Driving the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe
The F-Type has arrived in 542bhp R Coupe form. But do more roof and more power make a better car?
Posted: 11 Mar 2014
You don't need to go to the extremes of an £85,000 R to have a Coupe. There are Coupe versions of the 335bhp V6 and 375bhp V6S, too. They're quick, fully equipped and lovely-looking machines for the dough - about £7k less than their open-top versions.
It's probably too early to tell, but the Coupe could well be the definitive version of the F-Type. It's often the way that when a car comes as both roadster or coupe, one or the other clearly gets the upper hand. With the old Jaguar XKs, it was the roadsters. Ditto the MGB, the late-Sixties Ferrari 330 and 365 GTSs. For the Fifties Mercedes SL and the current SLS, the Gullwing coupes were the ones that got everyone's imagination (even though in both cases the roadsters were better cars). An open F-Type might be glamorous, but the closed one is the more distinctive and for the moment the faster and the better to drive. The definitive F-Type.
But what was the definitive Jaguar? The E-type, and that's the F-Type's blessing, and its curse. The resonance of the E's heritage shines a spotlight on the F, yet at the same time casts a shadow over it. So avoid the paradox. Be in no doubt the F-Type R is good enough to face any rival from anywhere in the world right now. Which, given the opposition, is an epic achievement. And let's separate that happy reality of the present from a celebration of the past.