Christmas has come early for David as he gets a go in the F-type Coupe V8-R
Last year I had a very brief go in the F-type V6 and I stated that it was hard to evaluate it subjectively based on the cars looks. Now I’ve driven the coupe version and I’m faced with the same issue as the car looks even better with a fixed roof. Luckily once I got behind the wheel I didn’t have to worry about being subjective, the F-Type Coupe is just superb, end of discussion.
Now most of us know that cars usually aren’t as good once you chop off the roof. Rarely though do manufacturers launch the roofless version first. This means the stiffer, more powerful Coupe has to be good based on how much I enjoyed the convertible from last year. As soon as I left the steering pad at Millbrook on the way to the hill route, I knew the Coupe was good. It just feels so much more taught and stiff, even at slow speeds.
Once I had a chance to open up the F-Type Coupe, two things struck me. The first was that this car makes one of the best noises of any modern car I’ve driven and the second was that the 70% stiffer body has transformed the F-Type from fun cruiser to serious sports car. There are people at Jaguar who have spent a lot of time making sure the sound of the car is perfect. There is even someone who spent time making sure that the sound the that the exhaust makes on the overrun is all angry and crackly. I should buy that man a beer. It is one of those pleasures you can only get from driving the car. These pictures and even a video can’t do justice to how much fun it can be to pile on the revs and then back off to hear the symphony of crackles coming out of the quad pipes. Once I’d stopped being a child with the F-Type Coupe’s loud pedal, it was time to see how it handles the challenging hill route at Millbrook.
Now I may have only had a short time with the F-Type Coupe but the hill route at Millbrook has such a diverse range of corners that it is easy to get a good feel for a car. The Coupe just feels so much sharper than it’s fair-weather sibling. Turn-in is keener and the stiffer platform encourages you to push hard very quickly. It inspires confidence and I’m sure with a track and some space I could start getting the car sideways without too much trouble. This suggests to me that the combination of platform and electronics mean that the F-Type Coupe is one of the best handling sports cars available today. This nice thing is that it isn’t daunting to drive and feels totally exploitable.
Add all this to the fact that it is ‘bite-the-back-of-your-hand’ beautiful and Jaguar are onto a winner. I’d buy one without a second thought (if I had the money of course). Well done Jaguar!