By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 7.4
With the overwhelmingly successful introduction of the F-Type last year, Jaguar's first sports car in 40 years adds a hardtop coupe to the lineup. But there's a lot more to this new model than just keeping rain off your head permanently. The F-Type Coupe literally adds a roof to the convertible, creating a super-stiff structure that let Jaguar engineers sharpen the suspension and steering, and add a 550-horsepower supercharged V8. That power's sent through a slick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission, while your inevitably high rate of speed can be scrubbed off with the optional $12,000 carbon-ceramic matrix brakes. Like the convertible, the coupe's shape blends classical and contemporary elements into an elegantly aggressive car that turns heads wherever it goes.
The 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe and Convertible bring style, luxury, and a huge helping of performance to the sports car marketplace, offering a unique alternative to sports cars like the Porsche 911, without giving up any curbside appeal.
While the Jaguar F-Type isn't short on luxury amenities, this is a sports car first, and as such it's not the smoothest or quietest Jaguar out there. If you're seduced by the style, but want something a little less aggressive, check out the Jaguar XK.
KBB Expert Ratings
After its introduction as a convertible last year, the 2015 Jaguar F-Type adds a coupe model this year, broadening its 2-seat sports car's appeal to those who want a fixed roof...and more available power.
The 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe removes any doubt that Jaguar was serious about its new sports car. Not that that we had any, really. The convertible already offers fast, faster,...
... or fastest versions, with supercharged engines ranging from a 340-horsepower or 380-horsepower V6 to a 495-horsepower V8. The coupe offers the same two V6 engines, but the V8 R is reserved for the most power hungry. With a full 550-horsepower on tap, Jaguar says it rockets to 60 mph in four seconds flat, with a top speed of 186 mph. Taming that horsepower are a variety of electronic aids, such as an active rear differential and variable-effort steering, that enhance the sports car experience. Considering the tremendous velocities the F-Type is capable of, the optional carbon-ceramic matrix brakes are a godsend, delivering sure, strong stops from high speeds, time after time, without even a hint of fade.
5.0-LITER SUPERCHARGED V8 ENGINE
While we love the sophistication and sport, it's what's underhood that really counts in this sports car. The 5.0-liter supercharged V8 puts out 495 horsepower in the convertible and a stunning 550 horsepower in the coupe, all with a velvety smoothness that belies its prodigious power.
ACTIVE EXHAUST SYSTEM
Press the button on the center console with the exhaust pipe icon (or put the F-Type into Dynamic Mode) and you'll turn on the Active Exhaust system. You'll not only hear the exhaust better when accelerating, but the pop and burble you get when decelerating is glorious, antisocial fun.
The driver-focused cockpit of the 2015 Jaguar F-Type separates the passenger and driver with a wide console, and provides a left-hand grip for the passenger. The coupe's high roof means good headroom even for tall drivers, and there's adequate legroom, too. Drivers get a large, visually sharper TFT display between the two gauges, with orange paddle shifters, a start button, and Dynamic Mode selector on some models. The infotainment touch screen's simple interface conveys what you want to know, albeit without much flair. The beautifully assembled interior boasts stitched leather throughout, including the headliner in coupes.
Rather than aping the 50-year-old lines of the E-Type, Jaguar's design team crafted a new, modern shape that's still unique to the brand. The coupe's sloping roof and narrow rear glass give it a wider look from behind, even though it's the same dimensions as the convertible. Both cars feature spoilers that pop up from the rear deck when speeds exceed about 50 mph, but the coupe's is narrower and taller, reducing rear visibility. It's a minor quibble in an otherwise masterful design.
The basic Jaguar F-Type is already comprehensively equipped, with leather seats, premium interior materials, an upscale audio and infotainment system, and a quick-acting power top on convertibles. A power spoiler pops up at speeds above about 50 mph, and even the base-model F-Types boast the sinuous styling, driver-focused interior, and excellent driving dynamics of the higher-horsepower cars. Whether you get one of the supercharged V6 engines, or the V8, it's backed by an 8-speed automatic transmission. A fuel-saving stop/start system shuts off the engine at stops, restarting it quickly once the brake is released.
The 2015 Jaguar F-Type offers a variety of options underlining performance or luxury. Dynamic Mode enhances throttle, steering, suspension, and transmission programming to enhance the driving experience. The Configurable Dynamics settings in the touch-screen menu also let you customize the settings to your liking. On the F-Type coupe, a $12,000 carbon-ceramic matrix brake upgrade is overkill for the street, but worth every penny if you plan on taking your Jaguar to the track. Jaguar didn't forget it's a luxury brand though, with an available 12-speaker Meridian audio system offering 770 watts, plus giving the driver and passenger their own surround-sound fields.
Sharing their basic aluminum-alloy structure and stop/start system, the supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and 5.0-liter V8 engines vary significantly in power output, from 340 horsepower for the base V6 to 550 for the F-Type R Coupe's V8. Aluminum-alloy construction is used in both engines as is a twin-vortex supercharger and water-cooled intercooler. Another commonality is the use of aluminum cylinder heads that house the independent variable-cam-timing system. The V-6 uses counter-rotating front and rear balancer weights to compensate for the lack of two cylinders, helping to give the engine refinement similar to the V8. The power for all Jaguar F-Types is transmitted to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
3.0-liter supercharged V6 (F-Type)
340 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
332 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg
3.0-liter supercharged V6 (F-Type S)
380 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
339 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27 mpg
5.0-liter supercharged V8 (F-Type V8 S Convertible)
495 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
460 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg
5.0-liter supercharged V8 (F-Type R Coupe)
550 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
502 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg
You hear Jaguar executives mention the Porsche 911 a lot when discussing the 2015 F-Type, and the Jag offers a significant value advantage over its iconic German rival. F-Type Coupe models start at about $65,000 for the base model, jumping to around $77,000 for the F-Type S, and then to just under $100,000 for the F-Type R. For convertibles, you'll start at about $70,000 for the base model, stretch to $81,000 or so for the V6 S, and have to bring about $92,000 for the V8 S. That's a good value compared to the Porsche, but the Jaguar itself is undercut by the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, itself a stunning performance car, and one with a new sense of refinement. That said, those looking at the Jaguar F-Type aren't likely to be cross shopping, and instead are looking for a uniquely British alternative to German and American sports cars.