Test Drives

Jaguar F-Type R Coupe Review – Claw And Disorder

Now, there are special cars, and then there are those which are sheer events. One you remember almost fondly, others you don’t remember so much as shiver over as a vague recollection of sweat and swearing.

The Jaguar F-Type Coupe, in range-topping R form, clearly falls into the latter category. It’s perhaps one of those cars where simply seeing one driving by is enough to make your day, even in our jaded city-state which have become used to the sights of Ferraris and Lamborghinis rumbling by on a regular basis.

The drama begins from the very moment you start the car, with the loud exhaust note letting everyone within a four block radius know of your presence. Give the throttle a quick blip and you are treated to what can only be described as aural fireworks, with an insane crackle and pop that can easily frighten children away. It’s pretty intoxicating to say the least. In the USA, if you did that near a policeman, you’d likely be riddled with holes shortly after.

We’ve been here before of course, having experienced the same when we drove the equally wild F-Type V8 Roadster a year or so ago. But it’s something that you never really get tired of, and it can become quite addictive, even if your neighbours start hissing and spitting at you.

As such, sooner or later, you might find yourself having to run away from an angry mob of disgruntled folks whose peace have been disrupted by your constant revving exploits. And should you need to get away quick, the F-Type R Coupe is up to the job as well, for it offers some simply explosive performance to match the cacophony of noise emanating from its racy V8.

Even just prodding the throttle a little results in the car blasting forwards at a velocity that can almost be described as supersonic. The car gains speed so quickly you almost feel like you’re travelling in a time warp through space into another dimension (maybe I’ve been watching too many movies lately).

Before long, you’re approaching highly ridiculous speeds that, over here, if caught, could see you thrown in jail and banned from driving forever till the end of time. If you can hang on long enough, you can hear the woosh of the supercharger urging you on to your doom. Presumably, I was busier just trying to steer the damn thing.

And this cat really demands respect. because with 550bhp and 680Nm of torque from the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine being sent to the rear wheels, and rear wheels only. And it’s also interesting to note that the F-Type R has got so much power (550chp – cat-eating-horse power) we get the unadulterated version. In the States, it’s only available in all-wheel drive, presuambly as a pre-emptive measure to fend off law suits. Or should it be claw suits?

This explains the Coupe’s propensity for spinning its wheels and exhibiting tail-happy behaviour means that it’s very easy to get things wrong with this car, especially if road and weather conditions are less than ideal (as it often does here in Singapore). If anything, it is in fact wilder than the roadster, given the extra power and torque (50bhp and 55Nm more respectively) and the car’s stiffer chassis setup.

Once you learn how to tame the beast though, you’ll find that the F-Type R Coupe rewards you with a truly lovely drive. The steering is light and yet possesses enough feel to engage you while you bomb down a winding country road, while the ride is firm and yet not truly uncomfortable. What you can’t deny though is that every driving adventure in this car is an experience, a special event if you like, perhaps a special weekend treat for yourself.

And that is what the F-Type R Coupe is; a special event, an experience, an adventure. Certainly, there are very few cars like it, and most of them cost way more than the Jag’s asking price of just over half a million. For that money, few even come close to offering the F-Type R Coupe’s pomp and drama. If anything, we’ll buy it just for the vulgar, caterwauling soundtrack alone, neighbours be damned.

Engine 5,000cc, 32V, supercharged V8
Power 550bhp at 6500rpm
Torque 680Nm at 3500rpm
Gearbox 8-speed automatic
Top Speed 300km/h
0-100kmh 4.2 seconds
Fuel efficiency 11.1L/100km
CO2 259g/km

Price $535,000 with COE
Availability Now

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