It’s not a supercar like a Ferrari, McLaren or Lamborghini. Nor is it an American racy car like the Corvette Stingray Z06 or Mustang Shelby. No the Jaguar F-Type coupe is a lust-worthy roadster with classy, sexy design and a veddy British heritage.
While Jaguar F-Types come in sedan, coupe and convertibles, we were privileged to test the 2016 F-Type S Coupe, a glistening Glacier White hunk of suave sexiness. Its stylish lines and luxurious leather interior is befitting royalty. It’s almost certain Prince Harry has one.
F-Type is offered with three supercharged engine choices: two V6s ranging from 340 to 380-hp and a 495-hp V8. Then there’s the R version with a blistering 550-hp V8. We tested the 3.0L, 380-hp version that generates 339 lb/ft of torque. When coupled to the notchy 6-speed manual transmission, dead stop launches felt like a V8 under the hood. The combination has been tested 0-60 tested at an extremely quick (for a 3,520 pound roadster) 5.3 seconds. Ironically, the automatic transmission does it in 5.0 seconds. EPA rates the manual transmission version at 15 city, 24-highway mpg. Needless to say, the 3.0L didn’t want for power.
Powertrain aside, the F-Type’s leather interior is sporty from its Recaro type bucket seats with adjustable bladder and lateral support to the flat bottomed steering wheel to the passenger grab handle on the console. Even the backs of the narrow sun visors are sueded. The major demerit goes to the wide 9-inch doorsills that require a long leg stretch for ingress/egress.
A standard 7-inch touchscreen serves the Meridian audio, rearview camera (that has a wide-angle view) and Configurable Dynamic Mode function that allows the driver to select specific driving characteristics including suspension, engine, steering, gear shift even exhaust tone. Plus, the driver can set up Dynamic Launch Ready or Launch Active modes, the latter allows the driver to merely release the brake pedal and press the accelerator hard for head jerking starts.
There’s also Sport and Weather mode switches on the console with the latter offering Rain, Ice and Snow, the latter optimizes stability of the vehicle to suit grip conditions. The F-Type is also offered on V6 models with AWD, a necessity here in the Snowbelt.
If you’re planning a driving trip, the hatch trunk opening offers a high lift-over with 11 cubic feet of space, or more meaningful, the cargo area measures 36 inches deep, 26 wide and 15 high. That’s enough for one large roll-a-long or two Hoofer type golf bags if the split rear seatbacks are folded.
Handling wise, the big Pirelli 20-inch tires grip superbly while the suspension keeps the roadster planted. The short rear end and overhang makes the back end a bit twitchy during hard acceleration. The F’s suspension is taut and makes the ride somewhat firm. Road imperfections and unimproved railroad crossings (yes there’s still some of those around) transmit a bumpy ride. But things smooth out on improved roadways.
As a base priced roadster, the F-Type is appropriately priced. But options are very pricey. For example, the Glacier White paint job adds $600 to the base of $80,300. Then there’s the powered tailgate ($750); red seat belts ($350); red leather interior pack ($3,710); 20-inch black alloy Tornado wheels ($2,500); Interior Black Pack ($200); extended leather pack ($2,200); premium vision pack that includes blind spot monitoring, front/rear parking sensors, rear camera, heated seats/steering wheel, valet mode and more ($3,900); Black Pack 2 ($600) and a delivery of $995 that brings this leaping cat to $99,305. Pricey, but not unusual for a high-performance roadster that personifies the word “luxury” in a true British sportster.