reserve when you cruise at 70mph on the motorway, and the 0-60mph acceleration time is comfortably in the supercar league. Power delivery is smoothly linear, but shove-you-in-the-back urgent when you push down on the throttle pedal. It makes the car a very energising drive.
Handling is excellent, with superb grip and the reassurance of very little body roll on the bends. You can drive this car hard on a twisty road with full confidence in its good weight balance, precision engineering and benign handling characteristics. Ride quality is towards the firm end, befitting the high performance sports coupé that this car is, but it stays on the right side of the harsh discomfort from which some rival cars suffer.
It is not a quiet car, you are constantly aware of the engine at work and there is some wind noise at speed. It is not unpleasant though, and the engine makes a satisfying sporty sound that is an enjoyable aural wallpaper to driving a car of this calibre.
To that enviable question of ‘money no object, which car would you buy?’ – after a lucky lottery win, perhaps – here is a car that makes a very convincing case for itself as the answer.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
The car is a snug two-seater with strongly contoured and somewhat confining seats, and not much extra stowage space inside. The cabin is strongly driver-orientated, so the passenger can feel a bit sidelined and less involved than in other sports cars. Even so, the F-Type Coupé feels more practical in everyday driving than other more rarefied supercars. It tolerates low-speed city traffic without complaint, is not as low-slung as some exotic models with similar performance, and has decent access via well-sized, wide-opening doors and tailgate.
This is not a car to choose if you want a big boot. Luggage capacity is rather limited at 315 litres, but that is a notable improvement on the F-Type Convertible (only 196 litres). Beware that opting for a spacesaver spare wheel, instead of a tyre repair kit, will gobble some of that boot room. There is a power option for the tailgate if you want added convenience for loading the luggage compartment.
There is no Euro NCAP safety rating for the F-Type Coupé, as it has not yet undergone the crash test programme, but it has been built to meet the top five-star rating. The car is fitted with electronic brake force distribution and brake force assist to maximise emergency braking, and seatbelt pre-tensioners automatically tighten the belts under any rapid deceleration. Jaguar’s patented Pedestrian Contact Sensing System automatically deploys the bonnet if someone impacts
A neat standard feature is the lie-flat door handles, and LED lights give the car a distinctive night-time look. The pop-up deployable bonnet, for pedestrian protection, is on every car. Other standard features are leather seats, climate control, six-speaker audio, colour touchscreen multimedia with sat-nav, Bluetooth and USB connectors and 19-inch alloy wheels. Nice options include a panoramic glass sunroof, headlights that swivel into the bends, and a powered tailgate
Quality doesn’t come cheaply. Voluptuous looks and high performance are expensive to engineer, and a £50,000-plus price is the first hurdle. Insurance in group 46 (of 50) will be costly too, and a tax disc is £285 annually after year one. A company car driver will pay a Benefit-in-kind taxation rate of 34%, almost top of the scale. Fuel economy at 32mpg will dip lower with hard driving.
Stunning looking and to drive, a supercar from any angle.
AT A GLANCE:
Performance: 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds
Economy: 32.1mpg combined
Insurance: Group 46
Tax: Band K (£635 first year)
Figures for the 3.0 V6 340 Supercharged