There was a lot of hype surrounding the launch of the Jaguar F-Type last year, but as our experiences with the two-seater roadster have shown, the brilliant Brit was worth the wait.
The F-Type delivers feelgood performance and all-round ability that complements its catwalk looks. Twelve months on, there’s still a buzz around the big cat, thanks to the arrival of the Coupe.
Jaguar claims the fixed-roof model is the most performance-focused car it has ever built, and all three versions have the potential to cause a stir in the sports car market. For this first test, we’ve lined up the entry-level F-Type Coupe against one of the best sports cars we’ve driven in the past year – the Porsche Cayman S.
These two are closely matched on price, performance and running costs, and the F-Type will need to be on top form if it’s going to have the measure of the Cayman. Whichever wins, it’ll be able to lay claim to the title of best sports car money can buy.
Click on the links above to read each review before reading on for our verdict.
At the track, these two cars are hugely entertaining. Turn off the Jaguar’s traction control, and you can revel in its tail-happy rear-wheel-drive handling, although you need quick reactions to catch the slide if the rear end steps out.
On the other hand, the Porsche has masses of grip and encourages you to take corners as fast as you possibly can. And when it does lose grip, it does so in a safe
and predictable manner.
Not much separates these models on costs. There’s just £5 difference in list price, but the Jaguar comes with sat-nav, a DAB radio and rear parking sensors as standard.
The Porsche is marginally more economical and cheaper to service, although our experts predict the F-Type will hold its value better.
The Cayman S takes the narrowest of victories. Both these cars have a feelgood factor that puts them at the top of the class, but the Porsche edges ahead thanks to a more involving driving experience which makes the most of its abilities.
Jaguar has created a car as stunning to drive as it is to look at in the F-Type Coupe, with a V6 engine that delivers awesome performance. This is the weakest model, but it’s still a five-star car, and means the V6S and V8R will be special.
|Porsche Cayman S PDK||Jaguar F-Type Coupe|
|On the road price/total as tested||£51,245/£64,751||£51,250/£65,678|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)||£24,034/46.9%||£28,341/55.3%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£3,042/£6,085||£3,438/£6,876|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£2,860/£4,766||£3,137/£5,229|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||41/£687/J/£265||50/£611/K/£285|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£480/£610/£480||£995 (3yrs)|
|Engine||Flat 6cyl/3,436cc||V6 s’charged/2,995cc|
|Peak power/revs||321/7,400 bhp/rpm||335/6,500 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||370/4,500 Nm/rpm||450/3,500 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||7-spd auto/rwd||8-spd auto/rwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||64 litres/repair kit||72 litres/repair kit|
|Boot capacity (litres)||150 front/275 rear||407 (315 to shelf)|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||11.0 metres/0.30Cd||10.9 metres/N/A|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs||3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||20,000 miles (2yrs)/36||16,000 miles (1yr)/97|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||6th/6th*||2nd/5th*|
|0-60/30-70mph||4.0/3.5 secs||5.6/4.3 secs (wet)|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||2.8/3.7 secs||2.5/3.2 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th||4.3/5.2 secs/N/A||3.3/6.4/8.8 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||174mph/2,000rpm||161mph/1,800rpm|
|Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph||44.6/32.1/8.8m||53.5/38.0/10.3m (wet)|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||26.0/5.7/366 miles||23.7/5.2/375 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||251/190g/km/30%||275/205g/km/34%|
|Airbags/Isofix/rear park sensors/cam||Six/£122/£348/£1,044||Four/no/yes/£255|
|Ceramic brakes/adapt dampers/cruise||£4,977/£971/£267||No/no/£350|
|Climate control/leather/sport seats||£518/£1,428/£2,226||Yes/£700/£1,950|
|Met paint/adapt. xenons/keyless entry||£558/£477/£599||£700/£1,350/£450|
|20-in wheels/prem audio/spt exhaust||£971/£2,663/£1,530||£2,000/£1,700/£1,630|