9 Jul 2014

Jaguar F-Type Coupe V6 S - First Drive Review

I've got a Jaguar F-Type Coupe V6 S for a week. It's brilliant fun and turns heads like nothing else.

Jaguar F-Type Coupe V6 S in Salsa Red

The Toyota HiLux in front of me was being driven terribly. I'd followed it for a few miles down winding rural roads with no chance of an overtake.

It was weaving into the centre of the road then lurching into the verge, kicking up clouds of dust.  When another car came the other way it would veer exaggeratedly first towards and then away from the oncoming vehicle and kick up more dust.

Was the driver stupid, drunk or trying to send a text?

Turns out he was driving not with his eyes on the road ahead but in his mirrors, gawping at the Salsa Red Jaguar F-Type Coupe I was in behind him.

His reaction was not the first I'd experienced.  I drove the car into the centre of Reading for a lunchtime appointment and then back out again just at the time the schools were emptying. Everyone stares at the little Jag coupe but young boys in particular seem to point, stare and take photos of it with their phones.

The F-Type coupe is a rare sight on the road at the moment but in a few years time there'll be more.  I see plenty of XKs on my travels but these are being phased out to make space in the factory to build F-Types.  In five years all the middle aged men who can afford a British sportscar, but can't stretch to an Aston Martin, will buy an F-Type.  The roads will become more dangerous as a result as Mr HiLux and his ilk watch them instead of the road.
Jaguar F-Type Coupe V6 S in Salsa Red

The F-Type coupe is blindingly good looking.  The test car's looks are enhanced by the black pack option (£950), 20 inch Tornado Black alloys (£2k) and the panoramic roof (£1250). I'm not sure there's a more handsome F-Type coupe on the press fleet.

This car is the V6 S which means it's powered by the supercharged 3-litre V6 with 380bhp.  The V8 sounds better and has over 100 more horsepower but the V6 S is still fast enough and slightly less liable to lose traction when you weren't expecting it.

Another option to go for is the £350 Active Sports Exhaust.  With this you can drive like a hooligan even cruising through town by simply popping down a gear and trailing the throttle.  The resultant snap, crackle and pop makes even the most rabid eco-cyclist turn and look.  It makes the driver feel very naughty, but smugly so.

After a couple of days and 150 miles the fuel tank is almost empty and I'm not sure I've had so much fun in a car in a long time.

The Jag matches both the Cayman and 911 in several areas and is beaten in others. Your choice as a buyer largely comes down to image and whether you want a track or road focussed car. The F-Type is a little stiff on the road but otherwise is hard to beat for an everyday cruiser that's immensely capable of some luridly entertaining driving when the mood takes.

The interior has been criticised by some as not being luxurious enough. Given it's 90% leather I'd have to disagree.  All the controls fall to hand and I particularly like the sound system volume button right next to the gear lever.

I'll come back with a full review in a week or two.


Price - £60,235 (£73,945 as tested)
Engine - 3.0 V6 supercharged, petrol
Transmission - 8-speed ZF automatic
0-60mph - 4.8 seconds
Top Speed - 171mph
Power - 380bhp
Torque - 339lb ft
Economy - 32.1mpg
CO2 - 213g/km
Kerb Weight - 1,614kg
Jaguar F-Type Coupe V6 S in Salsa Red

Jaguar F-Type Coupe V6 S in Salsa Red

Jaguar F-Type Coupe V6 S in Salsa Red

Jaguar F-Type Coupe V6 S

Jaguar F-Type Coupe V6 S

By Matt Hubbard