Vision Pack 3 ($2,100 -- includes adaptive and intelligent front lighting, front parking sensors, rearview camera, blind spot monitor); 20-Inch Gyrodyne Alloy Wheels — Black ($1,000), Black Exterior Trim Pack ($400).
Supercharged, direct-injected, V8, gasoline with auto stop-start
DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
550 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
502 @ 2,500
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
No matter what transmission mode (Drive or Sport) nor what electronic stability/traction control (ESC/TC) setting (On, ESC Trac, Off), I was unable to improve on the default Drive + ESC/Traction On run. It turns out that this car, while eminently capable of spinning tires off the line, doesn't respond well to it like most rear-wheel-driven cars do with moderation. Also, the way it leaves the line normally is the precise way I would have--had it not done it by itself/for itself. It's as if there's an optimal launch built into the car -- and there very well might be. Also, it feels as if the torque converter locks up immediately and there's no bog or delay at all. It just GOES. Just look at the telltale 0-30 time (under 2 seconds) for proof of that. Once under way, the power is immense and completely linear in a way I never would've imagined from a supercharged V8. Sure it's loud (might be too much for some), but there are no peaks or valleys in the power at all. Finally, it didn't seem to alter shift schedule among the various modes, likely because wide-open-throttle trumps these program variations that show up elsewhere (part throttle, off throttle, etc.). Simply quick and smooth shifts all the time. Good cooling for the engine, as terminal speed at the end of the quarter-mile remained within 0.09-1.5 mph of one another across six passes.
Dead straight and very little dive, however, the ABS makes quite a racket, buzzing and vibrating as it brings the car to a halt. Excellent ability to handle the heat, as the variance was only 2 feet across four stops from 60 mph. Pedal remained firm and easy to modulate without any odor from the pads. Enthusiasts and nonenthusiasts will both like these brakes.
Slalom: Unlike the F-Type convertible that felt like it loaded up then released at each cone, the coupe is far more stable and singular in its response: Direct, precise, and pointy. I did, however, de-select the artificially heavy steering and left all else in Dynamic mode. I also found this car was far more balanced between the cones than the convertible and after selecting the more lenient "Trac DSC" electronic stability program, I could slide the front tires or rear tires based on my throttle input/output. After finally coming to terms with the wider rear track, I learned to be decisive and even a little aggressive with both steering, and to a lesser extent, the throttle. Suddenly, I wasn't chasing the car but rather predicting and driving the car between the cones with confidence. And that's where the biggest difference is here between coupe and convertible: Confidence and predictability. Like the convertible, the coupe's steering still doesn't give much information, but its response is better. The rear still wants to step out, but in a far more tractable way that I could exploit rather than avoid. I'm sold. Coupe it is for the F-Type. Skid pad: Clearly, there's measurably more grip here than in the convertible. Also, the coupe is far better balanced with clearly defined limits at both ends of the car that I could manipulate at will with the throttle. Again, predictable and tractable with a skilled driver who knows how to sense and extract these things.