The launch of the all-new 2014 Jaguar F-Type heralded the marque’s return to a classic, two seat convertible sports car – something that had been missing from the iconic British manufacturer’s model lineup since the legendary XKE. The F-Type represented the rebirth of a seriously sexy sports roadster for two, with performance to spare. Not since the legendary XK 120, XK 140, XK 150 and XKE-type had Jaguar produced a true sports roadster for the avid driving enthusiast. Okay, we’ll admit that Jaguar currently produces a luxurious and highly desirable stable of vehicles, but certainly nothing more alluring and capable than the Jaguar F-Type, and now the iconic marque increases both the coupe and convertible range of options for the 2016 model year with the addition of a manual transmission and AWD with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (which further extends the F-TYPE’s performance capability) plus the introduction of a Jaguar F-TYPE R Convertible which broadens the F-Type range from six to 14 distinctive versions.
All F-Types are powered by supercharged engines. The base F-Type draws its motive force from a 3.0-liter V6 that produces 340 horsepower along with 332 pound feet of torque. Next up is the F-Type S model, also powered by a 3.0-liter V6 that pumps out 40 additional horses for a total of 380, while boosting the torque level to 339. The V8 powered F-Type S, which delivers a more than substantial 495 horsepower while generating an impressive 460 pound feet of torque. The new 2016 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible moves down the road or track courtesy of a 5.0-liter V8 that cranks out 550 horsepower at 6,500 rpm, while also generating 680 pound feet of torque at 3,500 rpm. Its transmission is an eight-speed Quickshift automatic with paddle shifters.
Each engine mounts forward in a longitudinal position, and routes its power to the rear wheels with limited slip differential (mechanical on F-Type and F-Type S, but an active electronic differential on F-Type V8 S (or to all four wheels via the AWD system). S-models also feature Dynamic Launch Mode.
All F-Types handle gear changes through either an eight-speed “Quickshift” automatic transmission with a centrally mounted SportShift selector that provides full manual sequential control with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Six-cylinder F-Types feature a centrally located dual exhaust that pays homage to the E-Type introduced in 1961, while the V8 S and Rs rid themselves of exhaust gasses through outboard, twin-dual (quad) exhaust tips. An Active Exhaust system, standard for the V6 S and V8 models (including the R) and optional for the V6, enhances the exhaust note. Electronically controlled bypass valves in the rear section of the exhaust open under hard acceleration, effectively providing a straight-through, free-flowing arrangement. At cruising speeds, the valves close, retaining a powerful exhaust note with comfortable sound levels.
All F-Type models are equipped with a new Intelligent Stop/Start system to enhance fuel economy under certain driving conditions. The lightweight body structure is attributable to the extensive use of highly formable AC170 aluminum.
In terms of its visual appeal, the Jaguar F-Type is seductive from every angle, in either coupe or convertible form, continuing Jaguar’s sporting bloodline that reaches back more than 75 years. According to Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Design Director, the F-Type is as exciting to the senses as the iconic C-Types, D-Types and XK-Types were, and for that matter, still are. The new F-Type displays a sophisticated glamour and beauty in a design that is destined to stand with its predecessors as a sought after, collectible classic sports car. It exhibits a near perfect proportion and stance, with a long bonnet (hood), a rearward-positioned cabin, and a short rear deck and overhang. The F-Type more than satisfies Jaguar founder, Sir William Lyons’ edict that “All Jaguars have to look fast, even when they are standing still”.
In profile, a rising light catcher or character line reinforces the fuselage or body section, running from the front diffuser to the rear, with a “coke-bottle” curvature from the shoulder to the rocker, as well as in the overhead form with a tapering tail section. Up front, the sculpted, clamshell hood features a central power bulge and functional, slotted vents, blended with powerful fenders that appear to be “shrink-wrapped” over the car’s mechanical form. The projector-beam headlamps appear appropriately as cat-eyes, just above and outboard of the large main grille, which sports a piano black, horizontal bar ahead of its mesh inset. The grille is flanked by twin air inlets that sit above a lower grille and front splitter.
The car’s rear view emphasizes its width, with narrow, distinctive horizontal LED taillamps and broad diffuser that houses the exhaust outlets. There is a deployable rear spoiler that operates automatically or manually. The F-Type convertible is equally attractive with the top up or down. The top, incidentally, is a “Z”-fold unit that operates in either direction in 12 seconds at up to 30 mph. Exterior door handles pop out, activated by touch or fob and retract to a flush position when the car is in motion.
Moving to the inside, the 1+1 cockpit is unashamedly driver-focused in terms of controls and switchgear positioning. The dashboard is low, and provides optimum visibility. A deployable center vent atop the dash disappears from view along with control icons with the ignition off. The purposeful, bronze accented toggle switches below the three dual purpose rotary knobs, and paddle shifters along with the substantial three-spoke steering wheel blend contributing to the sporty persona of the F-Type that is not unlike the feel of a jet fighter cockpit.
My most recent Jaguar experience came in the 2016 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Convertible. The exterior wore a rich finish of Dark Sapphire while the interior was executed in a dual tone of Ivory and Jet Black with Ivory stitching and carbon fiber trim accents. The base price was set at $ 109, 450 while extras such as: the 20-inch Gyrodyne alloy wheels, machine faced with grey painted inner surfaces; illuminated door tread plates; Extended Leather pack – R; Vision Pack 3 with Adaptive and intelligent Front Lighting, Front sensors and Rear Parking Camera, Blind Spot Monitor and Destination and Delivery charge, elevated the final tally to $120,395.
SUMMARY: Simply put, the 2016 Jaguar F-Type R AWD is PHENOMENAL, in terms of both styling and performance. The technology level is phenomenal as well. Seats are supportive and comfortable as well, and features such as the Configurable Dynamic Mode, performance brakes with red calipers, flat-bottomed steering wheel, and selectable Active Exhaust join forces to up the sporty Jaguarness factor.
The Configurable Dynamic Mode allows the driver to select, which elements of the Dynamic Mode are desired, for instance, steering feel and throttle response may be sharpened while allowing the ride on models with Adaptive Dynamics to remain unchanged. Configurable Dynamics also adds functionality to the central touchscreen geared to track use of the car. The system allows drivers to record lap and split times and will provide information on throttle and brake inputs as well as G-forces generated.
Acceleration is awesome and braking is positively confidence-inspiring thanks to the oversized rotors. The ride quality and stability renders the car solid and totally planted, but without any sensation of harshness. The steering input is positively spot-on, with instantaneous response. In fact, every response from the steering to transmission shift points, throttle response, braking and suspension has been finely tuned to deliver the most connected, accurate and involved driving experience possible.
The driver’s environment is emphasized through an asymmetrical cabin layout with all the controls placed naturally to hand and logically grouped, allowing for maximum attention on the driving experience. A grab handle sweeps down the center console on the passenger side, delineating it from the driver’s position and wrapping around the center console.
Virtually everything about the Jaguar F-Type R stirs one’s senses and emotions. In this writer’s opinion, it definitely earns a revered place on the list of quintessential performance luxury sports roadsters. Perhaps the only negative issue about the car comes form the fact that it is not within easy reach of financially challenged individuals – if it were, I would order one today and live happily ever after. Which model would I opt for? The F-Type R Convertible is not a bad way to go with or without AWD. It certainly delivers more than satisfactory performance (definitely all that most people can effectively manage), and it may even offer a better resale value. The latter actually being a moot point, because given its sure-to-become-classic and collectible status, why would one ever want to get rid of it? In any case, the F-Type plays a significant role in Jaguar’s return to providing the world with a highly desirable and genuine sports car.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD
|Price as Tested:||$120,395.|
|Engine Type and Size:||5.0-liter, DOHC, 32-valve Supercharged V8 Direct Injection.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||550 @ 6,500 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||680 @ 3,500 rpm|
|Transmission:||Eight-speed Quickshift automatic with paddle shifters.|
|Drive Train:||Longitudinally mounted front engine / All-wheel drive.|
Front – All-aluminum Double wishbone with adaptive damping and stabilizer bar.
Rear – All-aluminum Double wishbone with adaptive damping and stabilizer bar.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with ABS, EBD and Emergency Brake Assist.|
|Tires:||Pirelli P-Zero 255/35 ZR20 front / 295/30 ZR20 rear mounted on 6-“V”-spoke alloy wheels with diamond-turned finish face and Technical Grey painted inner.|
|Length Overall:||175.98 inches|
|Width:||75.71 inches – excluding mirrors|
|Curb Weight:||3,670.7 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||18.49 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||15 mpg city / 23 mpg highway|
|Drag Coefficient:||Not listed|
|0 – 60 mph:||4.0 seconds|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.