THERE’S a V6 version but forget it. The V8 is the one you want.
It is simply mega. Five litres of supercharged V8 and a Vesuvian 404kW and 680Nm - from just 2500rpm.
At 7000rpm it sounds like a grizzly bear that's had an anvil dropped on its foot - a throaty, animal scream. Press the active exhaust button - which will become part of your start-up routine - and it’s so loud you'll wonder how it’s legal. At full throttle, it will easily drown out your screams for mummy.
Considering it’ll clip 100km/h in 4.2 seconds you could never complain it hasn’t enough grunt. And the brakes - particularly the optional, and very expensive, carbon ceramic ones - will bring you to a stop quick enough. Which is what you want because if you’re the kind of person who regularly kisses the throttle pedal against the carpet - and let’s face it, you are - you’ll want decent anchors.
Dive-bomb into a corner and you’ll realise the F-Type Coupe is made for Monza more than Monaco. With so much power, and the taller gears to match, it prefers drinking up big, long, fast corners with triple digits on the speedo. It does so easily and impressively.
In slower, tighter bends the F-Type Coupe feels physically huge - its corners never seem to shrink-wrap around you like a 911, and the bonnet feels like it extends metres away from you. It’s wide, too; it makes narrow roads feel like you're driving on a footpath.
Hammer into a slow to medium speed slower corner too fast and naturally you’ll expect the F-Type to push into understeer. But it doesn’t - the inside brakes lightly engage in torque vectoring trickery, tucking in the nose and vanquishing understeer. Even if you cheekily pick up the throttle a little too early, it still keeps the nose tucked in nicely.
And as the corner begins to end, you can feed in too much throttle deliberately and the rear of the F-Type will get up on its tippy toes with oversteer. Feed in more gas and be ready with the countersteer because the ESP permits a fair bit of angle. It’s easy to slide and, belying its monstrous power, not as scary as you’d think. (But only the brave, or foolish, would ever turn ESP all the way off.)
The F-Type’s steering is quick and sharp, too, meaning you’ll rarely need to move your hands away from nine and three. But, reflecting again its inescapable largeness and generous wheelbase, it’ll change direction swiftly but not particularly elegantly. It’s more bull than ballerina.
And if you’ve ever driven a 991 911 you’ll wish forlornly the F-Type had its steering. It’s the quickest rack ever fitted to a Jag, and the weighting is spot on, but push the front tyres to their limits and you’ll feel it first through your bum rather than your fingers. We wish we felt more through the steering wheel.
That aspect, and just a few others, make us think the 911 still holds the upper hand over the F-Type Coupe. But then you press that blown V8 against its limiter one more time and you’re not so sure. It’s glorious.
The heart says V8 but the head says V6 - read why the little brother version might in fact be better in our full review in MOTOR’s June issue, on sale May 14.
Watch us do a big, wet burnout in the V8 F-Type Coupe on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/motorofficial
The F-Type Coupe comes in three variants.
Coupe, $119,900: 3.0-litre supercharged V6, 250kW, 450Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100km/h in 5.3sec, 8.8L/100km, 1577kg
S Coupe, $152,300: 3.0-litre supercharged V6, 280kW, 460Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100km/h in 4.9sec, 9.1L/100km, 1594kg
R Coupe, $219,600: 5.0-litre supercharged V8, 404kW, 680Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100km/h in 4.2sec, 11.1L/100km, 1665kg
The V8 is a total, bite-your-arm-off sweetheart. The acceleration and the noise are drug-like. But pitched against the 911 in the handling Olympics we expect the F-Type Coupe to win silver.
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