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Driven: Jaguar breaks 400kW with F-Type coupe range

F for fun: Jaguars new coupe has doubled the F-Type range, bringing with it a new cheaper entry level variant and top-performing R Coupe.

Coupe arrives adding 404kW and sub $120,000 options to Jaguar F-Type range


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18 Jul 2014

JAGUAR says that its new F-Type Coupe will double sales of its two-seater sportscars, with the majority of customers being lured away from other premium sportscar brands, including Porsche and BMW.

The three-variant F-Type Coupe range joins its three convertible F-Type stablemates, which arrived last year, but with a majority of Australian sportscar customers favouring coupes over drop-tops, Jaguar predicts sales of its two-seater will take off.

While the new model brings a hard-top and a bigger boot, the flagship F-Type R Coupe is more powerful and faster than its equivalent supercharged 5.0-litre convertible – the F-Type S – further increasing the appeal of the Coupe range.

Speaking at the launch of the new F-Type range, Jaguar Australia brand manager Mark Eedle said that it started winning customers from competitors with the launch of the Convertible.

“We've seen about 75 per cent of our customers coming in from other brands and a lot of them from the traditional premium brands,” he said.

“As we go forward with the Coupe, we see the opportunity to conquest competitor owners is even higher - probably somewhere around 90 per cent.

“Coupes have a broader appeal and we think it will bring even more people in to the brand.

“We talk about it also effectively doubling, possibly even more than doubling our potential market for sportscars over here, and certainly we’ve seen a very good reaction to it initially.”

Sitting at the top of the new Coupe range is the 400kW barrier-breaking supercharged V8 F-Type R priced at $219,130.

In soft-top guise, the $201,945 top-performing V8 S Convertible shares the same 5.0-litre engine as the new R variant, pumping out a hearty 364kW and 625Nm of torque, but with the arrival of the hard-top Coupe range the flagship model gains 41kW, 55Nm and an R badge.

That extra dollop of power comes from a bigger supercharger and a mild engine remapping, taking the F-Type R’s output to a sizzling 404kW/680Nm and cutting the zero to 100 acceleration time by a second to 4.2 seconds.

Top speed remains the same at a brisk 300km/h, as do the fuel-consumption and CO2 emissions figures at 11.1 litres per 100km and 259g/km respectively.

Moving down the range to the F-Type S Coupe cuts the asking price to $151,830 and chops a couple of cylinders from the supercharged engine.

The 3.0-litre V6 develops 280kW and 460Nm, which is enough to keep the 0-100km/h dash below five seconds at 4.9 and on to a top speed of 275km/h.

At the bottom of the pack is the $119,430 entry level F-Type Coupe which shares the same engine as its higher performance S cousin, but in a lighter state of tune, developing 250kW and 450Nm.

At that price, the new entry-level Coupe undercuts the $138,645 Convertible, becoming the most affordable F-Type in the range.

The least powerful variant of the coupe trio still manages to get to 100km/h in 5.3 seconds, a top speed of 260km/h and all at a cost of 8.8 litres per 100km and 205g/km. Both V6 variants have fuel-saving idle-stop.

Six and eight cylinder variants are easily distinguishable, withV8 versions featuring quad outboard exhausts in place of the V6's centrally mounted big-bore twin pipes.

A majority of the F-Type Convertible technology has carried over to the new Coupe range, but the most obvious change with the new model lies in its roofline.

The Coupe does away with the folding fabric roof, replacing it with a choice of either bonded panoramic glass roof or lightweight aluminium top, resulting in increased structural stiffness over convertible versions.

One-piece cold pressed aluminium side panels eliminate aesthetically unpleasant joints while further increasing stiffness and occupant protection, and half of the aluminium used in the F-Type’s body is sourced from recycled material.

Convertible versions have a minimal 196 litre boot which shrinks further with the addition of ‘space saving’ spare wheel, but with a proper hatch-back and lack of stowable roof, the coupe boot more than doubles to just over 400 litres.

The inclusion of the spare wheel as standard across the F-Type range is a result of customer feedback, and if the wheel is removed a temporary seal and inflation pump is tucked away for emergencies - allowing owners to use the larger boot with confidence.

Adding a fixed roof has added just one millimetre to the cars height, while overall weight is reduced by 20kg for the six-cylinder variants and 15kg for the V8.

Jaguar says that such a minor change to the vehicle mass is proof that the F-Type was conceived primarily as a convertible – needing no heavy chassis reinforcement to compensate for the lack of roof.

The new roof has also allowed the Active Aerodynamic spoiler to grow wider than the slimmer version on the Convertible F-Type.

At speeds above 114km/k the Jaguar-badged wing rises from the boot and provides up to 120kg of downforce.

All three variants of the coupe send power to the rear wheels via Jaguar’s Quickshift eight-speed automatic transmission, with either fully automatic mode or manual via the steering-wheel mounted paddles.

The transmission program monitors vehicle conditions and adapts according to driving style, holding on to gears if rapid throttle changes are made or if it detects cornering.

An electrically operated limited slip differential takes care of the F-Type R final drive, while F-Type S gets a mechanical version and entry-level Coupe has a conventional diff.

The Torque Vectoring system is borrowed from the S Convertible but is beefed up for the R Coupe's increased power and torque, allowing power to be managed between the rear wheels for optimum traction and handling in varying conditions.

All three variants have different sized brakes 354mm discs at the front of the Coupe and 325 at the back, S Coupe shares the Coupe rear disc diameter but with larger 380mm up-front, and R Coupe sticks with the 380mm front rotors but boosts the rears to 376mm.

For customers wanting the ultimate in race-derived braking technology, Jaguar offers a carbon-ceramic disc system, which replaces conventional iron rotors and calipers with mighty six-pot yellow calipers (four-piston rear) and ultra-hard carbon-ceramic composite rotors.

Measuring a whopping 398mm at the front and 380mm at the rear, the lightweight high-tech discs and yellow calipers can handle much higher temperatures for longer and save up to 21kg of unsprung weight.

Only the 20-inch wheel options are large enough to fit over the brake upgrade system so prices vary depending on the variant being upgraded, but fitting the kit to an R Coupe – which has the 20-inch hoops as standard - is the least expensive exercise, costing just over $20,000.

Entry level Coupes have 18-inch Vela wheels as standard and S Coupe hoops feature 19-inch Propeller versions.

The variable suspension system of the Convertible range also carries over to the Coupe, with the exception of the F-Type R, which has a unique set up to give a stiffer and more track-focused driving experience.

All variants are supported by forged aluminium double-wishbone suspension at all four corners and the electronic stability system measures body movement 100 times per second to keep everything pointing in the right direction.

Flicking the Dynamic mode switch sets the Coupe up for more spirited driving, with sharpened accelerator response, heavier steering and more aggressive gear-changes higher up the rev-range.

If the switchable sport-exhaust option is fitted, the Dynamic mode automatically selects the loudest setting. Alternatively, the more noisy option can be switched on and off at any time with a centre-console mounted button.

Unique to the R Coupe is a customisable Dynamic mode, which allows the user to select which elements are affected. The Configurable Dynamics system can also inform occupants of performance information such as throttle/brake use and a G-meter in the Dynamic-I display.

The interior is just as snug as the Convertible with room for two on the hide upholstered seats, which, in R Coupe guise, are wrap-around Performance versions.

Leather also covers the electrically adjustable sports steering-wheel in all variants, but a flat-bottomed wheel sets the high-performance R Coupe apart from the others.

All versions get auto dimming rear-view mirror, rear parking sensors, cruise control with limiter, keyless entry and start, while Bluetooth, Meridian 380W sound system and navigation are all accessed through the eight-inch touch-screen.

The F-Type Coupe options list includes an electric boot-lid ($1100), a package including memory for both seats and dimming/folding side mirrors ($2040), a package with reversing camera and front parking sensors ($1725), a range of carbon-fibre interior and exterior trims, 12 different wheel designs and even a five-piece luggage set tailored to fit perfectly in the boot.

Jaguar F-Type pricing*
Coupe (a)$119.430
Convertible (a)$138,645
S Coupe (a)$151,830
S Convertible (a)$171,045
V8 S Convertible (a)$201,945
R Coupe (a)$219,130
*Excludes on-road costs.

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