Last year, when Jaguar brought out the F-Type Convertible, we said it was one of the best-designed cars in recent memory. Never, ever, did we imagine the designers to take the design to the drawing board, add some more magic to it, and come up with an even more flamboyant piece of design. And that is exactly what's happened. The F-Type Coupe was born, and now, we've exclusively driven this work of art on Indian roads.
The design of the F-Type up front was always fascinating - the long hood, the nicely-crafted grille and the air scoops on the bumper make it real eye candy material. And now, in Coupe guise, the rear too is as beautiful as the front. The sloping roofline gives it that unmistakably distinct touch, which is sure to turn a lot of heads and make a lot of jaws drop to the floor.
Gallery\: Jaguar F-Type R Coupe \>\>
After driving the Convertible on our roads last year, we stated that although it's the best-looking sportscar out there, it needs to hone its skills a little more before it can claim to be the best-handling sportscar. It rolled a bit too much for a sportscar, and it fell short in offering that last bit of performance that you expect from a car of its kind. But there's some news from the Coupe. And it's good news.The Coupe handles its weight much better than the Convertible. The roof beams contribute a great deal in offering much better torsional rigidity. The steering too has been retuned for the coupe. Now, it feels meatier, It's got weight, it talks a lot to your palms and feels a tad more precise than the one on the convertible. But it's still not as accurate and spot-on like a Porsche's - it still has a long way to go before it can match up to those standards.The ride of the Coupe is unlike most supercars, and in a good way. Driving over potholes won't leave you with your spine jutting out of your head. It absorbs road irregularities quite nicely. It's impressive that a setup this stiff can actually be this easy on your back.Jag knows that there's no use of making a beautiful car that handles well without giving it much in the way of firepower. And to solve that problem, it's plonked a huge 5,000cc supercharged V8 engine under the hood. The convertible makes 495bhp with the same engine. But someone in Birmingham thought that much power wasn't enough, so the engine now churns out an additional 50 horses and 55Nm to take the power and torque ratings up to 542bhp and 680Nm respectively.The F-Type Coupe is quick. Mighty quick. It takes nothing more than 4.25 seconds to crack a ton. And it's not just the acceleration from a standstill that's mind-boggling. Even rolling acceleration is insane. To throw some numbers at you, it does the 30-50kph and 50-70kph drill in just about a second.One thing was clear when the Brits started out with the F-Type project - it just couldn't fall short on the drama front. Whether it's the styling, the engine note, the feeling you get going around a fast sweeping bend or the interior design, there should be no shortage of theatrics.The F-Type Coupe is probably the best in its class when it comes to power-to-weight ratio. Yes, Jag's spent a lot of time and energy to make the engine more potent. But along with that, it's also concentrated on keeping the weight in check. The entire body is crafted from aluminium. It's light, and it's strong.But that precious alloy body doesn't come cheap. The F-Type Coupe, in its 'R' form, will eat up Rs 1.82 crore of your savings. And that's the ex-showroom cost, without factoring in things like octroi and other duties.The F-Type Coupe is a great proposition for the supercar fanatic in you - it looks great, it sounds insane, it's full of drama and there's heaps of power. It's a real rival to the legendary Porsche 911. Sure, it's not as precise, but it makes up for that with its stunning presence. And if you're still confused between the two, just fire up the F-Type's V8 and listen to the sound. You'll have your answer.The numbers5,000cc, V8, supercharged, 542bhp, 680Nm, 8A, RWD, 0-100kph\: 4.25sec, 30-50kph\: 0.92sec, 50-70kph\: 1.10sec, 80-0kph\: 22.12m; 2.23sec, City kpl\: 4.4, Highway kpl\: 4.5, top speed\: 300kph, Rs 1.82 crore (ex-showroom, Mumbai)The verdictOne of the best-looking sportscars and definitely the best sounding V8 on the planet. Rides and handles well, but lacks a bit of precision