Billed as the successor to the famous and much-loved E-Type, the new Jaguar F-Type R offers a lot of promise and more than a hint at the Jaguar performance heritage. With a 4 second 0-60, the new Jaguar F-Type R can easily run with big boys. With this kind of horsepower, we had to take a test drive. Enzo Ferrari once called the Jaguar E-Type “the most beautiful car ever made.” At first glimpse we note some similar curves and driving the F-Type oddly enough does provide a sense of nostalgia for the much loved E-Type.Photo by Karmann on Wikipedia
THE VISUALS The 1960’s flashiness and big nose of the E-Type has been replaced by a more edgy supercar-like determination with big air intakes in the front splitter and nary a speck of old-school chrome. The “shark-gill” openings have replaced the old catfish face. The rear view sports a mean set of eyeballs and a well hidden spoiler which pops up at 70 mph.
The car is designed to be just as modern, sleek and cool as the old E-Type. Like other high-end luxury carmakers the Jaguar F-Type is made from single-pressed aluminum panels which aid in weight management and allow for the visually striking unbroken lines.
THE LAYOUT The two-tone performance seats with race-like wings are the first item which set the interior off from the other F-Types which sport mild-mannered sports seats. Everything else is pretty much the same. Controls are within reach and easy to navigate. Personally I’d like to know the story behind the passenger side handle, or what my husband calls the “oh-shit bar.” Is it a design statement? Or is it necessary?
THE MECHANICS The Jaguar F-Type offers three configurations big, bigger and monster.
- F-Type with a 340 hp V6
- F-Type S with 380 hp also a V6
- F-Type R with 550 hp supercharged V8.
I’m thinking the “R” stands for really stacked, but at Jaguar the “R” signifies their performance models.
THE DRIVE As soon as you hit the start button the throaty purr serves as a welcome handshake, this is going to be fun. Get in and go, really go. The 550 hp delivers and the 8-speed “QuickShift” ZF® transmission shifts seamlessly. The Sport Mode and paddle shifters work well but I prefer Auto-Mode to test just how well the engineers did their thing. The steering and breaking are precise and reassuring.
This is a go car with a soundtrack for speed.
FOR ME As you might note from the title picture the interior is not what one would call spacious, cockpit would a better descriptor. Ladies, you can carry a passenger or a handbag, not both, you decide. Sorry guys, but this is a very relevant component of a car interior. As a frequent road tripper, this is a weekender. Neither the cockpit or hatchback have enough space for major seat time or a week’s worth of luggage. I love the glorious sport exhaust, it encourages one to drive. There is a switch to allow all the great noise to be dampened for those who… actually I don’t know who… would buy this car and want to silence such a beast.
I was not as impressed as I was on my test drive of the Jaguar XKR-S, after which I considered trading in a 911 Turbo for the car.
I’ve been stumped at how to characterize the Jaguar F-Type R. I didn’t hate it, but I wasnt oozing over it. In a text to my husband I wrote:
“I’m having a hard time doing the article for this car because it didn’t leave me with anything. The Jag didn’t make an impression driving other than good noise, giddy-up-ed-ness, cheap horsepower and tiny.”
With an MSRP starting at $99,000 the Jaguar F-Type R is inexpensive, more like a super value for quality 550 horsepower. The Porsche 911 Turbo doesn’t get over 520 HP until you get to an S model which starts at a hefty $182,700. This is $83,700 more, almost the cost of another car. For the money, if you are looking for a super speedy sports car, the Jaguar F-Type R will run with the big boys.