9

10

Model

Coupe V6 S

Price

$152,300

The Numbers

3.0-litre V6 Supercharged, 280kW, 460Nm, 0-100km/h in 4.9secs, top speed 275km/h

The Topgear Verdict

Porsche Turbo levels of performance, for 100 grand less.

2014 Jaguar F-Type Coupe V6 S

Ah, the F-type with the roof. Make much of a difference, does it?

Just a bit. The F-type coupe is the stiffest car Jaguar has ever made. In fact, the more engineering savvy among you will appreciate that a figure of 33,000Nm per degree makes it one of the most rigid cars ever. The F-type convertible was as solid as convertibles come. This thing is twice as stiff. It's a proper prize fighter.

So how does it feel?

Jaguar let us loose on a circuit deep in the northern Spanish wilderness, called Motorland. It's an FIA level one approved track, home to MotoGP, and extremely tricky in places. The F-type R (that's the white one above) - Jag's fastest ever car round the 'Ring with a 7m 39s lap time - is stupendously good, especially on the optional CCM carbon ceramic brakes and special Continental rubber (also optional).

Turn-in, grip, and overall balance are all top drawer, suggesting that this is a Jaguar that is as happy tearing up a track as it is on the road. There haven't been too many of those. Plus, it has clever torque vectoring, an electronic differential, and enough performance to reposition bits of your anatomy. Porsche Turbo levels of performance, in fact, for a lot less cash.

OK, so that's the R. Tell me about the V6 now, please.

It's good news. You might remember that the V6 S was TG's choice when we drove the convertible last year. Well, this time round we'd take the R - that roof makes a big difference - but the S has almost 280kW and 460Nm, and flows very sweetly down the road. Its steering is linear, full of feedback, and though the eight-speed 'box isn't as smooth shifting as a dual-shift job, it's pretty good. The long and the short of it is, you can make extremely rapid, highly enjoyable progress. Almost enough to displace the 410kW R from your mind...

Issues?

There are some. Oddly for a Jaguar, the F-type Coupe - in S and R guise - pitches and bobbles on choppy road surfaces, rather than flattening the imperfections out in the traditional Jaguar manner. It's actually sufficiently jarring at times to give your lower back real grief. That and the rather firm seats disrupt the Coupe's ability to slip into its other main role as a long-distance GT cruiser.

Perhaps it's the price you pay for the super-stiff body, but a 911 is more compliant overall and less likely to have you on a hotline to your osteopath.

Is it as lairy as it seemed when TG first drove it?

No. On a wet road, the F-type Coupe is still a handful, almost like a more civilised 2014 TVR. But after 24 hours and 800km or so, we'd say this is a well-judged, accessible supercar. And, of course, it still sounds like a volcano gargling whiskey. A Jag source admits there's more 'headroom' with the engine, so look out for a 448kW RS in the fullness of time. That one might redefine the concept of 'sideways'...

Verdict?

Yes please. A corker. Now, if you'll excuse us, we have more driving to do.

 

Reviewed by: Jason Barlow

Driven: March 20, 2014