Jaguar FTYPE Coupe Review
How time flies, it was some 12 months ago that the Jaguar F-TYPE was first set upon the world, and quite rightly received global acclaim as being one of THE sports cars of the 21st Century. Following in the footsteps of previous Jaguar motoring legends such as the E-Type was never going to be an easy task, and all in all it has taken a while for Jaguar to re-stake it’s claim towards to the top of the British sport’s car market. Helped along the way by one Ian Callum, Jaguar’s head of design has been instrumental in that climb. In 2014 it continues, with the highly anticipated Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe.
Some may argue the cars are in reverse, the soft-top usually following a hard-top release when it comes to standard practice, but Jaguar wanted to make a bang, to set their target high with the F-TYPE, and they certainly did that. But will the Coupe live up to the hype? We head to Southern Spain to find out.
As soon as you set eyes on the FTYPE Coupe an emotion sweeps over you, it’s a car that builds desire and feeling, a car that tears you between wanting to stand outside and admire the stunning beauty, yet still want to clamber in-side and get behind the wheel. Visually the car is near jaw dropping, from its clean and simple lines to its aggressive stance, ready to pounce at a moment’s notice, it turn’s heads like no other. The rear is much more classic Jaguar, nearly heading backwards to a flat point in typical E-Type fashion. Some people may not immediately like it, but give it time and they will come to love it. It seems Ian Callum is very much a bum man..
Once you step in-side it’s very much as you were in the convertible. A cockpit / fighter feel with a real cocoon like feel, but not in a claustrophobic manner, more a safe and close feeling, a natural connection with the car in which you are sitting. Headroom was a worry, but thankfully there seems to be plenty, even with my own 6 foot 3 inch frame there is space, and the option of the panoramic glass roof makes it feel very light and airy.
The finish of the interior is very much quality and British, like a fine tailored suit from Saville Row, it’s finished with a care and attention you might not expect, everything in place with the smallest details thought of, to give a very comfortable and accessible driving position with everything you might need ready to hand. Reassuring and not overwhelming when it comes to controls and button, less is more as they say.
Although I would love to say ‘turn the key’, of course we are in the world of Stop / Start buttons, and the push for that first growl of the V6 or V8 is seemingly a connection to your own spine as you feel the shiver go down your neck and the excitement build. No matter how you wish to drive it, the FTYPE Coupe seems to want to obey, you point the nose and the rear will follow, though of course with a slight wobble if you really want it to. The light chassis making it more balanced and more of a pleasure to drive than ever before, and even with that massive lump up front, the V8 still manages to be a true driving car. The Torque Vectoring needed to keep those 550 horses on a leash, and it really does, even in the wet. However if you want to let the car roam free, gaining your confidence and turning off the traction control is where the real fun begins.
Although the V6 doesn’t feature Torque Vectoring, the slight less of a punch, albeit still a heavyweight, coupled with the lighter powertrain, make it one of the most drivable and responsive front engined cars on the market today. All of this adds up to give you a very versatile sports car, from cruising, all the way up to track days, this car will not disappoint.
At launch there are three engine options available to match the familiar FTYPE pattern:
- The Jaguar FTYPE Coupe with a 3 Litre V6 and 340PS pushing you to 60 miles per hour in 5.1 seconds and on to 161mph.
- The Jaguar FTYPE S Coupe has the same 3 Litre V6 but 380PS pushing you to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds and on to 171mph.
- The Jaguar FTYPE R Coupe housing a 5 Litre V8 with 550PS and 680Nm of toque pushing you to 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds flat and on to a limited 186mph.
By now, I am sure you are well aware that we might well have fallen in love under the Spanish sunshine, and although I always try to pick holes in a review, I am actually struggling (edit: The front pillar does restrict vision whilst cornering for the taller amongst us!). Yes the boot could be bigger, but it’s a 2 seater Coupe (though nearly twice as big as the soft top), what do you really expect?
I don’t want to sit here and compare the Coupe and Convertible over and over, as they are both entities in their own right. Yes I, and 99.9% of anyone else who has sat behind the wheel of the original F-TYPE will wax lyrical about it, and in the very lucky 6 weeks I managed to blag one, my only issue was the lack of boot space and my hairline receding even more thanks to my tall frame coupled with a very shallow windshield.
It is however difficult not to, the FTYPE coupe, in much the same way as the original, is a drivers car, a magnificent feat of engineering that brings an instant smile to your face and of those around you. Jaguar has placed itself firmly back in sports car royalty, and we for one are very happy about it.
Car Details: Jaguar FTYPE S Coupe V6, £51, 000; 0-60mph 4.8 secs; Top Speed 171mph; Economy 31 mpg; CO2 213g/km, Engine 3L Petrol V6; Power 380PS;
Also driven: Jaguar FTYPE R Coupe V8 – £81,000; 0-60mph 4 secs; Top Speed 186mph; Engine 5L Petrol V8; Power 550PS;