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Donna Kelly Tests Drives The Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe V8 R

After my spin in the Jaguar F-TYPE Convertible last year, I was understandably excited to take the top-spec Jaguar F-TYPE V8 R Coupé – the pinnacle of the F-TYPE line-up – for a test drive earlier this week. I wasn’t disappointed.

With it breathtaking good-looks, luxurious cabin and exhilarating performance, the Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé is a supercar on the top of its game. The F-TYPE Coupé is the most dynamically capable, performance-focused, production Jaguar ever produced and marks another landmark in the recasting of the Jaguar brand. Prepare to have your breath taken away…

Design

Like the drop-top version, the Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé offers striking good looks and great performance. Designer Ian Callum claims the F-TYPE is his favourite creation to date and it’s not hard to see why. The curvaceous shoulder line, crisp lines and swollen rear arches of the convertible model have been taken across to the Coupé, along with the gaping grille and sleek LED running lights. But the swept-back roofline is exclusive to the F-TYPE Coupé and is the defining element of the design, with its swooping profile reminiscent of the iconic Jaguar E-TYPE.  

The distinguishing feature of the F-TYPE Coupé is, of course, its fixed aluminium roof. Usually, the addition of a full-roof results in a dark interior cabin but the Jaguar has solved that little problem with the panaromic sunroof, available an optional extra at £1250. The result is a well-lit cabin flooded with natural light and is well worth the extra money.

Size wise, the Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé is comparable to the BMW 3-Series and unsurprisingly, shares many of its components with the new Jaguar XE. The V8 R model tested here also boasts a more aggressive look courtesy of a Sport Design Pack that is available as an optional extra on V6 models.

Interior

Inside, the beautifully crafted interior of Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé is as stunning as the exterior. The high dashboard and chunky centre console is turned slightly towards the driver so you don’t need to stretch too far to reach any of the controls. The plush material and supportive sports seat make for a comfortable drive.  Boot space has also increased from a miserly 196 litres to an ample 315 litres.

JLR’s infotainment system remains relatively unaltered with most of the features controlled by the touchscreen. The interface is well organised with Jaguar’s InControl app offering extra features such as the parking app that you can download. The system is also packed with the latest in-car technology including satellite navigation as standard, Bluetooth and DAB digital radio with 180W six-speaker stereo. 

Power and Performance

The Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé is available in three versions – the 3.0 litre F-TYPE V6 and F-TYPE S and the 5.0 litre F-TYPE V8 R. Intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD) and six-speed manual transmission options are also available.

The top-spec F-TYPE V8 R tested here is the most powerful version and is thunderingly fast, delivering an impressive 542bhp with a top speed of 186mph, sprinting from 0-60mph in just 4.0 seconds.  The eight-speed automatic gearbox in the V8 R is also worth a mention with its silky smooth transitions showcasing the ability of the engine.

Whilst, the F-TYPE V8 R is undoubtedly the pinnacle of the F-TYPE line-up, all three F-TYPE Coupé models are impressive. All of the supercharged engines have been honed to deliver power and performance when you need it most and even the entry-level model fires up with an aggressive snarl that is sure to make the hairs on your neck stand up.

Drive Dynamics

Behind the wheel, the front-engined, rear-drive Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé delivers poise, thrill and an interactivity beyond many of its rivals.

Jaguar has improved the torsional rigidity by 80 per cent over the convertible, resulting in an even better drive. The Coupé has more control, better agility and greater steering precision than the convertible. Even the V8 model remains balanced at high speeds with its large spoiler handling any generated lift confidently.

Overall, the Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé is a supercar that is perfection. A stunning two-seater with a seductive design, stunning performance and amazing agility. What’s not to love?

The Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé is available to lease from Nationwide Vehicle Contracts.

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