First Drive: 2015 Jaguar F Type Coupe luxury cars jaguar first drives
First Drive: 2015 Jaguar F Type Coupe luxury cars jaguar first drives
2015 Jaguar F-Type S Coupe. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Peter Bleakney

Lleida, Spain – The air deflector so expertly disguised in the raked hatch of the 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe rises at 70 mph (112 km/h) which, in theory, means that any law abiding Canadian who purchases this absolutely stunning piece of aluminum sex-on-wheels will never have his/her somewhat limited view out of the rear window further compromised by said spoiler.

As if.

But first, let’s state the obvious. This new tin-top version of Jag’s spiritual successor to the iconic E-Type sports car is a stunning piece of work. It looks fabulous from any angle.

What might not be so obvious, at least until you drive the F-Type Coupe, is its more focused on-road comportment. The convertible was certainly no dynamic slouch, but this slightly lighter and considerably stiffer (by 80 percent) coupe feels an altogether sharper tool.

Credit the one-piece stamped side aluminum panels and extruded aluminum hydroformed roof rails for the added rigidity.

Arriving in May, the F-Type Coupe will come in three trims, and like the convertible, its rear wheels are driven through a ZF eight-speed auto.

The base Coupe at $72,900 gets a 340-hp, 332 lb-ft supercharged 3.0L V6. Move up to the $84,900 S Coupe and the same V6 is tuned to 380 hp and 339 lb-ft while adding adaptive suspension, bigger brakes, a mechanical limited-slip differential, launch control and active sport exhaust. These two coupes are mechanically identical to their topless siblings and are priced $4,000 less.

First Drive: 2015 Jaguar F Type Coupe luxury cars jaguar first drives First Drive: 2015 Jaguar F Type Coupe luxury cars jaguar first drives
2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. Click image to enlarge

Then we get to the gloriously unhinged 550-hp 5.0L supercharged V8 F-Type R Coupe. At $109,900, the R costs $9,000 more than the V8 S convertible. That should be your first clue.

Gordon Snoddy, Jaguar’s Global Brand Manager calls it “a very different animal”. I call it a feral beauty queen that spits fury and compresses the space/time continuum.

My driving partner and I are concurrently laughing and spewing expletives as the R catapults us from bend to bend over the spectacularly challenging and largely deserted roads in northeastern Spain that Jaguar has found for this global launch. Our car may be painted in a virtuous white, but it’s doing a fine job of defiling the tarmac.

First Drive: 2015 Jaguar F Type Coupe luxury cars jaguar first drives
First Drive: 2015 Jaguar F Type Coupe luxury cars jaguar first drives
2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. Click image to enlarge

The R Coupe is planted, pointy and very fast, yet not as intimidating as might be expected of a compact rear-drive sports car sending 550 hp and 502 lb-ft only to the rear wheels. Not to say it doesn’t command your respect and full attention. The R feels totally alive in the hands – it’s unfiltered automotive joy.

Much of the experience is enhanced by the ungodly exhaust sound that, thanks to the Active Sport exhaust system with its trick bypass valves, has a repertoire ranging from basso burble to NASCAR howl to a cacophony of lift-off induced spits, pops and gurgles. All at what has to be illegal decibel levels.

The 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe R is Jaguar’s fastest production road car – ever. It gets to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds and tops out at an electronically limited 300 km/h. More tellingly, the 80-120 km/h gap is dispatched in 2.4 seconds – and that is the range we’re working in on these lovely roads.

The biggest difference separating the R Coupe from its V8-powered convertible stablemate is the higher state of tune of its supercharged 5.0-litre V8. The convertible makes do with “only” 495 hp and 460 lb-ft.

Jaguar has equipped this already well-balanced sports car with the necessary goods to make the most effective use of the juice. Standard kit in the R is a new 2nd-gen electronically controlled limited slip differential that perfectly meters out the power between the rear wheels when exiting corners, providing slingshot capability. New to Jag, and only on the R, is a torque vectoring system that brakes the inside wheels to help the car rotate through bends.

The R rides on 20-inch wheels shod with P255/35R20 front and P295/30R20 rear performance tires and gets the Jaguar Super Performance brakes with 380 mm front and 376 mm rear discs and red-painted calipers. The Adaptive Damping system gets bespoke software that works in tandem with stiffer springs – 4.3 percent front and 3.7 percent rear.

A toggle switch next to the shift selector calls up Dynamic Mode. This delivers firmer damping rates, increased steering weight, sharper throttle response and faster gear changes. All of this can be tailored individually.




About Peter

Peter Bleakney is a Toronto-based automotive journalist. He is also a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).