Introduced in 2013 as a convertible, the Jaguar F-Type quickly made a name for itself and began overturning long-formed impressions about the brand. The coupe came along the following year and solidified to the world that Jaguar wasn’t playing around. Jaguar was ready to kick butt and take names. It’s good to be bad.

At least that was the catchy slogan the company ran with until the PC police decided Jaguar was promoting villainy, or something like that.

Oh but how spot-on Jaguar’s advertisements were. The F-Type, especially when fitted with the supercharged V-8, is maniacal to its core. Like a super villain in his secret lair whose split personality can switch from docile to ferocious in the blink of an eye, the F-Type can move between a comfortable GT cruiser to all-out supercar with one toggle of its Dynamic Mode switch.

Now three years in, the F-Type has undergone some changes – four major ones, to be exact. The car now offers a manual transmission with the V-6, the supercharged V-8 is available in the convertible, the 495-horse version of the V-8 is no more, and every F-Type R comes with AWD. Yes, that means every V-8 F-Type is now makes 550 horsepower.

That also means the entire F-Type lineup is more concise. There is the F-Type, the F-Type S, and the F-Type R. Each can be had in either coupe or convertible form. My recent tester came as the F-Type R Coupe, meaning AWD is the major addition and difference from the 2015 F-Type I previously tested. That, and the optional carbon-ceramic brakes, of course. Yum.

Continue reading for the full driven review

  • 2016 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD - Driven
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    eight-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    550 @ 6000
  • MPG(Cty):
    15
  • MPG(Hwy):
    23
  • Torque @ RPM:
    502 @ 2500
  • Energy:
    Supercharged
  • Displacement:
    5.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph
  • Layout:
    Front Engine, AWD
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Walk-Around Video


Exterior

2016 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD - Driven High Resolution Exterior Test drive Exclusive Photos
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2016 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD - Driven High Resolution Exterior Test drive Exclusive Photos
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2016 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD - Driven High Resolution Exterior Test drive Exclusive Photos
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Aesthetically there is nothing different about the 2016 model over the 2015. You won’t dare hear any complaints from me

Aesthetically there is nothing different about the 2016 model over the 2015. You won’t dare hear any complaints from me – the F-Type is a stunningly beautiful machine. The long, sloping hood flows gracefully over the arched fenders and down onto the open grille The HID headlights are encrusted with LEDs that give the Jag a distinctive look that’s unmistakable at night. And yes, those vents in the hood and grille are all functional.

The swept lines created by the hood transfer onto the roof. The shape crests over the occupants and gracefully falls into a straighter line over the rear lift glass. The large haunches over the rear tires complements the straighter shape of the roof and gives character to the three-quarter view of the car.

Out back are those signature taillights and quad exhaust tips. The lower air diffuser is brightly colored in silver, making it stand out along the bottom of the car. It also helps accent those four, chrome-tipped trumpets that scream like the Devil’s anger with any generous amounts of throttle and pop like Browning .50-caliber machine guns during engine overrun.

Lastly are those 20-inch, five-spoke wheels. Not only do they look like money, they also designate the presents of carbon ceramic brakes. At $12,000, the option isn’t cheap, but rest assured the brakes will never fade during track-day driving.

Interior

2016 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD - Driven High Resolution Interior Test drive Exclusive Photos
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2016 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD - Driven High Resolution Interior Test drive Exclusive Photos
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2016 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD - Driven High Resolution Interior Test drive Exclusive Photos
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Like the exterior and my opinion that goes along with it, not much changes with the interior for 2016. Jaguar has managed to create a suave cockpit full of quality materials with good ergonomic proportions that somehow exude the sinister persona of the F-Type. Leather and suede with white accent stitching abounds on nearly ever surface. What’s left is trimmed in aluminum bits and carbon fiber-like accents.

Jaguar has managed to create a suave cockpit full of quality materials with good ergonomic proportions that somehow exude the sinister persona of the F-Type

Behind the wheel, the driver is treated to a wonderful, flat-bottomed steering wheel. Intuitive controls give quick access to menu functions in the gauge cluster, the radio, and cruise controls. Paddle shifters are located perfectly behind the three- and nine-o’clock positions. Sadly they are mounted to the wheel rather than the steering column.

The infotainment system is similar to any Jaguar Land Rover product and works well enough. It is a bit slow to respond to commands, but is easy to learn. Smartly placed screens into the HVAC control knobs give the center console a modern look. More controls reside by the shifter and provide functions for the parking brake, traction control, the automatic start/stop system, the dynamic exhaust system, and the active rear spoiler – not to mention the Dynamic Mode’s slider switch.

Functionally, the interior works well and provides plenty of comfort for even long-distance drives. The seats are nearly infinitely adjustable and provide plenty of support. The power-adjustable steering wheel tilts and telescopes for the perfect position.

Storage wise, there are small compartments around the cabin for random items and the glove box is plenty large. Trunk space is also surprising, with enough room for groceries or a smaller golf bag.

Drivetrain

2016 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD - Driven High Resolution Drivetrain Test drive Exclusive Photos
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Those four, chrome-tipped trumpets scream like the Devil’s anger and pop like Browning .50-caliber machine guns during engine overrun.

Backing up the F-Type’s beauty is the fantastically powerful 5.0-liter supercharged V-8. This all-aluminum mill has dual-overhead camshafts tapping 32 valves at variable timing rates while fuel is directly injected into each cylinder. All told, the engine produces 550 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 502 pound-feet of torque at only 2,500 rpm.

The popular ZF eight-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox available with the V-8. Three pedals would be fun, but the ZF offers lightening fast shifts reminiscent of a dual clutch box. Conversely, the ZF knows how to behave when not being pushed. Shifts become butter smooth in Normal and Weather drive modes.

But none of that has changed from 2015. New this year is the AWD system. No longer is the F-Type R a burnout machine, but rather a grippy, hard-throttle-on-corner-exits-loving thrill ride that amazes. The system still allows the Jag to feel rear-drive biased, but never lets things get out of control.

Working in conjunction with the AWD system is Jaguar’s Electronic Active Differential. The system helps put power down most appropriately, regardless of traction conditions or driver input. Torque vectoring software further assists turns. It helps move the car quickly around corners by applying braking to the inside wheel, helping the car to rotate.

Of course, the drivetrain gets plenty of help from the sport suspension with adaptive dampers. The computer controlled suspension helps keep the car planted no matter what road surfaces are like. Pitch, roll, and yaw rates are translated to the traction control, active differential, and torque vectoring systems. What’s more, the system reads throttle and brake inputs and adjusts the shocks accordingly to prevent brake dive and launch squats.

Exhaust Sounds


Driving Impressions

2016 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD - Driven High Resolution Exterior Test drive Exclusive Photos
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The F-Type is Jaguar’s premiere sports product that acts as a halo car for all other Jaguars in terms of handling and performance. As such, the car handles quite well, giving plenty of confidence to the driver. Though I haven’t compared the two side by side on a track, I’d say the F-Type is quicker than the Corvette Stingray with the Z51 package. At least that’s the feeling I get from driving the two during my normal weekly routines only two weeks apart. And I’m one of those weird folks who would rather feel fast than be fast. It’s more fun and there’s an (infinitely) smaller chance I’d accrue a self-inflicted taxation.

Acceleration is perhaps the F-Type’s best feature. The new AWD system puts power down so effectively that the Jag almost rivals the Nissan GT-R in off-the line grunt. Jaguar says 60 mph should come in 3.9 seconds, but there are reports of 3.5-second runs on prepped surfaces in good conditions. Even at highway speeds, acceleration is blisteringly fast. Thankfully the optional carbon ceramic brakes are superbly talented at pulling the 3,814-pound car to a halt.

Price

2016 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD - Driven High Resolution Exterior Test drive Exclusive Photos
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Make no mistake, the Jag is not a cheap thrill. The F-Type R starts at $103,600. My tester came packed with extra options, including the illuminated treadplates ($450), Suedecloth Interior Pack ($1,000), Vision Pack 3 ($2,100), Black Pack 3 ($600), and the Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes ($12,000).

Add on the $995 delivery fee, and the grand total reaches $128,695.

Competition

Corvette Stingray Z51

2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Corvette is America’s poster child of speed. The Vette has been representing the States for the better part of six decades, giving European brands a run for their money. The same is true today and the Vette is better than ever. Carbon fiber and aluminum parts are scattered throughout the car while an old-school pushrod V-8 makes all the power.

The Corvette’s 6.2-liter V-8 makes 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels though either a seven-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic. Performance, especially with the Z51 performance package, is impeccable. Only the Z06 outperforms it.

Prices start at $56,395 for the base C7. Opting for the Z51 package pushes the price to $61,395.

Read our full review on the Corvette Z51 here.

Porsche 911

2017 Porsche 911 High Resolution Exterior
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Like the Corvette for the U.S., the Porsche 911 represents the cream of the crop for Germany. This rear-engine car’s design dates back to the 1930s when Ferdinand Porsche designed the Volkswagen Beetle as Germany’s “people’s car.”

Now with a flat-six engine cranking out 370 horsepower in the 911 Carrera or 420 horsepower in the 911 Carrera S, the car has extremely high levels of performance thanks to its light weight and excellent handling.

Prices fall between the Corvette and F-Type, starting at $89,400 and maxing out under $110,000.

Read our full review on the Porsche 911 here.

Conclusion

2016 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD - Driven High Resolution Exterior Test drive Exclusive Photos
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The Jaguar F-Type is a world-class sports car – there’s no denying that – and the improvements brought to the 2016 model only make the car better. Thanks to the AWD system, handling and off-the-line performance are much improved. The optional carbon ceramic brakes make stopping a no-fuss event, and the aesthetics, though unchanged, are still in vogue.

Thanks to the F-Type and other vehicles that include the XE and upcoming F-Pace SUV, the Jaguar brand is certainly enjoying a resurgence in popularity.

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    • * Gets expensive with options
    • * Infotainment system can be slow to respond
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