Test Drives

Test Drive: The Jaguar F-Type R Has Power

Jaguar F-Type RBilled 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 driveJaguar F-Type R side viewEnzo 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.1960's E-Type Jaguar CoupePhoto 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THE VISUALS  The 1960’s flashiness and big nose of the E-Type has been replaced by a more edgy supercar-like determination with big air intakes in the front splitter and nary a speck of old-school chrome. Jaguar F-Type R close upThe “shark-gill” openings have replaced the old catfish face.   Jaguar F-Type R close upThe 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 F-Type R LayoutThe 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.  F - Type ConsoleControls 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.

Jaguar F-Type RTHE 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.