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Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review

Published:06 August 2014

Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review
  • At a glance
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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

This is the Jaguar F-type Coupe most buyers will consider, according to the company. We've already tested the new tin-top F-type in rabid R form - but here's our review of the bigger-selling V6 S model, which sells for a whopping £24,750 less.

It's an unusually good-looking car, the F-type Coupe. While the roadster is not exactly left wanting in the looks department, the addition of the hard top has - to these eyes - turned the F into a stunning piece of kit. The front and rear just seem to gel in an especially slinky fashion and the curvaceous rear haunches are another Ian Callum masterpiece. Does anyone do better wheelarches at the back than Jag’s design director?

Pleasingly (are you reading this Porsche?), Jaguar has priced the F-type Coupe below the roadster. There's no reverse pricing logic here, unlike on the Boxster/Cayman twins. The cheapest F-type Coupe is the V6, which costs £51,250, whereas our more powerful V6 S retails at £60,250. So it’s still adrift nearer 911 than Cayman in price, but at least now it’s seven grand cheaper than the roadster, which helps chip away at that premium.

Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S: power, specs

Both V6 models use the familiar 2995cc V6, breathed on by a supercharger to produce a choice of 335bhp or 374bhp. Torque remains around 330lb ft on both models, and that pulling power is available all the way from 3500-5000rpm thanks to the mechanical blower.

These are powerful cars, then, cementing their positioning mid-way between their rivals, the 911 and Cayman. But all that poke will be needed since, disappointingly, the F-type Coupe remains somewhat porkier than we'd like. Considering its mostly aluminium construction, we regret to observe that the F-type V6 S Coupe weighs the wrong side of 1700kg, according to independent tests, although Jag quotes ‘from 1594kg’.

Still, Jaguar claims a punchy 0-62mph time of 4.8sec and top speed is rated at 171mph. Meanwhile, combined economy stands at a claimed 31mpg and CO2 emissions are 213g/km.

First impressions of the Jag F-type Coupe

Once you've stopped ogling the mighty fine fashion sense of this - I've got to say it again - beautiful coupe, it's time to step inside. The F-type Coupe is well built, with precise shutlines, a lustrous finish to its paintwork and perfect attention to detail everywhere we looked.

Approach the car and tap the little button on the door handle. Out pops a thin slither of a door handle in one of the most surprising delights you'll find on any car door. Callum likes such unusual jolts and the novelty won't wear off for some time (until it stops working, I guess, but there is a manual override for such an eventuality).

Slip inside the F and you're faced with a snug cabin. The wraparound sports seats are very comfy and set low, giving a view across a long bonnet whose contrasting black air vents hint at the power onboard; meanwhile over your shoulder the view is framed by an ovoid rear window with overtones of E-type - while a pop-up rear spoiler with prominent Jag leaper bisects the view like a parodying billboard aimed at the driver. The cockpit itself is a revelation for a Jaguar: it's unashamedly sporting, with only a few big, chunky controls for the ventilation, a large touchscreen and not a lot else. Ours was finished in lovely leather. Time to hit the start button.

Jaguar F-type Coupe review: on the road

The V6 S starts up with an enthusiastic burble. The centrally mounted rear exhaust pipes are huge – and so is the sound. Dab the brakes, select D (there’s no manual F-type, yet…) and off you pootle, the coupe a cinch to drive around town thanks to the eight-speed automatic ‘box operated by an electronic wand rather than JLR’s preferred rotary dial.

The auto transmission helps give this car a Jekyll and Hyde character. It’s an easy daily driver, abetted by the arrival of a more useful 315-litre boot (it’s longer, deeper and wider than the risible roadster loadbay and ours had remote operation), niceties such as heated front screen to assist wintry fingers, a fab glass roof flooding the cabin with soft daylight and a switchable exhaust.

In normal running, the exhaust note is obviously V6 but more muted. Tap the sports exhaust button and all hell breaks loose. The F-type remains an exceptionally sonic proposition and little of the screaming anger of the V6 is lost with the addition of a tin-top roof. In manual mode on your favourite back road, the F Coupe simply wails along like a mini F1 car, the exhaust popping and banging every time you slot up the ‘box and, especially, when you back off the throttle. It’s high drama indeed but sometimes it’s so loud you have to deselect sport mode so as not to act like a show-off as you enter a village.

It’s nimble, too. It might weigh more than its Porsche rivals, but the F-type Coupe is still darty and pointy, responding to inputs at the large wheel with speed and agility. Responses are more muted than in a 911, with an easy, Jag-like flow from behind the wheel. It tracks flat through corners, with hardly any body roll, the standard limited slip diff ensures great traction and the brakes haul off the inevitable speed with insouciance.

There must be some bad news on the F-type Coupe?

Before we get carried away – and, to a man, those in CAR this week who drove the V6 S Coupe thought it was brilliant – it’s worth noting the negatives. The most obvious fault is the state of Jaguar’s electronics onboard. The touchscreen is seriously antiquated now compared with the German and Japanese competition and you can’t even press the bottom row of buttons in the touchscreen from my seating position unless you’re double-jointed. The digital read-out in between the dials in front of you is pixelated and low-tech, too. Jag is working on a new generation of multimedia screens and they can’t arrive soon enough.

Beyond that, we’re nit-picking. There are obviously no rear seats here, just a shallow cubby and a pair of coat hooks, which means that 2+2 fans will still have to look to the Germans. We hate the obvious afterthought of a reversing camera blister puncturing the F’s rump; the ride on our car’s optional 295/30 ZR20 P-Zeros was occasionally too firm; mostly we were impressed by how it flowed down the road on such big rims. Nineteens are standard fit. And we averaged 24mpg, some way off the claimed 31mpg – a reflection of the devilishly tempting nature of the V6 S.

Verdict

Time for a confession. I drove the F-type Coupe R the week before the V6 S arrived. And for all the bravura, the sheer punch and outright speed of the V8, I preferred the V6 S. As is so often the case, the R delivered an excess of the good things, leaving little sister to deliver a purer, more affordable driving experience.

The F-type Coupe V6 S is a fabulous car that deserves to do well. The F family remains a rare sight on our roads, but we hope more Porsche buyers give it a go. If you can stomach the high price, you’ll buy an exceptionally good-looking coupe inside and out, one with fine driving manners and an epic powertrain that’s every bit as scintillating as a flat six. They’ve different characters, the F-type and the Porsches, but we commend those who want to try the flair of the Jag after such a a longstanding repeat prescription of Germanic precision.

Specs

Price when new: £60,250
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 2995cc supercharged V6, 335bhp @ 6500rpm, 339lb ft @ 3500-5000rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 0-60mph in 4.8sec, 171mph (limited), 31.0mpg, 213g/km of CO2
Weight / material: 1594kg/aluminium
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4470/1923/1309

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Photo Gallery

  • Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review
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  • Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review
  • Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review
  • Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review
  • Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review
  • Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review
  • Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review
  • Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review
  • Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review
  • Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review
  • Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review
  • Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review
  • Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review
  • Jaguar F-type Coupe V6 S (2014) review

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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