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CAR Most Wanted of 2014: Jaguar F-type R

Fri, 03 Jan 2014

By the CAR editorial team

First Official Pictures

03 January 2014 12:00

At last, the hottest concept car of 2011, the Jaguar C-X16, morphs into a most wanted car of 2014: the Jaguar F-type coupe. It’s available in supercharged V6 form, with either 335bhp or 375bhp, but the version you’re looking at (and that we can’t wait to get behind the wheel of) is the most serious driver’s car Jaguar has ever made.

It’s the new F-type R, and it packs the same power as a Jaguar XFR-S, or an XKR-S GT. Even the classic XJ220 isn’t this brawny, and Porsche’s 911 Turbo is a whole 30bhp off. And the Porker is twice the price…

Let’s talk numbers. The first is 542bhp: that’s the output of the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 up front. It spins the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, equipped with new ratios and faster shifts to cope with the V8’s potency. The rear axle also boasts a new electronic differential, which switches the amount of torque between the wheels in mere fractions of a second, keeping the F-type R on track (or massively sideways) depending on the behavior of the driver’s right foot, and its interaction with the traction control system.

Jaguar insiders tell CAR that when you’re not being a hooligan, the £85,000 F-type R actually puts its power down better than the £75,000 F-type V8 S, which has only 488bhp, and can only be bought in soft-top form. In other words, Jag reckons it’s a serious drivers’ car, not a quarter-mile drag coupe.

The hard-top is the one to go for on styling grounds alone though. That pert trail and swooping roof further accentuate the gorgeous haunches of Ian Callum’s design, and it’s not just a pretty backside. The F-type coupe is the stiffest Jaguar ever (almost as rigid as a Ferrari 458, in fact), and even packs a boot twice the size of the convertible’s (admittedly pathetic) cargo area.

To celebrate the launch of the coupe, Jaguar has also lined up carbon ceramic brakes for all F-types bar the entry-level V6, and announced the hard-top will cost around £7000 less (and weigh at least 20kg less) than its cabriolet sisters.

By the CAR editorial team