2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe | Road Test
* Absolutely striking from every possible angle
* A pleasure to drive
* Mismatched interior lighting
* Quality of interior fitments is a slight letdown
Introduction & Summary
The Jaguar F-Type is a modern take on a timeless classic. It is the spiritual successor to the E-Type and dimensionally the smallest model to be a part of the brand’s line-up since 1954. Based on the C-X16 concept, it is the star of several short films and the victor of numerous awards. Rivalling the Porsche 911 Carrera however, it’s also got a fair bit of competition to deal with.
Styling & Design
Retaining the flamboyance and the sheer elegance of the E-Type, the F-Type is a stylistic masterpiece. It is resplendent and its intricate styling embellishes the aluminium bodywork. Accentuating its overall appearance are 19” Vela Silver alloy wheels, a retractable rear spoiler and a pair of operatic, centre mounted exhausts.
Lacking the lavishness of the Porsche 911, the cabin of the F-Type borrows heavily from its Jaguar and Land Rover brethren. Nestled amongst an arrangement of carbon fibre and piano black trim, sit a sizeable infotainment screen, a plethora of switches and two leather wrapped, supremely supportive bucket seats.
While the F-Type’s rival from Stuttgart brings an extensive list of features with it, the Brit simply falls short. Our peasant-spec tester, for instance, didn’t bring a whole lot to the table apart from a Blind Spot Monitoring system, Cruise Control and Bluetooth telephony. And while you can argue that it isn’t tailored to deliver a sack of technological whizbangery, it kind of makes you wish it did, especially with that near AED 300,000 price tag.
Performance, Ride & Handling
The Jaguar F-Type makes up for its shortcomings in other areas by offering a great experience behind the wheel. The product of scrupulous attention to detail, it bears an ideal 50/50 weight distribution with the washer fluid bottle and battery located in the rear, and a power-to-weight ratio of 216 hp per tonne (when equipped with the weakest engine in the line-up).
Available in three flavours, the F-Type ranges from a sedated 3.0 litre V6 all the way to a monstrous 5.0 litre V8. With V6 engines under the hood, horsepower ratings hover the 300 range – 340 in the standard F-Type and 380 in the F-Type S. The V8, on the other hand, ups the ante to a berserk 550 horses.
Our tester being the bare basic F-Type, proved to be well capable, channelling 340 horsepower from its 3.0 litre Twin Vortech Supercharged V6 to the rear wheels and jetting to the 100 km/h mark in 5.3 seconds, before continuing to its electronically limited top speed of 260 km/h.
Mated to a ZF gearbox with 8 closely spaced gears, the F-Type’s stiff suspension setup makes it a hoot to drive quickly around bends. Eliminating the surge of excess power and twitchiness found in the S variant, the entry-level 3.0 litre model allows the British Tourer to be pushed to its limits confidently by individuals apart from The Stig.
Letting out a sonorous burble in Race Mode, it satisfies the aural senses well, but is no match for the ferocious growl that the active bypass valves provide higher up the spec ladder. Combined with a set of phenomenal brakes that allow the anchors to be deployed late into the turns, it’s something that is best experienced, rather than described.
Comfort & Practicality
Truth be told, there isn’t a whole lot of comfort or practicality to be found with the F-Type. The seats, although supportive, are extremely stiff and a nightmare to be in when battling the daily gridlock. The poor outward visibility is made worse by the rear-view mirror that takes up nearly 1/3 of the windshield, and side mirrors that force you to pray, position your body awkwardly and hope for the best every time you need to change lanes. As for the boot, official statistics claim 407 litres, but with the spare wheel in place, you’ll be lucky to fit anything more than your lady’s handbag.
Price & Verdict
The Jaguar F-Type is all about offering an unadulterated driving experience and if you’re hell-bent on getting one, then you’re on the right path. But it isn’t the basic F-Type that you should settle for under any circumstances, because no matter how great a car it may be, it simply lacks the je ne sais quoi that the uprated F-Type S possesses. In fact, I fear that if the basic F-Type isn’t discontinued, then people would be oblivious to just how great the F-Type truly can be with a V6 powerplant. After all, the F-Type S may wear a larger price tag, but why does that matter? The F-Type is a decision you make with your heart anyway…