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First drive: Jaguar F-Type V6 S Coupé manual. Image by Jaguar.

First drive: Jaguar F-Type V6 S Coupé manual
Jaguar puts three pedals and an H-gate shifter into the F-Type line-up.

 



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Jaguar F-Type V6 S Coupé manual

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

We adore the Jaguar F-Type Coupé and we love manual gearboxes, so this should be a match made in heaven for us. Strangely, although the end result is brilliant, it doesn't quite work out as planned, for a number of reasons...

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Jaguar F-Type V6 S Coupé manual
Pricing: from £60,260; Coupé range starts from £51,260
Engine: 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol
Transmission: rear-wheel drive, six-speed manual
Body style: two-door, two-seat coupé
CO2 emissions: 234g/km (VED Band L, £840 year one, £490 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 28.8mpg
Top speed: 171mph
0-62mph: 5.5 seconds
Power: 380hp at 6,500rpm
Torque: 460Nm from 3,500- to 5,000rpm

What's this?

Jaguar's exquisite F-Type Coupé, now with a manual gearbox. Part of a raft of revisions and additions for the 2016MY cars, which sees the F-Type range expand from 6 to 14 models, a six-speed transmission will be offered only on the V6 and V6 S examples, and with rear-wheel drive only; yes, that's right, you can now have all-wheel drive F-Types. Little has changed in terms of the visuals for these latest Jags, although that's no bad thing as the Coupé has to be one of the finest pieces of automotive penmanship for a long, long time. It's also lovely inside, with matters improved by the addition of the far superior InControl Touch infotainment software. Opting for a manual gearbox on any F-Type saves you £1,795 over the equivalent eight-speed Quickshift automatic version.

How does it drive?

There will be occasions when, with a twisting, empty road snaking away in front of you under perfect azure skies, the manual F-Type would make the utmost sense. Of course having another pedal in the footwell increases driver interactivity and of course the action of heel-and-toe downshifting is something that only the dedicated driver will appreciate. On this latter point, the F-Type does not offer a rev-matching function on downshifts, as rivals from Porsche and Nissan do - Jaguar insisting that the keen drivers this car is targeted at prefer to enact such things themselves. You'll find it a doddle in the F-Type V6 S manual.

And the gearbox is a pleasure to use. It has a compact gate so the throw is nice and tight, while finding the correct ratio is no issue at all. It isn't quite the slickest operator we've ever encountered, though, with a decidedly chunky feel to the way each cog slots home, and it can still try and slide into reverse when coming down the gears to second - something we found on first acquaintance with this car in prototype form. Jag hasn't totally eradicated this trait, given you push down on the lever and go up and to the left for reverse, so you can occasionally and unwittingly depress it during the frenetic approach to another tight bend; having a lift collar would have perhaps been a better idea.

Nevertheless, in terms of the purely physical act of driving, the manual transmission does nothing to harm the F-Type's character. It also trims 10kg from the kerb weight of the F-Type, although at 1,584kg it's hardly a lightweight in the class. No, the real problems come when you engage your brain. In every quantifiable measure save top speed, adding the manual gearbox brings significant drawbacks. The 0-62mph time lengthens by 0.6 seconds compared to the auto, at 5.5- versus 4.9 seconds. Economy tumbles from 32.9- to 28.8mpg too, but it's the concomitant increase in CO2 emissions - climbing a scarcely believable 31g/km on the manual to 234g/km all-in - that really dents the manual's case. This pushes the manual V6 S into Band L for VED, meaning £870 year one and £490 years two onwards per annum instead of £640 and £290 for the automatic. The final nail in the coffin for this manual gearbox is the brilliance of the Quickshift transmission. We've never felt the automatic to be lacking in driver appeal previously and for the dull 99 per cent of real world driving, when the skies are anything but azure and the roads ahead are gridlocked with C-segment diesel hatches, the eight-speed transmission has our vote.

Verdict

We so want to say this is the F-Type to pick and if you happen to live near a mountain range with a lot of sinuous passes, go for it by all means. Naturally, you can make the case that buyers in this price bracket won't really care about the increased fuel costs and tax implications that having the manual gearbox incurs, but if anyone drives them back-to-back, we'd wager they'd opt for the automatic - which remains our recommendation in the F-Type range. We heartily commend Jaguar for offering a manual in the first place, though.

5 5 5 5 5 Exterior Design

5 5 5 5 5 Interior Ambience

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Passenger Space

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Luggage Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Safety

5 5 5 5 5 Comfort

4 4 4 4 4 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain


Matt Robinson - 14 Jul 2015









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2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.

2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.



2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.
 

2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.
 

2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.
 

2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.
 

2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.
 

2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.
 

2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.
 

2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.
 

2015 Jaguar F-Type V6S manual Coupe. Image by Jaguar.
 






 

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