Practical test Jaguar F-Type R: The last days of thunder

Forty years after the legendary E-Type ended jaguars Chief Designer Ian Callum with the F-Type presented one of his masterpieces. In 2014, the no-frills two-seater hit the streets as a roadster, and shortly afterwards also as a closed version. Already extremely torsionally rigid when open, the F-Type became even tighter as a Coupé thanks to the additional stiffening. So there was plenty of room for improvement in the drive train. The top model is the F-Type R with a five-liter V8, supercharging and 575 hp (432 kW). If you want to tame the cat, you have to pay 125.650 euros, but you get a permanent all-wheel drive at the same time.

The F-Type R is drawn with a wonderful line. The line of the long bonnet flows gently over the windshield into the roof, while the rear struts are solidly supported by the massive wheel arches in which 20-inch alloy wheels find a home. At the back rubber rollers in the format 305/30, at the front in the size 265/35 are attached. Ian designed the rear with no frills and with poignant simplicity, decorative trim is not necessary, the two twin tailpipes of the exhaust system and the diffuser speak an unmistakable language. The rear spoiler is cleverly concealed and is not noticeable, only when the speed limit is exceeded 113 does it extend automatically, reducing the drag coefficient by 2,5 and the lift from the airstream by up to 15 percent.

Finest interior

The harmony of the body shape evokes meditative contemplation. We were happy to interrupt the journey and let the lines of the F-Type R work on us from the park bench next to the parking space of the Jaguar. But we were just as happy to return to the electrically adjustable sports seat covered in fine leather. Getting started is easy. Although the British cat is just 1,31 meters high, it is relatively easy to thread its way into the narrow tunnel under the steering wheel. Provided there is enough space to open the doors wide enough. Older car parks with the narrow parking niches customary at the time quickly lead to rather degrading agility exercises. 

Practical test Jaguar F-Type R: The last days of thunder

But then the F-Type R welcomes you with an interior from a single source. The refresh of the series last year brought a ten-inch touchscreen on board, as well as the usual assistance systems and the ability to communicate with smartphones. Only the storage space is tight. Neither the door compartments are suitable for drinks bottles, nor does the glove compartment offer space for a street atlas. And the cups, which find a safe stand in the two cylinders on the center console, should not be too high, otherwise they would hinder work with the selector lever of the eight-speed automatic.

Pleasant driving

The V8 is started at the push of a button and it comes to life with a truly animal growl. The neighbor (VW Multivan driver) was not amused. The steering wheel sits comfortably in the hand, the automatic lever glides smoothly into the forward position. The F-Type R rolls through the traffic-calmed zone with a restrained thud, the town sign is passed, we boldly press the right pedal. The jaguar jumps off without a start, picks up its pace at breakneck speed, we almost expect that the stars will soon turn into streaks, just as if Captain Kirk had given his Enterprise the energy order to jump into hyperspace.

On the motorway, the digital (in addition to the analog) speed display hardly keeps up with the count. From a standing start, it takes 3,7 seconds to reach 100 km / h. Up to 200 km / h it only takes a little more than 15 seconds. The coupé manages a maximum speed of 300, 15 km / h more than the convertible.

But high-speed driving isn't all the fun the F-Type R can be. Despite 1,8 tons of curb weight, it shows impressive lightness on the winding country road. The all-wheel drive ensures high traction, and a differential lock on the rear axle does not allow any slippage. He can be kept on course with the precise steering and follows the smallest corrections on command. The V8 is always present and, thanks to the supercharging, always implements the power demand in no time at all.

In the dynamic position of the three driving programs, he is particularly focused, then the twin-pipe exhaust system gains even more vocal power. And so that the Jaguar does not lose its balance when dancing on ice and snow, there is also a driving program for these road conditions that also works well in wet conditions.

Athletic vote

The F-Type R is far from uncompromising or British purism. Its suspension, for example, is gracious to the driver and front passenger, the coordination and interaction of springs and dampers are firm but forgiving. The brake system with its red-painted brake calipers also responds gently and finely dosed, but grips mercilessly when braking into corners. The consumption remains - and it is, as expected, high. The machine requires 10,7 liters in the WLTP cycle, on our journeys the average was 11,4 liters of Superplus petrol per 100 kilometers.

Although we were only very rarely at the power limit and let the Jaguar run at a moderate pace. The tank has a volume of 70 liters, but we decided to take a break long before it was empty. Even if only to enjoy the dynamic, elegant lines of the F-Type R again.

Luxury is expensive

The equipment is comprehensive, air conditioning, heated seats, the formidable Meridian surround sound system, a reversing camera and any assistants are always part of the party. Nevertheless, there is still one or the other individualization with which the F-Type R gets its very special character. In addition to glossy black light alloy wheels, the pearl effect paintwork for 5400 euros and the panoramic roof for around 1200 euros drive the price up further.

Practical test Jaguar F-Type R: The last days of thunder
Old vs new

The days of thunder are drawing to a close, as the fast Jaguar coupe is likely to be the last of its kind. The brand is attaching increasing importance to the electrification of its model range. Hybridization is probably not possible with today's technology, at least not with the current architecture of the F-Type. It will be a very pleasant memory for us, a statement on wheels and a commitment to highly developed automotive technology, even if there will be a place for those with synthetic fuels in the future. (aum / mk)

Data Jaguar F-Type Coupé P575 R

Length x Width x Height (m): 4,47 x 1,92 x 1,31
Wheelbase (m): 2,62
Drive: V8 petrol engine, 5000 ccm, compressor,
All-wheel drive, 8-speed automatic
Total output / power: 423 kW / 575 PS at 6500 rpm 
Max. Torque: 700 Nm at 3500 rpm
Top speed: 300 km / h
0 acceleration to 100 km / h: 3,7 sec.

Average WLTP consumption: 10,7 liters
Efficiency class: F
CO2 emissions: 243 g / km (WLTP)
Empty weight (EU) / payload: min. 1818 kg / max. 332 kg
Boot volume: 332 liters
Base Price: 125.650 Euros
Test car Price: 136.416 Euros

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