2016 Jaguar F-Type R FU

Jaguar F-Type R FU Review

For each of the past three years I’ve been graced with a week behind the wheel of an F-Type R, and each time has shown me a different facet of this superb Jaguar. The first one was a rear-drive coupe, and I reveled in its crazy drift angle antics. The second was driven by all four wheels was driven by all four wheels, and rather than neutering this kitty—as I’d feared—its prowess was enhanced by the added predictability standard AWD conferred, and I really spent time exploring its performance envelope. The latest was a convertible F-Type R running on winter tires at the tail end of the snowy season, and it taught me new things about the incredible breadth of talents this GT-cum-sports car possesses.

This FTR’s soft, low temp-optimized rubber meant I didn’t go in for any of the tail-wagging antics of the other two; instead I enjoyed things like the rigidity of structure, which gave the Jaguar an all-of-a-piece high quality feel missing from many open top machines. Not being able to corner hard also meant my focus was on the firm but composed ride, resistance to tire roar and other factors that add up to a create a great daily driver, and are often missing in fast cars that can hit 60mph in 3.5 seconds.

Jaguar interior - F Type

Of course I still regularly unleashed the epic outdoor concert that is the 550hp F-Type R’s stock in trade, courtesy of one of the most charismatic exhaust notes in all of automobiledom. Yet I didn’t feel like I was missing out if I didn’t do this; instead I luxuriated in the gorgeously trimmed out, intimate cockpit, and I appreciated how well Jaguar is progressing on its infotainment interface, which never left me between music playlists or lost, even if its graphics look a bit low rent. The company has also increased the personalization options for driving modes: now you can decouple the otherwise overly aggressive throttle calibration from the fastest shift settings, and get either the soft or firm suspension independently.

Roof up the Jaguar was a very pleasant place to be, as the triple-layer top filters out wind noise so well. Roof down there’s more bluster than in the newest Benz SL, but it’s on par with a Porsche Carrera. A surprise was how important it was that the roof went up and down so quickly, and at speeds up to 30mph. This meant that a sudden shower need not drench occupants, nor all the carefully stitched hides, and you could be whimsical about dropping the top for a short journey, something many competitors preclude. Finally, the F-Type R gets a level of PPR (Positive Pedestrian Response) like few others of any price or stripe; it seemed to appeal to people of all races, creeds, colors—and conceivably, incomes—and doesn’t come with the baggage that afflicts some other European cars, which just seem to aggravate other road users by their very presence.

While none of this says much about the Jaguar’s ability to carve a canyon into Carpaccio nor set lap records at the Nurburgring, it speaks right to how great the F-Type R is as a real-world supercar: fast enough to thrill, yet refined and cosseting otherwise, so that even mundane trips to the office or meetings are something to look forward to, no matter the season or weather. It’s also conspicuously good value (if such can be said of any six-figure automobile) being some $30,000 or so less expensive than comparable alternatives.

More info: http://www.jaguarusa.com/all-models/f-type/index.html

Jaguar F-Type R FU

Automotive Editor Isaac Bouchard is president of Englewood-based Bespoke Autos. Read more of his reviews here on coloradoavidgolfer.com and at bespokeautos.com. Reach him at [email protected].

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