2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe Video Review
2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe Video Review:
When the all-new F-Type Convertible arrived on the scene last year to thrust Jaguar into the 2-seat sports car arena it made a strikingly loud and sometimes very smoky first impression. I absolutely loved it. And now it’s time to see what this new F-Type Coupe has to say.
Coupe or Convertible; which do you choose? Well, that’s exactly what I set out to discover during the media launch for this 2015 F-Type hardtop. The venue: Los Angeles, California where perched up in the High Desert just an hour north of the city is the famous Willow Springs International Raceway. And between the two lies mile upon mile of the most curvaceous and challenging public roads I’ve ever driven with sweeping vistas of the San Gabriel Mountains; an absolutely sublime setting for the F-Type Coupe’s spirited intentions.
Being the aluminum experts that they are, Jaguar developed new manufacturing techniques to make this car as lightweight, rigid and sexy as possible. Its all-aluminum platform is key to its sporting mission and weight has been curbed to around 3,500 pounds. And regardless of whether it’s fitted with the optional panoramic glass or standard aluminum roof the F-Type’s exceptional torsional rigidity remains the same – nothing moves here that isn’t supposed to.
The Coupe lineup consists of 3 models and this is the mid-trim known as the S. Performance upgrades include a 380-horsepower version of the supercharged V6, a mechanical limited-slip differential, to provide pavement pounding grip when exciting the turns and an adaptive-tuned version of the sports suspension which can be tailored to your needs.
With limited time, I skipped right over the base F-Type and its 340-horse engine and started with the S Coupe. With a continuously variable damping system that actively controls the body around curves and a configurable dynamic mode that heightens all of the car’s senses, this particular F-Type could not have been more perfectly matched for the windy, highly engaging drive out through the Angeles National Forest. Paddle shifting the 8-speed auto and throwing the vociferous exhaust wide open the S handled the journey with all of the visceral joys afforded by an exceptionally crafted sports coupe. 19” wheels with the optional Super Performance Braking System made this F-Type a remarkably confident companion, communicative to the driver about its footing and supremely well-mannered yet at the same time organic and ridiculously fun. The S has the supercharged thrust to put away 60mph in 4.8-seconds and all told is likely the best fit for most F-Type shoppers. Pricing is from $77,000 and stickers in the low $80s like this one with the Performance Pack and other goodies.
And for times when you find yourself at the track there’s this; the F-Type R Coupe, the pinnacle of modern day Jaguar performance. With a 550-horsepower supercharged V8 and a host of additional performance upgrades, this is the one you want when nothing but the best will do.
A day at Willow Springs with the big boy R Coupe and an unparalleled lineup of pro driving instructors revealed an even greater reach of the F-Type family. The R is considered the flagship model and beyond the significant step-up in power, it also benefits from an Electronic Active Differential which builds on the advantages of the mechanical system found on the S by precisely controlling the amount of torque fed to each rear wheel, maximizing traction. And that’s a welcome thing when you’re tackling this challenging road course with that much power on tap. With formula racing champion Mike Finch as my co-pilot, I had my time to hot lap this car in the 100 degree heat of the Mojave Desert. Jaguar claims a 0-to-60mph of 4.0-seconds but acceleration feels even faster. And the V8 provides so much exploitable torque that its responsiveness is extraordinary. The sport mode for the transmission is quite brilliant in itself. And by my 2nd session I was laying down respectable lap times despite it being my first visit to the Big Willow; a testament to how expertly-engineered and well-endowed this car is. Pricing starts at around $100,000 with a handful of options available.
The Coupe’s starting price is $4,000 less than the convertible and it offers more practicality with a trunk that can handle 2 sets of golf clubs. The cabin is modern and individually stylized to fit your tastes yet if I have but 1 complaint it’s that the seats are not high on comfort. I love open air driving but the allure of the Coupe’s stunning profile and its uprated performance options would make it hard to resist.