News : Jaguar F-Type Coupe unveiled in Los Angeles

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

Jaguar F-Type (4)

The Jaguar F-Type Coupe finally breaks cover at the Los Angeles Auto show. It’s probably the most anticipated sports car launch of 2013 and easily one of the most scooped – but, despite this, Jaguar has still managed to pull of a couple of surprises. The addition of the F-Type R Coupe, as well as an aggressive pricing strategy, means that Jaguar will be fighting against its rivals on a more level playing field.

The F-Type R Coupe is the latest member of Jaguar’s expanding R Performance line and boasts 550bhp from its supercharged V8 – which means that the new range topper will cover the 0-60mph in just 4.0 seconds – and, from what we hear, that’s a conservative estimate. It also has a maximum speed of 186mph and can also accelerate from 50 to 75mph in 2.4 seconds. However, the numbers only tell a small part of the story – the F-Type R will be the most focused driver’s car yet from Jaguar, helped to a large degree by the superbly-engineered, super-stiff, body shell.

That’s not all, though – the suspension features adaptive dynamics that manage the car’s body movements. The springing is also firmer – it’s 4.3% stiffer in front and 3.7% tighter at the rear than the F-Type V8-S Convertible and the driver can select an even stiffer suspension setting in Dynamic Mode, which will also tweak the steering, gear-changes of the eight-speed SportShift automatic and the throttle mapping.

Jaguar F-Type (3)
The interior retains much of the look and feel of the Convertible, and is also very similar to the C-X16 concept, first show a couple of years ago

A new electronic active differential and a torque vectoring system has been added. The former controls the amount of torque sent to each wheel and the latter is able to independently brake the inner wheels in order to reduce understeer. The F-Type R’s brakes, meanwhile, are the largest available in the F-Type range, at 15in – carbon-ceramic units will be available soon.

Mind you, it’s the body engineering that really excites us. Features such as a high-strength, hydroformed aluminium beam that runs over each door opening from the bottom of the A-pillar to the back of the C-pillar, have been incorporated in order to maintain ‘shell stiffness, despite that low roofline and lack of B-pillars. The car’s torsional rigidity figure of 33,000Nm/degree is Jaguar’s best yet and has been achieved by clever thinking such as the single-piece aluminium pressing that takes in the coupé’s entire body side.

That also facilitated what must easily be one of the best-looking new cars to emerge in the past few years. Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar said: ‘Creating a sports Coupe is the purest of design tasks and also the most challenging; get it right and aesthetically the result will be as dynamic as the car should be rewarding to drive. In F-Type Coupe, I believe we’ve got it right. The purity of the C-X16 Concept has been retained without compromise; the long bonnet, low roofline and tapering cabin of the F-Type Coupe inspires me every time I see it.’

He would say that… but the new car’s styling has been almost universally lauded – a great result for the company, which just five years ago, seemed to be floundering. The main difference from the C-X16 is the loss of that E-type inspired side-opening tailgate, but that was never going to make it into production. Jaguar’s comeback doesn’t quite rest on the F-Type – this is no make-or-break product for the company, but more of a halo product that adds image and profitability – Jaguar’s true all-aluminium expansion begins in earnest in 2015 with the launch of its all-new small car range, as well as its own in-house engines, which are due to roll off the line in Wolverhampton very soon indeed.

Both V6-powered F-Type Coupes are are cheaper than expected, perhaps as a result of the early criticisms of the Convertible’s lofty pricing. The base F-Type and F-Type S are no less than £7285 less than their rag-topped counterparts, while the R Coupe comes in at £85,000 before options. The Coupe will go on sale next March.

Jaguar F-Type (5)

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

19 Comments

  1. That really does look stunning and in my eyes at least is more alluring than the convertible version.

    The obvious question the unveiling of the F-Type Coupe raises is: where does this leave the bigger, heavier and more expensive XK model which, in XKR-S form, costs £100,000 and also has a 550Ps supercharged V8 engine? Four seats or not, the seven year old (and likely more profitable) XK8/XKR8 is looking increasingly vulnerable now as there is considerable overlap between the two ranges.

  2. The roadster is attractive, but this is stunning!

    Has JLR mentioned any weight figures? I guess they must be just as aware as anybody else of the F-type’s Achilles’ heel. I’m hoping the Coupé is significantly lighter… and that there will eventually be a manual option.

  3. Wonderful. If only Jaguar could pull off the trick that BMW and Audi do of filtering the style and essence of their Halo models down to the more affordable mainstream cars. Perhaps the new small Jag will achieve this in which case Jaguar will really be in a position to challenge the Germans in terms of volume. And lets hope that this F Type will be be replaced in 6/7 years time to keep the momentum going, rather than being left to go mouldy as the XF has.

  4. Nothing mouldy about the XF. I was looking at a new one parked near me just yesterday and thinking how fabulous it looks, even at 5 years old.

  5. I’m not disappointed, the rear view of this car is outstanding . It does the e type proud. Makes the Germans look completely boring. Well done JLR!

  6. I really do like the way it looks and that’s just a first impression. I imagine it would grow on me, especially in the metal !!!!!

  7. A really lovely car but likely to be £10k over priced just like the Roadster version. What has happened to Jaguars legendary good value?
    They have missed the chance to compete with the brilliant Boxster/Cayman by being too gready with the list price.
    As Dave 3500 states they are competing with their own XK range.

  8. The XK will be replaced in the next few years and will become a full four seater 2 door GT. The F-Type is designed from the outset to compete against the 911, the F-Type is larger than the Cayman but slightly shorter than the 911, to get the same performance from a 911 you’re looking at over £100k.

    There is an all out R-S 600bhp F-Type in development, which will be blow away anything you put up against it! Go Jag!

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