Jaguar F-Type Coupe V6S 2014 review

Jagaur F-Type Coupe 2014 action
19 Mar, 2014 (All day) Mat Watson

New Jaguar F-Type Coupe looks great – and V6S model is brilliant to drive, too

Verdict

5
The Jaguar F-Type Coupe is the car we’ve wanted Jaguar to build for ages. It’s a proper driver’s machine, with jaw-dropping looks and a price that’s competitive with rivals. With three models to pick from, the line-up has plenty of appeal, but it’s the mid-spec V6S which looks set to be the pick of the range – it boasts the perfect blend of performance, equipment and price.

The Jaguar F-Type Coupe promises to be one of the finest sports cars Jaguar has ever produced. So there was one thing on our mind when we drove the car for the first time: how does it measure up to the brilliant Porsche Cayman S?

After all, while we love the F-Type Convertible, we’d still take a Porsche Boxster ahead of it, as it’s cheaper and better to drive. In the case of the Coupe, though, things aren’t so clear cut.

Jagaur F-Type Coupe 2014 seats

Take the price for example: the F-Type V6 Coupe costs £7,285 less than the Convertible, which means it starts at £51,235 – that’s similar money to a Porsche Cayman S with a PDK gearbox.

However, the pick of the F-Type Coupe range is the V6S tested here. Yes, it’s an extra £9,000, but the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 gets 375bhp, plus there’s more kit, like a limited-slip differential, sports suspension with adaptive dampers and an active exhaust which amplifies the rasping soundtrack of the gorgeous V6.

So financially, spec-for-spec, the V6S Coupe is still in the Porsche’s ballpark – a promising start.

Jagaur F-Type Coupe 2014 rear

Jaguar says the Coupe’s body is so much stiffer than the Convertible’s that it’s the most torsionally rigid production car the company has ever made. You notice that immediately, when you up the pace on a twisting piece of tarmac – there’s the same pin-sharp steering as in the soft-top, but the chassis just feels that bit more trustworthy and unflappable.

Firing the car through a series of tight bends reveals that the front and rear of the Coupe work together in harmony, with impressive turn-in and plenty of traction for putting the power down on to the road.

The limited-slip differential helps here, while in Dynamic mode, the well judged ESP allows a little bit of slip before gathering things up again.

Jagaur F-Type Coupe 2014 badge

Then there’s the eight-speed Quickshift automatic gearbox. It can slush the ratios together seamlessly if you want, but put the car into one of its racier settings and you get a satisfying jolt as ratios fire home, accompanied by some explosive noise from the exhausts. It doesn’t take long to realise that, yes, the F-Type Coupe is Jaguar’s best driver’s car yet. But does it have the poise of a Cayman S?

Jagaur F-Type Coupe 2014 pan

On a track, it’s generally preferable to have your engine mounted in the middle – like the Cayman – rather than up front, unless, of course, big powerslides are your thing.

But, really, how much time do you spend on track? On the road, the F-Type never feels wanting whether you’re in the mood for fun or just want to cruise.

Put the adaptive dampers and sports exhaust into their normal modes and you can waft along in quiet and comfort, while appreciating the finely trimmed cabin.

Regardless of handling, performance and price, there is one reason why the F-Type Coupe may specifically appeal to some people over a Cayman – Jaguar says you can put two sets of golf clubs in its 407-litre boot. Then there’s its gorgeous exterior. Interestingly, when Jaguar’s design director Ian Callum initially conceived the F-Type, it was as a Convertible. However, the Coupe is arguably the better looking version.

On our test drive, it certainly attracted plenty of attention – noticeably more than if we had been in the Cayman. And that brings us back to whether the F-Type Coupe is a better buy than the Porsche? Well, in our eyes, both are five-star cars, in subtly different ways. While the Porsche has the edge for handling, the Jaguar is more desirable – pick between them, and you’ll be smiling either way.

Disqus - noscript

Very nice, Fantastic job.Jaguar.... now I can hardly wait for the 4 wheel driver version to make it a year round car here in Switzerland. One bone to pick though.... £9,000 is hardly in the ball park, supercharged or not as its 300 kgs heavier than the Cayman. Another great addition to the market, though.

I don't see this car as a Cayman equivalent. I would be interested in Jag if I wanted a mile-eater. The Cayman would be my choice for a car with a bit of a track day edge. The Jag would be a smaller sort of Aston DB9, the Cayman would be a properly developed and finished Lotus with extra comforts.

Very nice car but Jag really need to start making some low emission cars ASAP or they will not be allowed to sell any cars in places like the EU and California!

An F-type overtook me a few days ago and my jaw dropped. The only other car to have that effect on me was a Veyron saw on Park Lane.

I love the F-type. True beauty with a fantastic engine.

Jag have more than one alternate energy project running and are letting the rest of the industry do the heavy work before they step in on the winner of the latest VHS/BetaMax competition.

The side on view of this car is absolutely amazing, up there with the best I've ever seen. Absolutely incredible, faultless.
The rear is very good, the front is OK, but the Nissan Z car headlights just let the side down a bit.

I still will not be able to afford this car though, for at least 2024 when I might be able to pick up a 2014 model. It will probably still be one of the best looking cars, but one of the last pure petrol cars still on the road by then.

For the power, 213g/km seems fairly low to me. I am becoming increasingly anachronistic though.
My car puts out 218bhp and splutters 240+g/km :-/

The F-Type looks nice, but she was meant to be Jaguar's answer to the Porsche Boxster.

So it's failed it's design brief. Instead it's gone in against the Cayman, and the bottom end of the 911's and killed off it's own GT sister !

I suppose we will have to wait for the new XE and XF, to see if a small £35,000 + sports car, using their drive train will come along.

Otherwise this has been another waited opportunity to create a new E-Type.

i think a real competitor for porsche is a lotus or Noble, they both follow an engineer's approach. this Jag is really good looking and the engine sound echo's sounds of the 60s but it's more like a flashy posh wallet. the f-type real competitor is the SLK, BMW Z4 IMO, or whatever Audi has got. personally I do like it alot. i saw a V6s version drive pass me and i couldn't help but smile.

What leads you to believe it is meant to be an answer to the Boxster?

It is ridiculous to suggest any comparison when the cars are on different configurations. The Porsches are mid or rear engine cars, the Jag is front engine. To look for a comparitive car then you have to look at Mercedes, who actually do build front engine sports cars.

In 1996 Porsche launched the Boxster, which brought in a whole new female clientele and saved the company. Mercedes- Benz then launched the SLK series.

Everyone wanted Jaguar to do the same, to complement the XK series, and if you remember back in 2000 when Ford owned Jaguar, an F-Type prototype appeared It was set to be powered by the AJ 6 in front mid layout.

But Ford management put the oar in and wanted a small volume car the X-Type.

So again there was a chance to launch a Boxster rival, and they have effectively missed their target taken out their own XK model, and produced something that looks lovely but is not as good as a 911.

Jaguar were told that their Saloons had to be superior to BMW's and their Sports cars better than Porsche's.

(Can't remember the name of the person with that quote, but it still stands).

I love Jaguar, but the F-Type as failed the design brief.

Key specs

  • Price: £60,235
  • Engine: 3.0-litre V6 supercharged
  • Power: 375bhp
  • Transmission: Eight-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 4.9 seconds
  • Top speed: 171mph
  • Economy/CO2: 31.8mpg/213g/km
Auto Express 1,342
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links