Cat Scratch Fever [COTY2014] : Jaguar F-Type R Coupe Drive [review]

By davidkhoo, 12 December 2014

Singapore - If there ever were a bully-boy hoonigan, the F-Type R Coupe is it. Under the bonnet is caged a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 that snorts and snuffles to the tune of 550hp and 680Nm. On paper, this translates to a 0-100km/h of 4.2secs, and a matter of moot nature in Singapore, a 300km/h top speed.

If you couldn’t tell, we were getting the tedious facts and figures out of the way, since we really want to get into the real meat and bones of this sexy feline. The front is pretty much identical to the Convertible’s, but it is the Coupe’s distinctive rump-end that is easily the most provocative feature of the car, especially as you appreciate the visual drama of the prominent rear haunches, which recalls the iconic E-Type coupe.

The stunning visual theatrics play second fiddle only to the driving experience, as the V8 rouses raucously to life with a sharp clap of thunder – sometimes it’s hard to imagine that such eargasmic and musclecar thrills are legal on Singapore roads.

Its muscular styling cannot prepare you for the involuntary sensations of shock and awe you will experience when you prod the beast, gingerly at first, then more deliberately as your senses recalibrate themselves in the presence of such a stirring auralgasm.

Having ‘fun’ is so much more than just going fast, and the R is just the sort of mate who will egg you into sniffing out tunnels in which to luxuriate in the delicious cacophony of the reverberating wall of noise and cocoons the car in an invisible sonic glove as you unleash its full fury (right up to the posted speed limits of course…).

But the R is not just an empty vessel making a lot of obnoxious noise too, because its natural steering feel and razor-sharp reflexes credibly demonstrate that modern cars need not be overly-weighted and inert at the helm.

There’s great communication and feedback from the chunky steering wheel, which works in such sweet tandem with the chassis that it’s never a guessing game when you have to gather back a particularly lurid tail-out moment.

We had access to a wide open space on which to inflict the R’s rowdy personality and by gum, it was the most fun we’ve had in a long time. The newest, shiniest sportscars tend to have too much grip these days, or make it really tough for you to provoke any sort of oversteer, since the priority is more on going fast than having fun.

In the R, and like so many other great driver’s cars, hooning is but a pedal-prod away and it quickly becomes second nature after you’ve disabled the second stage of the inhibitive traction control.

A thunderous crackle quickly gets the tail hanging loose before you keep it going on the gas to the dulcet accompaniment of a low grumble as the R purrs in response to your throttle inputs.

Going sideways isn’t the quickest, but who cares when it’s this much R-rated fun…


Jaguar F-Type R Coupe
Engine: 5000cc, V8, supercharged
Power/rpm: 550hp/6500rpm
Torque/rpm: 680Nm/3500rpm
Transmission: 8spd ZF auto
0-100km/h: 4.2secs
Top speed: 300km/h
Fuel consumption: 11.1l/100km
CO2: 259g/km

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