June 30, 2014 10:15 AM | By Justin Couture, MSN Autos editor

2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe road test



2015 Jaguar F-Type V8 R Coupe (© Photo: Justin Couture)
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  • 2015 Jaguar F-Type V8 R Coupe (© Photo: Justin Couture)
  • 2015 Jaguar F-Type V8 R Coupe (© Photo: Justin Couture)
  • 2015 Jaguar F-Type V8 R Coupe (© Photo: Justin Couture)
  • 2015 Jaguar F-Type V8 R Coupe (© Photo: Justin Couture)
  • 2015 Jaguar F-Type V8 R Coupe (© Photo: Justin Couture)
  • 2015 Jaguar F-Type V8 R Coupe (© Photo: Justin Couture)
  • 2015 Jaguar F-Type V8 R Coupe (© Photo: Justin Couture)
  • 2015 Jaguar F-Type V8 R Coupe (© Photo: Justin Couture)
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2015 Jaguar F-Type V8 R Coupe

Jaguar delivers the sports car we've been waiting for

2015 Jaguar F-Type V8 R Coupe (© Photo: Justin Couture)

Los Angeles, Calif. – One by one, they arrive. Long doors swing open, and shoes hit the ground. Every driver, young, old, male, female, has a smile on his face – even some of the queasy looking passengers, who’ve yet to recover after a blast through the snaking Angeles Crest Highway. That’s a good sign for Jaguar, a company that’s in the process of turning the luxury sports car market on its head with the F-Type.

Heading out of Los Angeles earlier in the day, the F-Type didn’t produce smiles so much as it slackened jaws and swiveled heads. Rightly so. This is one of the best-looking cars on the road. Three years ago, the F-Type Coupe debuted as the C-X16 Concept and, remarkably, the car – right down to the roof line and hatch – has made it into production. Only millimetres separate the concept from the car you can buy. With its arched roof sweeping down to meet its E-Type-inspired tail lights, there isn’t a bad angle on it. Buy one and expect to spend a great deal of time just staring at it. It’s gorgeous.

A family of three

2015 Jaguar F-Type V6 S Coupe (© Photo: Justin Couture)

The F-Type Coupe may look like a six-figure supercar, but you don’t have to be a millionaire to buy one. Pricing starts at $72,900 for the base V6, rising to $84,900 for the S. Both six-cylinder coupes are $4,000 less dear than their drop-top equivalents.

Mechanically speaking, the V6 and V6 S Coupe are identical to the Roadster, offering up supercharged thrills in 340- and 380-hp forms. Both come mated to an eight-speed ZF QuickShift automatic transmission. But don’t think the extra cash to upgrade to the S is merely a re-flashed computer chip and a few additional lashings of leather; your $12,000 nets you a car that’s a calibre above in performance.

Out goes the open differential, and in comes a proper mechanical limited-slip differential; the final drive ratio is geared for friskier acceleration, and a special sports exhaust is present. Active dampers are also included in the package. While the S gets bigger brakes as standard, you can spec it with carbon ceramic brakes – an option that will set you back the price of a new Honda Civic if you toss in the optional Performance Package ($17,500). You also get forged lightweight alloy wheels, too.

R is feral

2015 Jaguar F-Type V8 R Coupe (© Photo: Justin Couture)

Where the Roadster and Coupe deviate is at the upper end of the range. Instead of the V8 S Roadster, there’s the racier-sounding V8 R, and it is the only member of the F-Type Coupe family to cost more than its open-top variant ($109,900 vs. $100,900). Both models have the same basic V8 engine, a 5.0-litre with a supercharger, but the R draws its motor from the XFR-S. Not that you could call the V8 S a slouch with 495 hp, but the R verges on steroidal with 550 hp. That’s good for a 0-100 km/h time of four seconds on the nose and a top speed of 300 km/h.

The R is not just a thing of power: it comes packing a fair bit of science. As with the V8 Roadster, the R has Jaguar’s electronically controlled limited-slip differential, which is capable of going from fully open to fully locked in just 200 milliseconds, but this second-gen version is even faster and more incisive in its actuation to lend the car a more precise feel. The Coupe also debuts Jaguar’s new torque vectoring system, which kicks in at high speed to reduce understeer, while active braking control improves agility at low speeds by applying the brakes to the inner rear wheel.

(Continued): The art of roofing
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