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Driven: 2023 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Coupe. Image by Jaguar.

Driven: 2023 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Coupe
Jaguarís most powerful sports car may not have much life left in it, but is it still a force to be reckoned with?

   



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2023 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Coupe

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The Jaguar F-Type is hardly the newest car in Jaguarís stable Ė the basic architecture has been around for about a decade now Ė but light updates have been applied to help keep it up there with the class leaders. But is the most powerful R version really still a match for more modern alternatives?

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Jaguar F-Type R AWD Coupe
Pricing: £117,295 as tested
Engine: 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Body style: two-door, two-seat coupe
CO2 emissions: 239g/km
Combined economy: 27.0mpg
Top speed: 186mph
0-62mph: 3.7 seconds
Power: 575hp
Torque: 700Nm
Boot space: 336 litres

Styling

The Jaguar F-Type has always been a thing of beauty, and the latest-generation coupe must be the sexiest of them all. There's something about the way the rear bumper rises to meet the sloping rear window, as well as the narrow headlights and the long bonnet. It's all designed to look a bit like the old E-Type, but it's arguably even better looking. Certainly, it's more muscular. But then the same is true of the other V8 F-Types, and the R is only really set apart by some badges.

Interior

If the F-Type has a real weakness, it's the interior. Gone are the days of the old-fashioned wood-and-leather cabins that characterised so many of Jaguar's big saloons, and for some customers that's a welcome change. But for others, the replacement is a definite downgrade, with some crummy plastics on display despite the car's not-inconsiderable price tag. Particularly disappointing is the fascia around the touchscreen, finished in a kind of can't-believe-it's-not-carbon pattern, and the buttons on the steering wheel, which feel like the kind of thing from which they make cheap computer keyboards.

The touchscreen itself isn't the most modern thing in the world, with Jaguar singularly failing to add its latest Pivi tech when the F-Type was facelifted. The last-gen touchscreen doesn't work too badly, in fairness, but it doesn't look quite as modern as it should and it's occasionally reluctant. But then you can't see it at all when the sun shines on it.

But it isn't all bad. The sculpted sports seats look thin, but they're actually supportive in all the right places, and there are some natty details. The button to release the glove box, for example, is nicely milled and engraved, while most of the switchgear has a lovely action to it, even if the plastics aren't quite up to scratch.

Practicality

The F-Type isn't necessarily the most spacious car on sale, but the Coupe version isn't too bad on the practicality front. It still only has two seats, and though they're roomy enough it's less of a family proposition than, say, a 911, but the boot is quite spacious. At 336 litres it's only about 10 per cent smaller than that of a Ford Focus, although the shape is admittedly less useful. Nevertheless, Jaguar reckons you can just about squeeze some golf clubs in there, and you'll struggle to do that in the 911's frunk.

Performance

The F-Type R sits atop a range packed with power. Even the basic 2.0-litre P300 F-Type has 300hp, and there's a slightly less powerful P450 V8 with 450hp. But the R is the king of the hill, using the same supercharged V8 as the P450, but it squeezes 575hp from it. And while the P450 is available with a choice of rear- and all-wheel-drive drivetrains, the R is only available with all-wheel drive.

That means it can put its power down more easily, allowing the F-Type to get from 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 186mph. But more impressive than the performance is the soundtrack, which is outrageous. Admittedly, since the introduction of the gasoline particulate filter, the F-Type isn't quite as bolshie as it once was, but the R still sounds angry, snarling its way to the redline. Somehow, though, it has to be said that the P450 manages to sound even better.

Ride & Handling

While the F-Type R might not be high-tech in any form, it hasnít lost any of its joie de vivre. It exudes menace with its stance and its power, and it feels like a proper sports car on the road. Perhaps it isnít as delicate or as poised as a Porsche 911, but it still steers nicely and it feels beautifully balanced.

Thatís particularly good news, because even with all-wheel-drive traction, the F-Type still has more than enough power to get the back end sliding. But because the controls feel so natural and well weighted, itís relatively easy to tame the beast. Styling and technology go out of fashion, but a well-sorted sports car will always be fabulous to drive, no matter how old it gets.

And the F-Type is pleasant to drive when youíre being sensible, too. Yes, it feels firm Ė it has to be a bit firm to drive that well Ė but itís more supple than a high-performance Alpine A110 or a Porsche 911 GTS Ė a car with a shockingly similar price tag. And with supportive, sculpted seats, motorway miles arenít a chore.

Value

It seems nothing comes cheap these days, and the F-Type is no exception. Even the basic 2.0-litre ones cost more than £60,000, and our test car, in top-end R form, cost almost double that. Admittedly, that included more than £14,000 of options, but even a basic F-Type R costs well over £100,000, and that's quite a lot of money. It's roughly the same as a Porsche 911 Carrera, though, and the Jaguar is much faster.

Verdict

The Jaguar F-Type will be killed off next year, and that strikes us as a pity. Yes, there are quality issues, the cabin feels a bit low-rent and the V8 isn't as raucous as it once was, but otherwise the F-Type is a peach of a sports car. It drives brilliantly, it looks gorgeous and it has performance to burn. We'd probably avoid the R, though, and instead head straight for the P450 AWD, which offers almost as much pace with more noise and a lower price tag, but that's just being picky.



James Fossdyke - 28 Apr 2023



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2022 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2022 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2022 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2022 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2022 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Coupe. Image by Jaguar.

2022 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2022 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2022 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Coupe. Image by Jaguar.2022 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Coupe. Image by Jaguar.







 

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