2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: What's It Like to Live With?
Read the latest updates in our long-term road test of the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe as our editors live with this car for a year.
What do you want to know about?
- Performance Testing
- Not Sure About the Seats
- Blind -Spot Monitoring
- Dream Car, Dream On
- It Sits Low
- Will the Golf Clubs Fit?
- First Impressions
- First Impressions, Part 2
- Subtle Heritage Cues
- Fuel Economy Update for July
- Shiftable Automatic Best Practices
- A New, More Powerful F-Type
- A Weekend in My Dream Car
- Chin Spoiler Scrapes
- Hood Is Misaligned
- Flat Tire
- Fuel Economy Update for August
- Just Enough Cargo Space
- Here Comes Mr. Obnoxious
- Dynamic Mode Short-Term Memory
- The Sounds
- Start-Stop Fuel Savings Test
- Hidden Vents
- Door Handles (With Video)
- Convertible, Please
- Road Trip Fuel Economy
- Some of the Shine Is Wearing Off
- Seriously Small Sun Visors
- Track Day Prep
- Buttonwillow Track Day
- Track Day Wrap Up and September Fuel Economy Update
- Makes Every Drive an Adventure
- New Tires
- Large Gear Indicator
- Hard Seats
- San Diego Road Trip
- Shifter or Missile Launcher?
- Hidden Vents Part 2
- The Golf Clubs Do Fit
- Track Day Videos
- Cargo Cover Askew
- 10,000 Miles
- Fuel Economy Update for October
- Surfboard Fits
- Trunk Shows Nice Attention to Detail
- Cruise Control
- vs. F-Type S
- Underfloor Storage
- Krispy Cat
- Broken Clothes Hanger Hook
- Amongst Friends
- Flimsy Fuel Filler Neck Surround
- 2016 Brings Manual Gearbox
- Fuel Economy Update for November
- Would You Want All-Wheel Drive?
- I'd Have the Convertible
- Limited-Slip Differential Fail
- Deployable Wing, Vents, Handles
- Wet Weather Manners
- Adjustable Seatback Bolsters
- Checking the Oil
- Reminds Me of a Corvette
- Fuel Economy Update for December
- An Easy Car To Photograph
- Night Out With the Jag
- Hidden CD Player
- 550 Reasons To Go Drive
- Hidden Bottle Holder
- Gets Noticed. Always
- Fuel Economy Update for January
- Can Be Normal, Too
- Cambria Road Trip, Part 1
- Cambria Road Trip, Part 2
- Window Switch Issue
- 15,000 Miles
- An Experience
- Flat Tire Repair
- Window Switch Reprogramming
- Audio Review
- First Service Due
- Fuel Economy Update for February
- Creaky Seat
- Tunnel Blasting and Decibel Readings
- A Good Running Buddy
- What's New for 2016?
- The Battle of Britain
- Clunks, Creaks and Regular Maintenance
- Room to Boom
- Clears Curbs With Ease
- It's Not Too Bright
- Design Links to the XK120
- Nailed It
- Trouble Finding the Smart Key
- Sticky When Wet
- Spoiler Spoils Classic Lines
- Fuel Economy Update for April — Nearly 300 Miles on Single Tank
- Arizona and Back in a Day — Nearly 300 Miles on Single Tank
- Paddle Paint Peeling (Again)
- Arizona Road Trip in Pictures
- 500 Miles of Rain and Rear-Drive Reflections
- 500 Miles for Lunch
- A Special Kind of Fast
- How I'd Build It
- Offers Decent "Beach Activity Compliance"
- Winding Down Our Time at 20,000 Miles
- Fuel Economy Update for May - Many Miles, Many MPG Lulz
- Are Bladders Better?
- Trunk Lid Is Falling Apart
- Interior Already Shows Signs of Wear
- Top 5 Things It Needs
- Made for Sin City Desert Runs
- Perfect Car for a Tour of Los Angeles
- Fuel Economy Update for June — Needle Doesn't Move on Supercharged V8
- My Neighbor Got One
- The Sun Sets on the F-Type
- Friday Tire Blaze
- Big Cat Moves On
What Did We Get?
A 550-horsepower aluminum sports car that's brighter than the sun and louder than Jimmie Johnson's NASCAR Chevy. In proper terms, it's a 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe in Firesand Metallic that exhales through an adjustable exhaust with four polished tailpipes.
The "R" designation is new for this year along with the coupe body style. It means our car is the big dog of the lineup, which translates into a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 under the hood and a 0-60-mph time of just 3.8 seconds. It also means that our F-Type coupe comes standard with a firmer suspension, 20-inch wheels and tires, upgraded brakes and a more capable electronic differential.
Upgrades to the F-Type R don't stop at the hard parts either. Upgraded seats, an extra-thick, flat-bottom steering wheel and aluminum trim liven up the already nicely detailed interior. It's not a spacious cabin, but it does have the purposeful look of a serious sports car.
All those extras don't come cheap, as the F-Type R Coupe starts at $99,925.
What Options Does It Have?
As the F-Type R Coupe is loaded right out of the box, the list of add-ons we wanted for our tester was short. Dark Gray versions of the standard 20-inch wheels added $1,000, while the Vision Pack added another $2,100. It includes adaptive headlights, a rear parking camera and sensors, and a blind spot monitor. In a car with a rear window as small as the F-Type's, it was a worthwhile addition. Finally, the aptly named Black Pack swapped out some of the chrome trim for dark trim to blend better with the wheels.
And, of course, there's that color. It's officially called Firesand Metallic and it's a no-cost option. It wouldn't look out of place on a Lamborghini or a McLaren F1, and yet it looks perfectly suitable on a Jaguar. Go figure.
All-in cost: $103,425.
Why We Got It
The F-Type is Jaguar's new halo car. It has reset the tone for the entire brand in terms of styling, performance and attitude. It's not the most expensive model in the brand's lineup, but it's the blueprint for every model that comes after it. The upcoming XE sport sedan will borrow heavily from the F-Type so if this coupe is good, it bodes well for the highly anticipated four-door.
This will also be a good test of Jaguar's growing reputation for reliability. The brand finished second behind Porsche in the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. Our own experience with a long-term XF sedan reinforced that reputation, as it racked up over 23,000 miles in one year without a single problem.
Speaking of Porsche, it'll be interesting to see how this F-Type stacks up against our recently departed 911. Apart from the fact that the Porsche was a convertible, the two cars line up well in terms of price, performance and the ability to generate jealousy in the hearts of our fellow commuters.
Will the novelty of our nuclear orange Jaguar coupe fade as the months go by? Or has Jaguar once again created a sports car for the ages? Check back here daily to get our impressions firsthand.
Best mpg: 23.7
Worst mpg: 12.0
Average mpg over 453 miles: 14.6
The manufacturer provided this vehicle for the purpose of evaluation.
Our newest long-term test car, the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe packs a wicked 550-horsepower supercharged V8 into one of the sleekest body shapes to come out in our lifetime. To say this thing writes a big check is an understatement.
It certainly holds its own on the streets of Beverly Hills, but what happens when we flick off the traction control on a few hundred thousand square-feet of asphalt and hook up our data loggers?
The following performance numbers were originally published along with our Road Test of the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe that would eventually become our long-termer.
Driver: Chris Walton
Drive Type: Front engine, Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 8-speed automatic
Engine Type: Supercharged, direct-injected, V8, gasoline with auto stop-start
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 5,000 / 305
Redline (rpm): 6,600
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 550 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 502 @ 2,500
Brake Type (front): 15-inch one-piece ventilated with two-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 14.8-inch one-piece ventilated with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent double wishbones, coil springs, self-adjusting two-mode variable dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent double wishbones, coil springs, self-adjusting two-mode variable dampers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 255/35ZR20 97Y
Tire Size (rear): 295/30ZR20 101Y
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: P Zero
Tire Type: Summer Performance
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,906
0-30 (sec): 1.8 (w/TC on 1.8)
0-45 (sec): 2.7 (w/TC on 2.7)
0-60 (sec): 3.8 (w/TC on 3.8)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 3.6 (w/TC on 3.4)
0-75 (sec): 5.3 w/TC on 5.3)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 11.8 @ 121.3 (w/TC on 11.6 @ 122.2)
30-0 (ft): 26
60-0 (ft): 106
Slalom (mph): 71.0 (68.4 w/ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.98 (0.98 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 1,500
Acceleration comments: 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.
Braking comments: 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.
Now these are serious seats. They come standard on the "R" version of the F-Type Coupe and they're designed to hold you in place while the 550-horsepower V8 is doing its best to yank you out of them.
Normally, these are exactly the kind of seats I like, but I'm not sold on this set just yet. For starters they have an oddly placed seam right down the middle of the seat cushion. The first time I got in I thought I was sitting on something. I imagine that will subside somewhat as the leather wears in a bit.
Beyond that minor issue, my biggest worry about the long-term comfort of these seats is they're overall level of firmness. Normally, this is not something to complain about, but after a couple of hours sitting in traffic I never settled into them. They just felt hard and unyielding more so than simply firm and supportive. Again, this may go away as the seats work in a little, but for now they're more aggressive than I would like for a daily driver.
Thanks to its tiny rear window, the blind spots in the truly magnificent 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe are considerable. As in huge. As in I'm shocked that you have to buy the optional "Vision Pack" ($2,100 MSRP) to get blind-spot monitoring with reverse traffic detection.
The Vision Pack, which sounds like something you'd take on a spiritual quest, also includes adaptive front lighting, cornering lamps, intelligent high beams, front parking sensors and a rear backup camera. You will want these technologies if you expect to change lanes, parallel park or back out of a parking space.
I know that some drivers consider blind-spot monitors a wussy feature: Real men (and women) turn their heads. By all means, look over your shoulder, but head-turning will not help you in the Jaguar F-Type. Blinking lights on the mirrors will.
If you are fortunate enough to be buying or leasing this car and can only afford one of the optional equipment packages, skip the Extended Leather Pack ($2,200 MSRP) and get the Vision Pack. Leather is luxurious; safety is priceless.
Just look at it, glinting in the sun. You can see its muscles tensing, as if it's about to leap into something heart-pounding and wonderful. The 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is like a beautifully sculpted British action-movie star who expects to be treated to a certain kind of lifestyle. Sadly, it's one I don't currently have.
Dream cars work best in dream lives, and bringing the Jaguar F-Type into my reality is nothing short of cruel. I'm a suburbanite, not a woman with an upscale farmhouse at the end of a winding canyon road near the Sonoma coast. I don't have time for long, languorous weekend drives up the Mendocino coast, or 90-mph sprints across the heartland. I'd need more time at driving school to live up to this car's potential.
The next time I have the good fortune to take our Jaguar out for the weekend, I'm going to have to provide the roads and destinations it prefers. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure it will dump me, leaving only its snarl to remember it by.
Ever watch a big cat stretch itself to noodle length and drape its belly on the ground? That's what our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe would do at every driveway and deep gutter if you took them at anything close to regular speed.
The car is built low, low, low to the ground, and I expect that we will scrape the protective underbelly shield quite a bit over the next 12 months, even when taking utmost care.
The dilemma: I signed out our new 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe because, well, because it's the F-Type. Unfortunately, I was coming back from a weekend vacation and had my travel golf bag and a suitcase. I could've swapped into another car, but hey, this is exactly the scenario one expects from these pages. I'm here to serve.
Now, just a day earlier I was at a golf course when a woman in an F-Type roadster pulled up. Having written the F-Type road test, I knew the trunk wasn't ideal for carrying, well, anything. Nevertheless, she pulled out a lightweight walking golf bag complete with a full set of clubs — no driver removed. She told me she actually brought her clubs to the dealership before buying the F-Type to make sure they'd fit, a very smart idea when going on a test drive.
Women's clubs are shorter, however, and my bag isn't a lightweight model. At the same time, the F-Type Coupe has a bigger trunk than the roadster. I had hope...
...but I lacked luck, as there was just no way my bag was going to fit in the F-Type's trunk, be it with or without the travel bag or with clubs removed. Although the Coupe's trunk is indeed bigger, its hatchback is actually narrower than the roadster's "boot" lid.
Therefore, I carefully slid the travel bag into the passenger footwell, protected the leather with a sweatshirt and went on my way. It felt a bit like a mummy was riding shotgun.
So I guess the golf clubs do fit, but not where you'd want them too.
I was fortunate enough to attend the West Coast launch of the Jaguar F-Type Coupe in the middle of June. I had the opportunity to drive the roadster when it showed up at Edmunds HQ a while back and it quickly became one of my favorites.
The F-type is one of those rare cars that I would consider getting a coupe instead of a convertible. It's not for any practical reasons like cargo capacity, though, I just really like the lines of the Coupe.
The first part of the event was to drive a V6 S Coupe from the Sunset Strip to Angeles Crest Highway, over the mountains, into the low desert and finally to our destination: Willow Springs International Raceway.
In that drive, my suspicions that the V6 was a worthy engine choice was confirmed. For the majority of drivers, this 380-hp powerplant will be more than adequate. It doesn't sound half bad, either. It may have a slight advantage for a lot of potential owners, too, and not just in the price.
As far as I could tell, the suspension wasn't quite as stiff as the V8 R that we acquired. It still rides like a sports car, don't get me wrong, but on the small cracks in the pavement it seemed to soak them up better. Another possible advantage is the sound. The V8's engine and exhaust note is brash. The crackles from the exhaust are so far over the top that it almost made a knuckle-dragger like me self-conscious. Almost.
I like the V6, but I love the V8. I love that it challenges me. I love that it scares me. I don't care that it's too loud or that I get horrible fuel economy figures. I love driving and the F-Type R Coupe is a driver's car.
To continue my post on the West Coast introduction of the F-Type Coupe, we rejoin the action at Willow Springs Raceway.
Time on the big track was limited, and we were strongly encouraged to be kind to the cars. That meant no bouncing off rev limiters, sliding, or other punishing activities. We also had a pro driver along for the ride to make sure we didn't get in over our heads. Compared to when I used to run there in my personal car, I was shifting and braking early. Fine by me, I certainly don't want to be they guy that bends one of these beauties.
My pro driver for the second of two track runs was Roberto Guerrero. Yes, that Roberto Guerrero.
The F-Type R Coupe is well suited to a high-horsepower track like Willow Springs. It pulls steadily down both straights and its small footprint makes threading it through the tighter turns three through six (known as the Omega) much easier. As far as I can tell in the video, I barely brushed 130 mph on the straights. I braked so early that I was coasting for a few seconds before I had to make the first turn.
In the long sweeping right of turn two I got to feel how balanced the F-type is. A slight lift of the pedal from maintenance throttle got the car to rotate just a bit and it the rear tires released very gently — no snap oversteer here. Coming out of turn two, feeding in more and more power, the Jag tracks out beautifully with no need for countersteering.
Mr. Guerrero pointed out that my high-horsepower line (squaring off the turn-in) in turn seven was unnecessary. The next time around, he had me ease into the turn earlier with less steering input. Sure enough, we had plenty of track left as we powered onto the back straight. The greatest compliment I got from him was, "you've been around this track before, haven't you?"
It's pretty unlikely that the typical F-type owner will be participating in any track days, but it's good to know that it is certainly up to the task. Even a smaller, more technical course like the Streets of Willow should provide plenty of thrills. I'm convinced that our Corvette Stingray would handily beat the Jaguar on track, but I'm also confident that I'd have more fun in the F-type. There's only one way to find out, right? Hello? Anyone?
Well before the 2015 Jaguar F-Type went on sale, I had the distinct pleasure of attending a small presentation by Jaguar's Director of Design, Ian Callum. As the resident design geek here at Edmunds, I was in heaven.
Mr. Callum was fairly adamant from the beginning that the Jaguar F-Type is not a tribute car. By tribute car, he's referring to retro-inspired cars like the Ford GT, Mini Cooper, Chevy Camaro and Fiat 500. He clearly conveyed that the F-Type isn't an E-Type for the 21st century, but rather, an all-new sports car that pays subtle homage to its heritage.
Some of the E-Type's styling cues are obvious, some aren't. The F-Type's overall shape, falls somewhere in between. The nose isn't nearly as the E's, but the greenhouse (window sections) has some hints in the basic shape. The most significant nod to the past is the tapered tail that ends in a point and the rounded fender bulges over the rear wheels. The F-Type's sharper sculpting gives it plenty of distance from the E-Type's curves, though.
The E-Type's whisper quiet styling echoes are what really make me happy. The rounded cutaway element in the taillights is cool on its own, but knowing that it's inspired from the E makes it all the more enticing. Then there are the twin center-mounted exhaust pipes for the V6, both with appropriate growls. Finally, the barrel-sided doors clearly hint at the past, but the way they blend into the rest of the body are thoroughly modern.
The Jaguar C-X16 concept that laid the groundwork for the F-Type had one last heritage cue, and it's one that I wished had made it into production but totally get why it didn't: a side-hinged hatch. My fifth grade teacher had a V12 E-Type coupe, and when I saw that hatch I was awestruck. Given the potential weight penalty, issues with curbside loading for right- or left-hand-drive countries and a more restrictive trunk opening, it's a good thing the F-Type has a conventional hatch.
All things considered, there are few cars on the market today that have the allure of the Jaguar F-Type. At least for me, it's the complete package, convenience be damned.
In the month of July, our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe added nearly 1,500 miles to its odometer while consuming a tick more than 108 gallons of 91-octane swill. All up, it registered 13.4 miles per gallon for the month.
This result is woefully short of its EPA combined rating of 18 mpg, but perhaps not surprising given how satisfying it is to dip deep into the travel of the Jag's right pedal. We did manage one fill that surpassed its EPA highway rating. But not many on staff possess that level of self-restraint.
Worst Fill MPG: 8.9 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 23.7 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 13.4 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 18 Combined (16 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 200.6 miles
Current Odometer: 5458 miles
Note: Cars are sometimes refueled before their fuel tanks are nearly empty. As such, "best" and "worst" fuel economy entries above are not necessarily the result of an entire tank's worth of driving.
In the automotive realm, there are few topics that elicit such fierce response as the rationale and orientation of a manual-shift automatic transmission. Push/Pull, Left/Right, Up/Down. If the SAE has a document on the topic, I haven't seen it. A "Best Practices" policy would be a good thing, don't you think? I will freely stoke the fire here by saying that while there are plenty of shift-able automatics out there, only a handful, like the one in our long-term 2014 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe test car, that get it right.
Besides keeping the now-familiar P-R-N-D top-to-bottom order on the console shifter, the Sport mode is not in line with D, but is accessed by nudging the shifter TOWARD the driver and into its own gate. Best Practice. Furthermore, manual-shift mode is nested within Sport and the orientation of the downshift/upshift actuator is Push Forward = Downshift and Pull Rearward = Upshift. Best practice. Why? Because that's what race cars do. Why? Because it follows the inertia of the driver. Imagine being hard on the brakes for a corner and need to crack off a couple downshifts. Your body is leaning forward against the belts and your inclination is to PUSH the lever also forward. Ditto for hard acceleration when your body presses rearward into the seat and you PULL the shifter for an upshift. For the record (and just off the top of my head) Jaguar, BMW, and Mazda get this right.
As for the shift paddles, the ones in the F-Type operate in Drive, as well as Sport and Manual modes. Holding for a second or two the Upshift paddle in manual mode reverts to automatic mode. Best Practice. The Jaguar has steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. Best practice? I can see the advantages these wheel-mounted shifters that rotate with the wheel as well as column-mounted shifters that don't. Assuming you keep your hands at (9 and 3, rotating means they'll always be at your fingertips. That is unless, of course, you have to rotate the steering wheel more than about 120-degrees and need to remove your hands. At this point the shifter function becomes reversed. Fixed-to-the-column shifters (like in a Ferrari) are usually much larger and remain in place while the steering wheel rotates so there's no chance they'll be reversed. I lean toward this as a Best Practice.
The Jaguar's shift paddles only operate with a fingertip PULL. There is no thumb-tip PUSH. Best Practice. Believe it or not, both Porsche (with the button shift, not the paddles) and Chevrolet (the Corvette C6 automatic) got this wrong. Finally, pulling the left paddle initiates a downshift and right an upshift. Best Practice because any other way is just wrong.
Okay, let us have it. Did Jaguar get it right?
Up until this weekend, our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R coupe was the most powerful, most aggressively-tuned F-Type you could buy. It no longer holds that distinction after the introduction of the Jaguar F-Type Project 7, the first vehicle from the company's Special Operations Team.
It's a limited-edition roadster that features revised bodywork, a 575-horsepower version of the 5.0-liter V8 under the hood of our coupe and a few other smaller design details. The unmistakable aero cover behind the rear seats was designed to recall the look of the legendary Jaguar D-Type while the Project 7 name recalls the seven victories Jaguar has achieved at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Nice car, but I still like the look of our coupe better. And I could live with only 550-hp.
I've lusted after the 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe since day one. The convertible looked great, but when the coupe was introduced at last year's L.A. Auto Show, it took my breath away. The F-Type came out in 2014, but if I'm honest, my love for this E-Type-inspired design is deep-seated in my childhood. My father, who owned a few E-Types throughout the years, would always point them out me and say, "See that, son? That's a Jaguar E-Type, one of the most beautiful cars ever made. Look at the feline character lines, the way it flows." Someone in the Jaguar design studios must've met my father too, because in person even more than in photos, the F-Type is a vivid, modern representation of the artful form that defined the iconic E-Type.
Although I've never driven an E-Type, I did finally getting some time in our long-term F-Type last weekend. I knew ahead of time that driving a car I held in such high regard could be dangerous though. My fragile, childhood dreams were hanging in the balance. What if it didn't live up to my expectations? What if my dream car turned out to be rubbish? Surprise, it's great.
For starters, I love the way this thing sounds. The exhaust is hilariously entertaining in any gear and at any throttle position. With the windows up, there's a small hint of supercharger whine inside the cabin, but not enough to drown out the fantastic exhaust and especially not when you've got the active exhaust engaged. At low RPM it's deep and guttural; at wide-open-throttle it's crisp, it growls and resonates off nearby buildings; and on deceleration it crackles and pops, like gunfire. Of all possible cars to drive through an active warzone, I recommend the F-Type the least. And so you don't have to imagine it:
After my initial childlike fascination with the exhaust subsided, I decided to show the F-Type some curves. I put several hundred miles on the odometer in 3 days, most of which were in the canyons and all of which were fantastic. There's a neutral cornering balance (at least until you turn off traction control and bury your right foot in the loud pedal) with no perceptible body roll. The F-Type is flat through corners, with laser-precise steering, which makes it exceedingly easy to drive fast.
Whether I was dashing through the switchback mountain roads, stopped at a traffic light or fueling up, the Jag garnered more attention than almost any car I've ever driven. When I drove our Corvette to Monterey a few months ago, I thought it elicited a Social Ownership Experience, but it doesn't hold a candle to the F-Type Coupe. Blame the gargling exhaust or the Firesand Metallic paint, but this thing turns heads everywhere. Thumbs up from cyclists, requests for pictures in parking lots, enthusiastic waves from other Jag owners, and even the occasional "Awesome car man!" were directed it's way around every corner.
The F-Type (especially in coupe form) is one of the best looking cars ever made, and the stunning design is reinforced by a magnificent driving experience. Undoubtedly, the next 11 months of testing will cause some of the bloom to fall off the rose and Edmunds staff will find something to complain about (ride stiffness or seat comfort, blah blah blah) but for me, for now, the dream remains unblemished.
Our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe has one of those chin spoilers that rides so low it scrapes, often. We're not talking C5 Corvette levels of contact but it happens. And it shows. So I grabbed a razor and cleaned her up. You've seen the before. Now the after...
The hood of our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe does not align properly. This car is on loan from Jaguar and did see some miles prior to joining us, so I can't say for certain this is a build-quality issue. But it's there, nonetheless. Take a look...
This is the passenger side above the wheel opening. Its panels line up nicely here.
On the driver side it looks like this. I tried to catch both sides at the same angle, but I can tell you that, in person, the misalignment is stark. Next time the car goes in for a service we'll ask if the hood can be adjusted. However I have a feeling that if one side is flush and the other this far off there's more going on here than hood alignment. We'll see.
The tire pressure warning system on our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe isn't the good kind. Like our BMW 328, it will tell you when you have a flat and on which tire, but not what the exact tire pressure is.
So when our Jag started to intermittently flash its tire pressure warning light on the right rear, I had to guess that the tire was teetering right on that 20%-low threshold that usually activates these devices. And experience tells me that's a slow leak. And living in L.A. where we've got 9,000,000,000 construction sites, experience tells me the cause is a nail. And if my luck tells me anything, it's going to be right in the shoulder where it can't be patched...
Two out of three ain't bad. The tire was reading exactly 20% low, the cause of the leak was a finish nail, and the location of the hole was well within the safe zone for a patch.
The only bad news was seeing the tires up close at eye level. Turns out 550 horsepower through the rear wheels and monkey-grip from the fronts has a negative impact on tire life. They're not going to need to be replaced right now, but before the end of our loan, we'll be shopping for new meats.
Total cost: $30.
Total time: 20 minutes.
August was a good month for fuel economy in our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. It turned in improved numbers across the board and one of its most efficient overall tanks so far.
Unfortunately, good mileage in this 550-horsepower beast is a relative term.
Its overall number jumped from a lowly 13.4 mpg to a still thirsty 14.4 mpg. A big jump for sure, but still well short of its EPA rating of 18 mpg in combined driving.
Turns out, when you have this much power in a car this capable, it's pretty hard to go easy on it. Credit for the overall jump goes to some longer trips when cruise control was utilized to keep the big V8 in check.
We'll see if the overall number continues to climb in the month ahead.
Don't bet on it.
Worst Fill MPG: 8.9
Best Fill MPG: 23.7
Average Lifetime MPG: 14.4
EPA MPG Rating: 18 Combined (16 City / 23 Highway)
Best Range: 292.4 miles
Current Odometer: 7,030 miles
One of the issues that the 2015 Jaguar F-Type gets dinged for most is its limited cargo capacity, especially the roadster's 8 cubic-foot space. But the coupe's 11-cubic-foot trunk fits my life just fine, even when I'm hauling more stuff than normal.
I was planning on helping Photo Editor Kurt Niebuhr with his vintage motorcycle, but was a little worried about getting my tools and a Craftsman motorcycle jack down to his place in the Jag. In my head, I was guessing that some of the gear would have to go in the passenger footwell, or worse, on the seat.
As it turns out, my fears were unfounded. Everything fit easily under the hatch and cargo cover without any effort. In fact, they all fit perfectly, wedging up against each other so there wasn't any shifting or rattling.
With any luck though, my colleagues won't read this and will remain hesitant to sign-out my favorite long-termer. This car truly speaks to me.
No, that's not what they say about me when I stroll into the Edmunds office. Okay, maybe it is, how would I know? I do talk a little louder than most, and sound travels well across our open floor plan. My therapist says I shouldn't look at this as a bad thing, instead telling me, "You liven the place up for them, Mike."
But there's no question you can say "Here comes Mr. Obnoxious" when the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe drives by.
A friend and I were heading out to get some ice cream the other day, I was going maybe 10 mph in the complex parking lot before backing off the throttle for a stop sign.
"Crackle, pop, bang!" the Jag F-Type R sound show began. She looked over at me and said, "Oh my gosh, you love this car, don't you?"
Yeah, I kinda do. And yes, maybe I am a bit obnoxious. But the Jag sounds so fantastic, even if the exhaust noise is a bit over-tuned and overly-contrived.
But unless it's 5 a.m. and I don't want to roust the neighbors, my index finger somehow always seems drawn to the "loud exhaust" button on the center console.
So far, I have yet to tire of the Jag's constant commotion. Not exactly minding the power and speed, either.
Pretty much anytime I'm driving our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, it's in Dynamic Mode. I like the responsiveness and immediacy. After all, it is a sports car. While running some errands, I discovered that Dynamic mode remains on after you shut it off, but not always.
As it turns out, the Dynamic mode will remain selected for six hours after you shut it down. It makes sense to me, since during a daily run around the city, I like it to remember where we left off. If I park it for the night, it'll revert to normal mode, which means I won't startle my neighbors out of their slumber when I start up in the morning. Well, maybe not startle them as much. It's still quite growly at startup, regardless of mode.
The key to our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe resided in my pocket for the past three days. Of the time we spent together I have to say that, by far, the F-Type's most endearing quality is of the audible variety. Let me explain...
As my neighbors will attest, there is no quiet way to start this car. A press of the start-button is the only thing separating them from the Kraken. I'm no Perseus and I've come to terms with that. So I give in. Roll down the windows and fire it up. The engine and, ultimately, exhaust explode to life in a cataclysm of internal combustion. And the car is still in park.
Initially I feel guilty, considering my day starts well before 5:00 a.m. I soon get over it. My neighbors are partially at fault, here. They are the ones who sleep with windows open, whose car alarms are too sensitive, whose dogs bark at the smallest of atomic detonations. I digress.
Behind the wheel I make a few adjustments. Slide the shifter into manual mode. Press the default eco-button to turn it off. Press the exhaust button to unleash the fun. Turn off the radio volume. Oddly, this radio is unfamiliar to me. I haven't yet cared to figure it out. I'm more interested in the tunes from the tailpipe. One channel streams the V8-growl induced by my right foot. Another, the rev-matched downshifts triggered by my finger. Those aren't even the best part. Pull out of the throttle and the exhaust snaps, crackles and pops like the Rice Krispies trio on HGH. It brings a smile to my face every time.
There is a downside to all of this clatter, which may be directly related to my getting old and responsible and blah blah. Sometimes, when slowing, I found myself stifling an otherwise giddy downshift with an upshift, to keep the exhaust hushed. Why something so ridiculous? Pedestrians. This car is so loud that any other technique would absolutely scare the socks off of the unsuspecting foot-traveler. The F-Type is that loud. And that fun.
Yes, our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R has a start-stop system. I know, right? But a lot of new European cars have one. Gasoline is outrageously expensive on the other side of the pond.
A representative of a U.S. carmaker that sells over there told me European-market buyers actually demand this feature. If it's not standard, he said, they'll pay for the option more often than not. This wouldn't be the case if it didn't work, and there's no arguing with the pure logic of the basic concept.
Indeed our initial test with our 2014 BMW 328i x-Drive Gran Turismo (say that three times fast) suggested there's real money to be saved. Use of the system earned us another 2.5 mpg, an improvement of 9.4 percent.
But was that real? What would happen if we tried it with another car, our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R, for instance?
Last week I returned to our Orange County city course with the F-Type and made one lap in each mode on consecutive mornings.
Here's how the Jaguar fared:
Start-Stop Disabled: 19.7 mpg (5.1 gallons per 100 miles)
Start-Stop Enabled: 22.1 mpg (4.5 gallons per 100 miles)
Like the BMW, the Jag delivered 2.4 more mpg with the start-stop system in play. But because the 550-horsepower supercharged 5-liter V8 is generally thirstier, this amounted to a 12.2-percent gain on a straight miles-per-gallon basis.
As I've said before, MPG is a bad unit. It's mathematically upside down. In terms of fuel used, the thing we really want to know, the savings amounted to 0.445 gallons (4.082 vs. 3.637) over 80.4 miles, and that works out to a 10.9-percent reduction in the amount of moolah spent at the pump — a slightly smaller figure, perhaps, but still quite significant.
Once again, I ran this as a best-case test like the BMW. I'm still trying to wrap my arms around what's possible. So I didn't run the climate control and I didn't pack up if the cars ahead crept forward. Next time I'll alter these elements to see how much of a negative effect they have.
It wasn't that hard to live with the system. The Jag's engine re-fires relatively quickly when the brake pedal is lifted, so it's not as if I was still waiting for it to come back on line by the time I shifted my foot over to the other pedal.
The Jaguar owner's manual is more specific about the conditions it takes to reset the system. It re-arms itself when the creep speed exceeds 2.5 mph, which turned out to be useful insight in more than one traffic situation. In retrospect, the BMW's threshold seemed higher.
The biggest drawback to use of the system has to do with the very essence of the Jag's glorious-sounding V8 powerplant. This is the kind of engine you want to hear, the kind you rev for no reason. A tiny part of me died each time it shut down. On the other hand, it does give off an intoxicating roar when it fires back up again.
It got me thinking. Start-stop systems would be easiest to take on a luxury car like the Lexus LS, which is so quiet at idle you can't tell if it's running or not in the first place. Who would know? Who would care?
Our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type has a little secret under the dash. When the car is off, the vents are hidden away giving the interior a cleaner, sleeker look. Turn on the F-Type and the vents rise up from the center stack, which makes me feel like a superhero of some sort (or a super-villain if you prefer). It's a little bit like the Corvette's hidden USB port in that sense. Click through for a video clip.
For reference, both windows are rolled up and you can still hear the fantastic exhaust. Now it just needs some lasers beams or rockets installed in the headlights.
The door handles on the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe are similar to but not quite the same as the door handles on the Tesla Model S. You need to press the unlock button on the key fob to pop the door handles on the Jaguar F-Type. The Tesla's opened automatically as you approached the car.
The Jag's are also painted the same Firesand Metallic as the car's body. The Tesla's were not. But they both tuck away nicely when locked.
See them in action after the jump.
Our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe has no shortage of fans around here, and I'm the latest to join the club. This car looks amazing, goes fast and sounds good when you're doing so, obnoxious exhaust and all.
So you don't need me answering the hard-hitting questions like, "This car's really awesome. How awesome is it?"
But you know what's more awesome than this car? Being able to see out the back.
The F-Type's wide C-pillars look great on the outside, but inside they create two big blind spots at the 5 and 7 o'clock positions. The rear window doesn't help much, either. Take a look at the photo below for an approximation of your field of view. Expect half of that tiny view to be blocked when the active spoiler comes up at highway speeds.
All this makes the rearview camera and blind spot monitoring systems essential items to put on your "must have" list.
If it was my money, I'd go for the F-Type convertible. The convertible solves all the visibility issues — well, at least when the top is down. If you compare V8 models, the convertible starts at about $7,000 less than the F-Type R Coupe. However, you'd have to sacrifice 55 horsepower to do so. I think I can manage with "only" 495 horsepower.
What would you do? Save the money and get the drop top? Or go for the power and styling of the coupe?
I usually don't choose a car like the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R for a weekend road trip. It seats just two, so my family can't fit. But this time I was going it alone up to Buttonwillow Raceway Park.
No, I wasn't driving. This was an SCCA race weekend that required a competition license, a roll cage and other dedicated safety gear. I was going there to work as a corner marshal, something I've done for more years than I care to admit.
It's a great way to get into motorsports before you have the budget. You get to participate in a crucial way that puts you in the action. Your role makes you a student of the craft to the point that an aspiring driver can figure out how to drive a corner and how to pass well before you own a car or even a helmet. And there are times when drivers will come up to you after a session for a critique of their line. This hobby has allowed me to participate in Indy Car and Formula 1 races, too.
But I digress. This is about the freeway-heavy trip from Orange County to Buttonwillow Raceway and back in our Jaguar F-Type.
My route north mimicked that of my recent road trip to Laguna Seca in the Kia K900 sedan, except this track is located before the Highway 46 turnoff. This run was pretty much Interstate 5 all the way, with a few stops thrown in for food and whatnot. And before I left home I ran a few errands after the start/stop test was over.
After getting my track credentials I filled up in Buttonwillow after 287 miles. My calculator said I had averaged 23.6 mpg.
Over the weekend I drove between the track and my hotel a couple of times, hit the drive-through once or twice and made an 18-mile run to the next town to pick up a pizza. And of course my friends on the flag team wanted joy rides after the last checkered flag fell. Those miles went by at 18.9 mpg.
I filled up before I left so I could separate the Buttonwillow miles and see what a pure point-to-point highway run at 70-something miles per hour would amount to. The answer: 27.1 mpg for the 200.2 miles to my usual pump #2 at the Sam's Shell station on the edge of my neighborhood.
It would have been ridiculously easy to do worse. The 550-horsepower V8 has an intoxicating snort (especially with the pipes opened up) that makes you want to exaggerate every throttle application.
But it's also got a boatload of torque the makes it easy to merge, climb grades and pass slowpokes without kicking it down into a lower gear. Get yourself in sync with the low-end grunt that's available at the bottom end and you can go far. Literally.
See me after class if you want to know more about the other thing. We could use some new blood.
In this case, I mean it quite literally. Take a look at the shift paddles in our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. They're losing their orange.
Actually, they're losing their Ignis Metallic Orange. That's the official name of the color used on the shift paddles. It's also used on the start button and the toggle switch for dynamic mode. The idea was to highlight all the controls that help give this car a little extra when you want to drive hard.
I like the idea behind this splash of color, but seeing it rubbing away on the edges of the shift paddles is a little disappointing. Not only does it look shabby, it exposes the fact that behind that glittering orange sheen, the paddles are made of white plastic. This is probably the case in more instances that we know, but it's never fun to be reminded of it.
Other than the engine and the wheels, everything about our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is small. It's not very long on the outside, the cabin is tight for two and the cargo space in back fills up quickly.
So it wasn't very surprising when I flipped down the sun visor the other day and realized that it, too, is small. And I mean comically small, like it was stolen off a Barbie Corvette.
It's barely big enough to block out the glare of a street light, let alone the entire sun. I've seen sun visors of this type before, but the car was a convertible so it had a reason not to clutter up the top of the windshield. In this case, I'm not sure what happened.
When I put my ambitious-pants on and asked editor in chief Scott Oldham if I could use a long-term car for a track day at Buttonwillow Raceway, I had a short list of candidates in mind.
Our MX-5 Miata is no stranger to the track, so it was an option, but it was in the shop, so no dice. Our C7 Corvette was about to depart our fleet and it wasn't available either. Our CL65 AMG even crossed my mind but that sounded more like a Viking funeral than a track day. The only viable option left (and the one I really wanted in the first place) was our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, but with my limited track-day experiences, racing a $103,425 Jag was asking a lot.
Luck, it seemed, was on my side. Scott gave me the green light. "You can take the Jag, but be extra careful," he said. Cue the workshop music.
Northern California Racing Club hosted the event and they require that you do your own tech inspections. So, the day before the track event, I checked fluid levels, tire wear, tire pressure, brake pad life and torque specs for the lugnuts.
All of the fluids were within their appropriate ranges, but I wanted to buy a few extra quarts of oil for safety's sake. Strangely, the manual and oil-cap had different specifications. I opted for the thicker of the two (the oil specified on the cap), the 5W-20.
Pad life looked good, lug nuts were torqued down at all four corners and tire pressures were all set to 36 psi, as recommended by the manual, the onboard computer and the door panel specifications. It would turn out later, that 36 psi wasn't enough, but we'll get to that. What I was most worried about, was the uneven wear on our driver-side front tire.
The corner of the tire was running out of tread. We don't know exactly how this test-mule started its life with the folks over at Jaguar or what the tires went through during the first 4,000 miles, so we can't say exactly how this wear-pattern developed, but I'd guess a lot of right-handers. The track configuration I'd be running (Clockwise #13) was full of right-handers too, so I'd have to be extra cautious.
I considered calling off the track day entirely. What if I blew up a tire mid-session? What if I wore it down so severely that I had to tow the car home? I would be 120 miles from home and the F-Type doesn't have a spare tire. That would suck. My coworkers quickly shamed me into submission though, reminding me that the tire wasn't dangerous yet and saying, "You gotta run what you got man," and "go slower, it's not timed. Get home safe."
After the tech inspection, I loaded up an overnight bag and a cooler, and met up with a few friends. We stopped for gas, grabbed some snacks and headed north. The trunk on the Jag is small, but it is definitely large enough for a few duffel bags on a weekend road trip.
Driver's meeting was at 7:00 a.m. Sunday, so we booked a hotel just outside Bakersfield the night before, just 15 miles south of Buttonwillow Raceway. The drive from Los Angeles to the hotel meant I would arrive at the track with about half a tank of fuel, which was ideal. This meant less weight in the car and hopefully, less wear on the tires.
Even though I was apprehensive, I had high expectations for the Jaguar. I'd driven it pretty hard on local back roads and fallen deeply in love, but that doesn't really compare to a wide open racetrack. How would the tires hold up? Would I get passed by track-day experts with half the power? Would the F-Type live up to all my expectations? Stay tuned.
Getting up before sunrise is never easy, but when you have the keys to a bright orange sports car and a track day ahead of you, it really softens the blow. After a massive continental breakfast (Mmmmm muffins) I arrived at Buttonwillow Raceway in our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe for an early drivers meeting.
For what was essentially my first open track day, I was placed in the "Solo Green" group. In addition to the evergreen advice like "keep all four wheels on the track" this novice group had a few basic rules about passing. Passing was only allowed on five specific (straight) sections of the track, you could only pass when given the signal, and if you see a driver in your rearview mirror, that means they're faster than you, so you should probably let them pass.
In the pits, the Jag was a superstar. Other drivers stopped to ask questions and take photos, and they were all surprised to hear I was actually going to put it on track. This didn't help to settle my nerves. If you read the previous update, you'll know I was a bit nervous about the front left tire and its uneven wear and the fact that this thing costs more than my insurance policy would pay out. The last thing I wanted was hold up traffic in a brand new, bright orange, 550-horsepower supercar. Well, that or go off in a blaze of orange-tinged glory.
Further adding to my confidence-killing-conundrum, the onboard computer wouldn't give me tire pressure numbers so I checked the old-fashioned way, with a gauge. How quaint. All four tires were at the 36 psi setting prescribed by the door jamb, manual and computer, so I strapped on my helmet and staged for the first run of the day.
I started off by taking right handers with caution. Straight sections were where I could unleash all 550 horsepower. Most of the cars in the solo group had less than half the power, so all the passing I was doing didn't come as much of a surprise, but the Jag's straight-line speed was still seriously impressive.
I spent the day in Dynamic mode, with traction and stability control on, which allowed the F-Type a small amount of slip from the rear tires before it cut power. Basically, it lets you have a little bit of fun without coming out of a corner facing the wrong direction.
My morning session was mostly getting to know the track and the car. Thanks to various black flag penalties incurred by other drivers and engine troubles throughout the pits, the second session was less crowded so I hoped to push the car a bit harder.
Instead, during the first lap of the second session, a tire pressure warning came on. The left rear tire was too low. I pitted immediately and checked the tire: 40 psi. After a warm-up lap, I figured right where the pressure should be. Combine this with the earlier inability of the tire pressure monitors to give me any reading at all, and I decided to trust the digital gauge instead of the onboard computer.
I re-checked all four tires (40, 39, 41, 40) and went back out. After another full lap, I made it back to the front straight away, where the Jag hit around 120 mph. A series of bright yellow warning lights lit up on the dash, "Tire Pressure too Low for High Speed!" My translation? Go faster. The tires needed heat for this kind of high-speed driving and one way to heat them up was to drive the car quicker. I cleared the warnings and on the next pass along the front straight, the Jag cleared 125 mph without incident. It had worked.
After the second session, there was a two hour break before my next run group. I decided to let the tires cool completely before checking them again.
After lunch, I put a few gallons of fuel in the Jag and dug deeper in to the menus. Finally, on a sub-menu buried deep in the Jag's computer, I found an option titled, "Handbook Pressures."
Here, the recommendation for "Low Speed" driving is 36 psi and the "Normal" driving recommendation is 41 psi. I guess the folks at Jaguar consider 125 miles per hour to be a "normal" speed. While I don't disagree, this information shouldn't be hidden away like it's the Arc of the Covenant. There's no mention of the pressure in the manual, on the door, or in the standard readout for tire pressures. I pumped up all four tires to the "Normal" setting of 41 psi and went out with a bit more confidence.
It might've been due to increased pressure in the tires, confidence in the car, or familiarity with the track, but by the third session I was finally having fun. The herd thinned from 25 drivers in the first session to less than a dozen after lunch, and this meant several uninterrupted laps to truly experience the Jag's capabilities.
On the front straight the F-Type R easily cracked 130 miles per hour. And even at those high speeds, the 380mm-fronts and 376mm-rear brakes stopped the Jag in dramatic fashion. This increased confidence and speed led to some minor brake fade, but nothing too serious. Other than my initial problems with the tire pressure monitors, the Jag performed brilliantly, without having any cooling problems or needing any oil.
After such an enthusiastic third session, I was physically exhausted. I was running on little sleep, lots of coffee, and way too many granola bars. My friend Nick had a catastrophic engine failure during his final session, which I took as a sign. We pushed his car on to the trailer, packed up our gear and called it a day.
Waking up early was definitely worth it, but now I had to drive home. Hopefully a steady caffeine regiment would keep doing the trick.
Action photos courtesy of CaliPhotography.com
When I signed up for my first track day at Buttonwillow Raceway I was excited but nervous. I was given the go-ahead to take our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, but I wasn't sure what to expect. In a slower, less-powerful (and less-expensive) car, I would've been more evenly matched to the drivers in my novice group. Maybe I could've learned more that way. The worn tires were an issue and I was completely unfamiliar with the track. So was I able to have any fun or was it just a worry-fest?
Despite initial fears, it was a blast. After the first two sessions, I realized the tires could take the abuse and there would be no problem getting home. Even after the third session, the front left tire didn't look much worse than it did when I started out. My complicated strategy to keep the tires intact, was either unnecessary, or it had worked. Maybe even a little bit of both.
The front right tire was showing some interesting wear on the inside of the tire as well, which contributed to my theory about the Jaguar being driven around some hard right-handers, but just to be safe, we'll check the alignment when we replace the rubber.
After departing the track, I headed for the nearest gas station. I let the tires cool and reset the pressures to the "Low Speed" rating of 36 psi. The drive from my front door to Buttonwillow, with a detour to caravan with friends along the way, was 185 miles. On track, I drove about 70 miles total. Including the 6 gallons of fuel added between sessions at the track and the fill-up afterwards, the F-Type consumed 22.063 gallons of 91-octane fuel. That worked out to about 12 mpg.
On the way home I set the Jag's cruise control around 70 mph, and settled down in the slow lane. Two weeks earlier Dan Edmunds had made a similar journey up and over the grapevine and down in to Southern California and got 27.1 mpg over 200 miles. That number was a record high for our long-term Jag, and it lasted about a week. While my trip home was shorter (about 120 miles) and traffic was light, the F-Type returned a staggeringly high 29.9 mpg. For some context, that nearly-30-mpg fill-up is the third time we've exceeded the EPAs highway fuel economy estimate of 23 mpg, and we've only had the car for 12 weeks. For a car with such nuclear power, that's pretty impressive.
Less impressive was the F-Type R's stiff suspension. On rutted, bumpy, Southern California highways the Jag felt rigid and unforgiving. Lots of road and tire noise makes its way in to the cabin and while the seats are great at keeping you in place on the track (lots of bolstering, lots of lateral support), they were a bit hard to handle on the journey home. After my track day with the Jag, I'm still just as head-over-heels for the styling and the speed, but it could certainly use some attention to detail when it comes to comfort.
Here's a look at the F-Type's lifetime fuel economy through the month of September, including the track day and the trip home.
Worst Fill MPG: 8.9
Best Fill MPG: 29.9
Average Lifetime MPG: 16.1
EPA MPG Rating: 18 Combined (16 City / 23 Highway)
Best Range: 292.4 miles
Current Odometer: 9,055 miles
It was a great plan. At least I thought it was. Take my girlfriend in the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe over the Ortega Highway to the Lookout Roadhouse for a Sunday morning breakfast.
And drive. The Ortega is a dang good canyon road, even though its abundance of high-speed sweepers makes it better on a sportbike than a car.
But when we got to the start of the Ortega on the San Juan Capistrano side, we were immediately turned around by a CHP officer. The road was closed due to a bad accident.
Beyond feeling horrible for anyone involved/affected by the accident, and making us stop and think and remember just how precious life is, we still had a hot Jag that needed driving. And we needed food. So we took a drive across Santiago Canyon Road to Silverado Canyon and made tracks for the Silverado Cafe.
Now these two roads aren't anything like the Ortega, driving-wise, but at least you're still out in the country with little traffic to speak of. And here's the real point: This Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, with its hot-rod engine, crazy-loud exhaust and fantastic handling, makes even more mundane drives like this into adventure-filled fun-fests. Just the sound alone makes the car a hoot every time you step on the gas pedal. Not to mention how stinking fast it is.
Plus, it looks amazing. I'm not usually a big fan of orange (even though I own a KTM dirt bike). But this is a gorgeous car.
Turns out the Silverado Cafe makes a good breakfast, too.
All good things come to an end. So is the case with the stock Pirelli P Zero tires on our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. The first question we asked ourselves was, do we stick with the OE Pirellis or do we try another brand of tire on the F-Type? We wanted to try something new, but it wasn't that easy.
Our first stop was Tire Rack. A quick search pulled up three options:
- Pirelli P Zero
- Continental ContiForceContact
- Michelin Pilot Super Sport
We glazed over the Pirellis and focused on the Continentals. These are considered a "streetable" track tire. Basically, this is the set you install at home, drive to the track and drive home. Then you put the everyday summer tires back on. They aren't made for extreme wet, standing puddles or near-freezing temps. This was not the tire for our daily driver.
Next we looked at the Michelins. We turned over a lot of stones, including calls to Tire Rack, numerous Michelin retail outlets and sources of ours behind the scenes. No luck. Had we burned through the tires three months from now, the Michelins might be an option. At this time they are on national backorder, or as we learned, still in production.
A deeper search turned up some Dunlops with potential. The SP Sport Maxx GT came in the proper size, but the speed ratings were off. We needed Ys to mirror the stock tires. The fronts were Y-rated but the rears were only Z-rated.
Those P Zeros looked more attractive now. The factory rubber hadn't done anything to deserve our wandering eye. We just wanted something fresh, and ultimately we got it. A local shop ordered us a new set of the OE Pirellis, our only option. It took a full day to acquire the tires and cost $1,769.97, but now they are mounted and we're headed home.
Now that, right there in the center of the instrument panel of the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, is what you call a real gear indicator. It's surprising how many cars with automatic transmissions have tiny little gear readouts.
Not this Jag. Move the shift lever to Sport mode and engage one of the paddles for Manual mode, and you get this jumbo-sized gear indicator that you can spot at a quick glance.
They should be this large in more cars, at least when in Manual mode and in ones of the sporty-oriented variety.
The stuffing, in the seatback in particular, is quite hard and after a couple of hours in the car you definitely notice that, well, you're noticing the seats. On the other hand, the lateral support is excellent, the bolstering holds you in place through corners nicely.
So would the hard seats be a deal-breaker?
For me, no (though it's not like I'm exactly in the market to buy this thing). There are so many other aspects about this car that are fantastic that I'd be willing to put up with seats on the firm side.
But, it's worth stating there are many seats out there with equally superb lateral support plus all-day comfort. Jag should have done a better job here, whether this car was designed as a daily driver or a weekend toy.
This road trip had been more or less in the works for over a year. Jag to San Diego. The model of Jaguar wasn't important, but the destination was. As a child, my family would go to a resort now called Paradise Point for Easter. It was my grandfather's favorite place to go with his children and grandchildren. And while he never put much of an importance on cars, he always had a soft spot in his heart for Jaguars.
After he passed away, I planned to take a trip to his favorite spot in his favorite car. With a long weekend coming up and new meats on our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, I requested the car and booked a room. San Diego, here we come.
We left on a Friday afternoon, hoofing it down the 5 rather than the less congested (but less scenic) Interstate 15. Playing hooky is much more enjoyable when the Pacific is within spitting distance of your six-figure sports car. Aside from spots of traffic that began appearing around Oceanside, the trip down was largely uneventful. My head reported that I was slightly too tall for this car by way of helpfully smashing against the roof when the Jag found a few dips in the freeway pavement. I love her so much, why does she hurt me?
We made it to our destination, checked in, and drove to Old Town San Diego to sample carne asada burritos and carnitas from one of the many Mexican restaurants in the area. The next morning was a short drive to the Hotel del Coronado, the famous haunt of Old Hollywood stars and Presidents alike.
We mused about the F-Type on our return trip up the coast. First, this car is not for the socially inept. You will be asked about it, so keep the specs memorized. 5.0-liter supercharged V8. 550hp. Starting price of $99,000. And yes, you have to get it in a loud color to match the car's screaming V8, which lacks the subtlety exhibited by, say, Transformers' sound editor. The performance is staggering, and you'll feel like a million bucks driving it, but the Jag isn't perfect all around.
The R Coupe rides rough on like roads, and has a tendency to follow the deep cracks that litter poorly maintained sections of highway. The sport seats don't alleviate any discomfort. While they do a fantastic job of keeping your butt firmly in the seat, they don't offer much cushion when the car starts shimmying. Start browsing Yelp for local chiropractors if you plan on driving for more than a few hours at a time.
The 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe's cabin is filled with cool little details that you won't find in a Porsche 911: toggle switches, the rising air vents and the so-cool shifter. The latter fits in your hand like a joystick, complete with a trigger for activating the electronic gear selection that always feels to me like it should control missiles or machine guns hidden behind the grille or headlights. Left lane hogs beware.
Indeed, it would require very little imagination to turn the F-Type into a James Bond car (a big reason why this massive 007 fan loves the F-Type) and perhaps not surprisingly, Jaguar isn't shying away from this implication.
We've previously mentioned the air vents that rise up in the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. It's a neat feature that adds some personality and helps this Jag further stand apart from the pack. However, I assumed that the vents rise whenever the HVAC system is turned on. Not so. If the system determines that air doesn't need to be flowing from up above to maintain or achieve the desired temperature (say when foot-level heat is preferable), the vents stay down.
In other words, if you turn the system on and they don't go up, don't worry, your Jag's not broken.
A friend asked me if I'd like to go golfing on Saturday and I quickly agreed. Then I remembered I was driving our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. Coventry, we have a problem. I had already determined that my clubs don't fit when within their travel bag, and although at the time I said they wouldn't fit without it, I never actually tested that assertion.
So down to the garage I went, clubs in hand. Clearly, they would never fit width-wise as the opening is far too narrow. Diagonally, however, seemed like a possibility. I removed the rigid cargo cover and all of the longer woods from my bag. At that point, my bag went easily in as there is actually quite a lot of space underneath the left quarter panel. The woods then fit easily adjacent to the bag and the cargo cover went back on. I should note that a smaller carry bag would've fit even better.
So congratulations golfers, you can buy an F-Type Coupe!
If you've been following the exploits of our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, you're probably already aware that I recently attended a track day at Buttonwillow Raceway in this 550-horsepower beast. If this is the first you're hearing about it, catch up here. I had an amazing time in the Jag (despite some issues with the tires) and during my first two sessions, I hooked up a few GoPro cameras to bring you along on the action.
In both videos, you'll notice my hesitation around the tracks long right-hand sweepers followed by a heavy right foot on the straightaways. Learning the track throughout the day gave me more confidence, but I was always aware of the extra stress that right-handers were putting on the front-left tire.
During the first session, I got a sense of the track configuration and a sense of how quickly the Jag catches up with the other cars in the group. Almost immediately out of the pit, the F-Type caught up with a Honda S2000 and before the first lap was over I was ready to pass a second group of cars. This early in the day, many drivers were confident in their abilities, but that confidence can be erased pretty quickly. Skip to the 1:10-mark to see the proof.
Towards the end of the second session several drivers had either pitted or been black-flagged for going off track during the first and second session and this meant less traffic on the track, no traffic jams in the chicanes and no need to be pointed by on the straightaways. Track staff had also cleaned most of the dirt off the track between the two sessions, which meant significantly faster lap times. I was able to make several clean passes along the front straightaway (at the beginning and end of the video) and easily cleared 130 miles per hour before standing on the brakes and dropping the speed down by 60-70 mph for the 90-degree left hander that follows.
I know that most F-Type owners won't take their car to a track day, but leaving this car in the garage, waiting for it to appreciate in value and wiping it down with a diaper after a trip to Whole Foods is only getting half your money's worth. If I owned a Jaguar F-Type, I'd constantly be at the track, trying to tap in to its massive potential. This thing is a blast to drive on public roads, but there's a limit to how much of the Jag you can actually use in the real world and an even lower limit to how much you can use safely. At the track, the only limit is the sack of meat between the seat and the steering wheel. Oh, and that front left tire.
What you see above is the cargo hold in our beloved 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. See something wrong? It seems as though the cargo cover has broken free from its mooring. Normally, this just means reconnecting it to its snap-in post, but not anymore.
The cargo cover is no longer able to reach from one clip to the other. No, I don't think it shrunk, which means the space between anchors has somehow grown. I'm guessing it may have been overloaded at some point.
It frequently comes flopping down when the hatch is opened and it also rattles a bit over bumps. Something we'll have to investigate when it goes in for service.
The odometer on our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe turned past 10,000 miles on my watch just as the new tires were being broken in. Although the Jag had 3,700 miles on it when we got it, that still means we put 6,300 miles on our little orange sports car in just 3.5 months.
It is easily the most coveted car in our fleet, especially by Mark Takahashi and Travis Langness, who constantly need to be reminded that the F-Type isn't theirs. So what have we done with the car over the last few months?
Lots of road trips, it turns out. Dan Edmunds first drove it up to Buttonwillow Raceway to help officiate a race there. With Travis Langness at the helm, our coupe returned to Buttonwillow to compete at a track-day event. We dumped over $1,700 on a new set of Pirellis, and I promptly blasted down the coast on a trip to San Diego.
Our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe covered a solid 1,325 miles for the month of October. A few lead-footed Edmunds editors caused the F-Type's lifetime fuel economy to drop by nearly 9 percent. Can't say I blame them though. This car begs you to drive it hard and that doesn't do its fuel economy any favors.
We can't blame Travis and his track day for the drop in fuel economy, either. All that stuff happened in September, when he reported a lifetime mpg of 16.1. After eight fill-ups in October, the lifetime average dropped to 14.7 mpg. Having three fill-ups in the high 11 mpg range will definitely wear away at the lifetime numbers.
This puts us at roughly 3.3 mpg or 18 percent below the EPA's combined number. Time will tell if we can bring the lifetime average back up, but I won't hold my breath for it.
Worst Fill MPG: 8.9 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 29.9 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 14.7 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 18 Combined (16 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 292.4 miles
Current Odometer: 10,650 miles
Longboarders will have to look elsewhere, but that's a five-foot-six-inch Roberts El Tormentor, with matching orange fins stowed in the back of our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.
And we could close the hatch.
Trunks are usually an afterthought when it comes to trim, especially in sports cars. Not so in our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.
As you can see, there's not only a sturdy handle to pull the rear lid shut, it actually has some nice metallic trim to set it off.
Now this hardly qualifies as a game changer. Cars at this price level should be well trimmed at every touch point. But it's still nice to see when something as mundane as the hatch handle wasn't overlooked. It makes the car look more finished every time you throw something in the cargo bay.
The cruise control in our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is always ready for use. Press the "Set" button and cruise control is engaged. Seems reasonable, right? Tell the car to do something and it does it. This a refreshingly unique setup though, and it's not as common as you'd think.
The alternative, which involves having to turn the system on every time you get in the car, then setting cruise control, is actually pretty common. It's a small detail (or a "first world problem" if you're in to clichés) but it eliminates a completely unnecessary step from the process and makes driving the speed limit in a 550-horsepower supercar that much less soul-crushing.
I've waxed poetic several times about how good looking our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is, but you don't have to pay for the range-topping F-Type R to get those looks. The F-Type comes in several different configurations including the mid-range F-Type S (seen here in British Racing Green). The R has a supercharged, 550-horsepower V8 while the S has to make due with just 380 horsepower from a supercharged V6. So what does the V8 R provide that the F-Type S doesn't, and what's the cost?
The F-Type S has an MSRP of $77,925 while the Coupe R will cost you $99,925. Besides being quicker (3.8-seconds to 60 and a quarter-mile time of 11.6 seconds @ 122.2 mph vs. 5.0 to 60 and a quarter-mile time of 13.1 seconds @ 107.9 mph in the S), the F-Type R has larger standard brakes, bigger wheels, an active exhaust, a torque vectoring differential, rear parking sensors, power-folding heated mirrors, leather upholstery, a flat-bottom steering wheel, heated 12-way power seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control and a 12-speaker stereo with satellite radio.
The torque vectoring differential isn't available on the S, but most of the R's other equipment can be added to the S as optional extras. If you equip the S with the R's standard equipment (minus the V8 of course and the differential) it costs $88,375. That's an $11,550 savings and a 170-horsepower deficit. But that's not the only place where the numbers vary.
The R weighs in at 3,906 pounds, while the S tips the scales at 3,811 lbs. The tires are the same make (Pirelli P Zeros on both cars) but on the R they're wider: 255/35/20's up front and 295/30/20 in the rear versus 245/40/19 and 275/35/19 on the S. You can get 20-inch wheels on the S, but they'll cost you anywhere between $1,500 and $3,500.
The S we tested was equipped with the optional Performance Pack so the brakes were the same size, but where the R stopped from 60 mph in 106 feet, the S took 115 feet. In the slalom, the wider tires and torque vectoring differential helped the R average 71.0 miles per hour, while the S averaged 67.3 mph. And on the skidpad, the R pulled a whopping 0.98 lateral G's while the S went round to the tune of 0.89 G's.
So is the extra performance worth the extra cash?
Neither F-Type is as balanced as some other alpha sports cars, but what they lack in cornering ability, they make up for with character. The F-Type R shouts and rumbles and snarls at you. With the F-Type S, there are some nice crackling exhaust notes, but they seem a bit more high-pitched and contrived. Driving the F-Type R instills a bit more confidence at the limit too. It feels more capable, largely because it is. The general sense of theatre provided by the supercharged V8 is also a factor. It puts a slightly larger smile on your face and in this segment, that's part of the value.
I'd be happy to have either car in my garage and the F-Type S is definitely no slouch, but the F-Type R is definitely worth the extra 13 percent.
Because saturated fat.
And because Firesand Metallic, the paint color of our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, blends with Krispy Kreme Green trim like chocolate iced and custard. Making a doughnut run in the F-Type is gluttony and excess. It only feels right to order a dozen.
No glaze on the steering wheel, please.
I discovered that the clothes hanger hook on our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is broken. Looks like the fasteners which locate it to the bulkhead behind the driver's seat aren't adequate.
Of course, it's possible that one of editors let their kids hang from the hook, in which case it's hardly Jaguar's fault. Truth is, I have no idea what caused the failure, but somebody on our staff dropped the broken hook into the center console.
And as much as I'd like to blame this on Monticello, he doesn't have any kids. Doesn't matter too much anyway. There's another hook behind the passenger seat.
See all those people gathered in a parking lot on a Saturday night? They're my people: automotive purists of varying shapes and sizes and with even more varied influences and styles. They shine up their cars and head to the nearest parking lot to talk shop over a bowl of popcorn chicken and some boba. Our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe isn't modified, not even a bit, but I cleaned it up and drove out to the event anyway.
Before I showed up, I worried the unmodified Jag would be a bit out of place. Sorta like a guy wearing a three-piece suit at a punk-rock show, but even amongst all the big spoilers and deep-dish wheels, the F-Type was welcome. The bright orange paint, the garbling exhaust, the F-Type's 550-horsepower V8 and its relatively elite status were enough to make it a star. Even amongst some of the harshest of critics, it commanded quite a bit of respect.
As I took this photo, a Liberty Walk BMW M4 was pulling in to the parking lot and it stole most of the Jaguar's thunder. But when I first arrived, all eyes were on the slinky Firesand Metallic Jag. Before I could even open the door to step out of the car, people were taking photos, asking questions and pointing out small details on the Jaguar.
"Did you really drive all the way from New Jersey just for this meet?"
"Oh no, those are press plates. It's a year-long loaner from Jaguar."
"Nice. How much horsepower? It's the V8 right?"
"Yeah, the supercharged V8. Five-fifty."
"Damn, how awesome is it?"
Every time I go to put fuel in our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe I'm bothered by the flimsy piece of material used to house the fuel filler neck. I've talked about this problem in our long-term 2014 Volkswagen Passat and why I think it's disappointing, but in a luxury car like the Jag it's completely unacceptable.
The fuel filler neck is made out of a flimsy plastic, rather than a rigid plastic or metal. With the Jag, as with the Passat, heavy fuel pumps make the fuel filler neck sag, bending the filler neck and disengaging the pump handle. As a result, you can't leave the pump on to fill the car while you perform other tasks.
The angle of the filler neck is pretty extreme too, so if you get a pump with a short filler nozzle you have to lift up the pump with both hands and lean on the handle for any fuel to be dispensed. Not only is this annoying, but I'm also sure it looks pretty strange to other motorists.
One of the few gripes some enthusiasts have had about Jag's sexy sports car, including our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, is the unavailability of a three-pedal gearbox. Yes, many of us traditionalists prefer the added engagement and satisfaction that properly working a clutch pedal and shift lever bring to the driving experience. For the 2016 F-Type, there's some very good and somewhat bad news on this front.
First the good news. Next year, as we indicated in our 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show coverage, Jaguar will offer a true manual transmission in the F-Type. The semi-bad news? It's only going to be available in the rear-drive V6 versions.
After another 1,000 miles or so, our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is still not much of a fuel miser. No surprise as it just begs to be driven hard and most drivers are all too happy to oblige.
And isn't that pretty much the point of a car like this anyway? It can be surprisingly efficient if you really try, but that's never going to make it feel worthwhile. This car is an indulgence and should be driven accordingly. The fact that it can easily top its highway EPA rating is just a bonus.
Worst Fill MPG: 8.9
Best Fill MPG: 29.9
Average Lifetime MPG: 14.6
EPA MPG Rating: 18 Combined (16 City / 23 Highway)
Best Range: 292.4 miles
Current Odometer: 11,875 miles
At last week's 2014 L.A. Auto Show, Jaguar took the wraps off the 2016 F-Type lineup. Headlining the changes was the addition of a new all-wheel-drive system. In the case of the F-Type R, all-wheel drive becomes the standard drivetrain, but rear-wheel drive is still an option.
Obviously, any owner in an area with consistently cold weather in the winter would likely stick with the standard all-wheel-drive setup. But what if cold weather traction wasn't an issue? Would it be worth it for a little extra dry weather traction too?
My gut reaction is no. I would rather ditch the extra weight and deal with the lack of traction with my right foot. Plus, I could still lay a little rubber when the urge strikes.
Then again, with 550 horses on tap, having that extra traction might be nice to have. Sure would make powering out of corners a little bit easier.
It'll be interesting to see what sells in the coming year. I bet few buyers will bother opting for the rear-wheel-drive version of the F-Type R.
On its face, the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe should be a car I covet. It makes a crazy noise, has a beefy V8, lacks practicality and has more power than control.
But it could be louder. It could lack even more practicality. It could have even less control. And it does all of these things in the form of the convertible Jaguar F-Type V8 S and this is the one I'd own.
Let's start this off with a bang: The Convertible looks better. Usually, the convertible version of a car looks awkward at best *cough* 997 and prior 911* and downright wrong most of the time *cough* 997 and prior 911*. But the F Type Convertible is gorgeous. From every angle. Top up or down.
I'm also simply a fan of convertibles over coupes. Whatever stiffness you give up is made up for by the joy of drop-top motoring. The sights, sounds, smells and small bugs that wind up in your hair make every day an adventure. Rainy day? Love that pitter-patter of water on a cloth roof.
"But track days require a roof!" Don't care. Sure, Travis enjoyed his day at the track with the Jag, but he enjoys paying people to let him run around the dirt. Track days are fine, but I'm not going to let two weekends per year keep me from 50 weeks of happiness. PCH with no roof > Driving in circles banging my helmet off a piece of tin.
And speaking of driving experience, the F-Type is just more FUN with no roof. Is it faster? No. To 60, the F-Type R Coupe hit 60 in 3.4 seconds while the drop top took a leisurely 3.6. The coupe ran an 11.8 @ 121.3 mph while the 'vert only managed 11.9 @ 118.9. A 55-horsepower deficit and a 50-pound surplus will do that.
Things get really fun in the handling department, though. That the Coupe pulled a 71.0 mph slalom and 0.98 G skidpad vs. the Convertible's 70.7 mph / 0.92 g isn't the shocking bit, it's the way the cars respond that's different.
The R-Coupe is pointy and grippy and directionally stable. It's easy to get ahead of the car and know exactly what it's going to do in a situation. The convertible has this funny way of loading itself up and then springing into directional changes. Driving it fast is a bit like driving a rally car. You turn in, wait for the front tires to figure out what they're going to do and then get ready to catch the slide. It's a blast.
During testing, our driver said the Convertible was "...tail-happy handful and proved difficult to predict." And offered "initial understeer, then surprise oversteer." On the comments for the Coupe he uses words like "balance," "precise," and "confidence."
You know who uses words like balance and precise? Scientists. You know who uses phrases like "surprise oversteer"? People you want to shoot pool and get into bar fights with.
Our F-Type R Coupe is a phenomenal car from every angle, but I'd happily give up a little bit of that polish for a bucketload more fun, fresh air, sunshine. And an additional $7,000 in my pocket wouldn't hurt, either.
This photo is a little misleading. And it's not because Mark Takahashi can't do a powerslide. Oh no, rest assured, he can. Or at least he'll tell you as much. But for the purposes of this post, it's the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe we're concerned with.
So a few week ago I found myself hammering up a local twisty road filled with off-camber corners and elevation change. One particular bend combined both features in a way that conspired to utterly confuse the Jag. You see, this car utilizes the latest in electronically controlled torque-vectoring differential technology. Or, rather, it's supposed to. No corner should throw the Jag's high-tech power metering device into a tailspin, but that's exactly what happened.
Like any red-blooded American, I open the throttle early and often. And that's just what I did exiting this particular corner. I was expecting a gratuitous, Takahashi-worthy powerslide. What I got, however, was a one-wheel-wonder burnout that took me back to my high-school days. That's right, rather than igniting both rear wheels in a moment of untold sideways glory, the Coupe spun its inside tire in a display of pathetic shame reminiscent of my friend Travis Taylor's 1965 four-speed Mustang. It was equally long and awful, too. So much so that I half expected a hubcap to come off and pass me by like used to happen in the 'Stang leaving school.
I have no idea what went wrong. Just a moment earlier, on a much flatter piece of ground, the big Jag had executed a perfect powerslide worthy of its big, orange fenders and macho exhaust. It was, I suspect, an anomaly.
But it's supposed to rain today, so I'll have ample opportunity to find out.
You'll not need to spend much time around a 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe before you notice its many deployable bits. Specifically, there are door handles, dashboard vents and, of course, the rear spoiler. Something is always moving in or out, up or down on the F-Type.
Cool or gimmicky?
The headline "Wet Weather Manners" is a misnomer when it comes to how the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe behaves in the rain. Let me clarify: This isn't an unsafe car. Modern stability control ensures that. But it's also not a tremendously confident or comfortable car in the rain.
I've always enjoyed driving the F-Type, but not for the same reasons I enjoy driving the cars it's supposed to compete with. It doesn't offer the same level of control as many of those, specifically the Stingray or 911. Sure, it's outrageously fast, but its need to be tiptoed around corners is frustrating. You see, in the F-Type R, the gap between the limit of grip and limit of control is a small one. Certainly, there's a lot of grip. Enough to go truly fast in most situations.
But exploring that last little bit isn't really worth it here. I'm reminded that the line between glory and sucking is an especially fine one. And in the rain that trait is even further amplified. Leave the stability control on. You won't regret it.
I'm narrow. Narrow people are accustomed to sliding around in too-wide seats. But our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe has a cure for that problem: Adjustable seatback bolsters.
When fully engaged these suckers will lock you in against lateral loads like a mild shell-type seat. And they make a cool pffft sound when released.
Santa Claus has given me what I wanted for the holidays: our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. (Or, more accurately, our vehicle manager Mike Schmidt said it would be okay to take the F-Type for Edmunds' holiday break. Still, lucky me!) But I figured it'd be a good idea to check the car's oil since I'd be away from the office for a while.
I'm glad I did.
Like a lot of new high-end car these days, the F-Type has an electronic oil level monitor. At first, I just tried diving in to the car's on-screen menus to see if I could bring it up. No such luck. To the owner's manual! It turns out that some of the F-Type's systems, including oil level, can only be checked when the engine is turned off.
I followed what the manual recommends, which is to drive around enough to have the engine hot, then park the car and let it sit for about 10 minutes. If you try to check the oil too soon, the F-Type basically tells you to try again later. Comfortably parked in my garage, I finally brought up the oil level on the gauge cluster screen. Hmm. So, where's the oil?
When I first checked the oil there wasn't even an indicated level on the bar graph measurement at all. That's not good. I waited five minutes more and tried again. Then got what you see in the picture, which is just one quart low. Phew!
Travis checked the oil on his track day prep. I asked him about it, and he said he also checked the oil level after the track day and found that the oil was still within the proper range. Perhaps the combination of the track day and the last two months of normal driving has put us a quart low.
But this is the first instance of low oil on our F-Type that Mike or I are aware of. Maybe we should keep a closer eye on it, but I doubt our F-Type has picked up any bad habits from our CL65 AMG.
Anyway, I'm now off to the auto parts store to buy some oil.
A few days ago, I was showing an interested friend of mine the long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type. He had never seen one before. I was running through the various specs of the car and it occurred to me that I could also give him a frame of reference.
Thinking about it, I said, "You know, it's kind of like Jaguar's Corvette."
Maybe I'll ruffle some feathers with the comparison, but there are a lot of similarities between our F-Type and our departed long-term 2014 Corvette Stingray. For starters, there's the basic layout. Both the F-Type and Corvette are front-engine, rear-drive sports cars offered as either coupes or convertibles. There's also the powertrain and performance. Our top-dog Jaguar F-Type R version packs a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine good for 550 horsepower. The Corvette Stingray's naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 has 460 hp (with the dual-mode exhaust), but the car also weighs about 500 pounds less than the Jaguar. In our track-testing, both were impressively quick. The Jag went from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, and our long-term Stingray (with a manual transmission) did it in 4.2 seconds.
The Jaguar and Corvette certainly share memorable (and just plain loud) soundtracks thanks to those sport dual-mode exhausts. And while you can't get a manual transmission in the F-Type, the Corvette gets an eight-speed automatic as an option for 2015. They even have some similar faults. Both cars have touchscreen infotainment interfaces that can be slow to respond at times and, while more related to the previous generation Corvette than the new one, handling that can get a little tricky at the absolute limit.
Undoubtedly, both are also excellent values for your money and great cars overall. But I wouldn't ever tell somebody thinking about purchasing an F-Type to just buy a (less expensive) Corvette instead. The Jaguar enjoys some aspects that you don't get with the Corvette. The interior detailing and quality are of a higher class, for instance. Corvettes are also comparatively a dime a dozen on the road. Any time you see an F-Type, it's going to be a rare event.
We've finished our sixth month in our year-long test of the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe and I've run the numbers to get December's fuel economy details. The Jag can be pretty fuel efficient on long highway drives. It can also swill down premium fuel at a rate that will make an oil company executive giddy.
Care to guess how we drove it this month?
During December we added about 1,100 miles to the F-Type. Over the month, we averaged 16.5 mpg. This is actually a little better than our lifetime average of 15 mpg, though we're still below the EPA's combined mpg estimate of 18. But it's fair to say that the EPA test cycle doesn't really represent the way the F-Type wants to be driven.
Out of curiosity, I also went back to look at our old 2009 Dodge Viper. It earned 15.7 mpg during our time with us.
Here's where we are at with the Jaguar so far.
Worst Fill MPG: 8.9
Best Fill MPG: 29.9
Average Lifetime MPG: 15
EPA MPG Rating: 18 Combined (16 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 292 miles
Current Odometer: 13,278 miles
A few days ago on a long drive in our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, I found myself wandering off California super slab highway in search of some more scenic locations to take some pictures. With empty roads, storm clouds overhead and our orange F-Type, it was quite easy get some cool-looking shots.
My coworker James Riswick often uses the phrase, "Just look at the thing!" for a reason to buy an Aston Martin. That's what was running through my head as I was looking at the F-Type.
I only had my point-and-shoot camera, unfortunately. But if I owned an F-Type, I'm sure I'd be out all the time taking pictures of it. And that speaks to the character of the car. It's passionate and involving. Even when it's just parked in my garage, I'll think, "Dang, this thing is cool." And for this class of car, that's exactly what I'd want.
Our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is well equipped to provide a sense of occasion. It's got the looks, the power, the sounds and the quality to impress. All came into play recently when my wife and I had a date night out to go to a friend's holiday party.
We're leaving the crossover SUV at home, babe. We're taking the Jag.
The night starts when I open up my home's garage door, settle into the F-Type's driver seat and press the heartbeat starter button. The beefy 5.0-liter V8 engine crackles and loudly rumbles to life, surely announcing to my neighbors that I'm departing shortly.
There's not enough room in my garage for my wife to easily open the passenger-side door, so I back the Jag out and chivalrously open her door for her. (Hey, why not, right?) Because of the chilly night air, vapor pours out from the F-Type's exhaust pipes, adding some Hollywood-like ambience. I can only think that, yes, this is going to be a fun night.
Acceleration is effortless and the Jag moves easily through traffic. Other motorists stare. While the automatic transmission works very well in Drive, it's also fun to flip the gear selector over to the manual mode and shift gears manually with the shift paddles. The juvenile in me also can't resist activating the sport exhaust button. The added pops and crackles when I back off the gas are a little over the top for driving around town, but I justify it by telling my wife I'm showing her how it works. She's bemused more than anything else, but she certainly likes the F-Type's high-class, leather-lined interior and configurable ambient lighting.
We arrive at the party and get a prime parking spot. Friends who come later to the party come up to me, saying: "So, that must be your Jag up front." Erm, yes, yes it is. Twice I take some guys outside, showing them the car and starting it up. They love it.
I'd just have to say that the F-Type is an easy car to love.
Our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe has some unusual features: deployable air vents, insane power, nuclear orange paint, to name a few.
Also, there's its CD player, which is housed in the center console. No, the F-Type isn't the only car to do this, but it is one of the few. And for an old-school guy like Mike Monticello, who can still be caught listening to the occasional CD, it's a welcome addition — even if it's hidden.
Any car will get you from point A to point B. And some cars can make that point-A-to-point-B drive enjoyable. But only a few are as memorable as the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. Own an F-Type, and I guarantee you'll continually make excuses just to go drive it.
Much of that appeal lies with the supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine. It's a raucous, gonzo beast that belts out outlandish power at any rpm. Best to keep the front wheels pointed completely straight before you put the hammer down. Oh, and have a clear path ahead of you, too.
Then there's the sport exhaust. With the loud mode turned on, a full throttle burst in a tunnel or underpass delivers such a crackling, pounding shockwave of noise that top fuel dragsters would be proud of it. It's addictive and completely grin inducing.
Of course, that addiction can lead to some pretty dismal fuel economy. But hey, gas is cheap right now, right? Let's go have some fun.
The bottle holder you're looking at in the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe isn't purposely hidden in the strictest sense. But I admit I had never noticed it until today.
That's partially because, as with most sports cars, the F-Type's door pockets are pretty narrow, and aren't overly deep, either. So I just never thought to try putting a spare water bottle over there because I figured it wouldn't fit.
As usual, I was wrong.
Not only was the pocket wide enough, but the bottle was held in place. There's a plastic nubbin toward the bottom that keeps the slanted water bottle from sliding further down into the door pocket.
Not that I generally have that many drinks with me. But it's nice to know that, including the center console holders with their rubber anti-tip tabs, you have four totally usable cup/bottle holders in this serious sports car.
Chalk this up under "Monticello states the obvious." The 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe gets noticed. Big time.
Not that I care about that kind of thing. I love cars because I love driving them, not because I like being seen in them. My perfect day would involve me, this 550-horsepower Jag coupe and a twisty two-lane. And I'd never see another soul between my place, said road and back.
Of course that's rather unlikely here in southern California.
But even in car-crazy (and let's face it, slightly car-snobby) SoCal, the F-Type R attracts attention, as I found out this past weekend. Even my rather unobservant self couldn't help but notice the extra looks and smiles this car gets.
First there was the valet at a hotel in Santa Monica where I was meeting some friends. He asked me if I wanted him to keep the car out front. I'm not an expert on leaving cars with valets, but I'm gonna guess that's a question they reserve for people with fancy cars.
Then there were the two young ladies walking down the road in Lake Forest as I drove by, one of whom nearly screamed at me, "I love your car!" With my rapidly advancing years, young people aren't usually paying attention to anything I do these days. It's funny how cars can affect people. I politely waved and continued on my way.
Last, I somehow ended up on the same stretch of Interstate 405 Sunday morning as a black Ferrari 575M Maranello. I love the look of those cars (I've never driven one. That's something I need to rectify), but it sure didn't seem like anyone else was noticing it. And it's a freakin' Ferrari! Yet people were craning their necks for a second look at the bright orange Jag nearby.
Maybe it's partially color-related, but the car-fanaticism the F-Type elicits is exactly what happens when you build one of the coolest looking cars ever created.
Here is the January fuel update for our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. We drove a total of 1,685 miles. The only claim to fame for the Jaguar this month was a nine-county tour of California. The accidental milestone was the result of weekend getaways, a day at the track and ordinary errand running.
For the record, it covered these counties: Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Kern, Tulare and Fresno.
Worst Fill MPG: 8.9
Best Fill MPG: 29.9
Average Lifetime MPG: 15.2
EPA MPG Rating: 18 Combined (16 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 292 miles
Current Odometer: 14,900 miles
We've spent quite a bit of ink telling you how awesome our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe sounds, especially when you press the Loud Exhaust button.
There's no question this 550-horse Jag can make some serious noise, maybe even bordering on obnoxious to some people. Wide-open throttle, honestly, is simply glorious.
But here's what you might not know: This super-serious R Coupe can act much like a normal car, too.
First off, don't press that exhaust button. Next, leave the console shift lever in Drive, as opposed to Sport or Manual, and keep the revs below 4,000 rpm (there's still good sauce down in that range) and you'll find the F-Type drives like a fairly normal V8 sport coupe. Below 4 grand the exhaust is much subdued.
Let the tach needle sweep over 4,000 rpm at full throttle, though, and it doesn't matter what you have going on with the exhaust button, it's going to cause quite a commotion.
I guess what I'm saying is, it's cool the Jag doesn't have to be full-obnoxious full-time. Sure, you can make it emit fantastic sounds, even at ridiculously low speeds. But you don't have to. That's the point.
I'd been hankering to take our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe on a road trip for some time, and that opportunity finally arrived. As part of my friend's birthday month (For her it's not a birth day. The celebration lasts an entire month.), I took her for a weekend getaway to Santa Barbara and Cambria.
By the end of the trip I figured I'd have answers to questions like: Would we get tired of the F-Type's harsh ride? Or the stiff seats? Would our luggage fit? And would she ever pick up on the fact that the Jag gets really loud when I press the exhaust button?
One of my first questions was answered as soon as I picked her up: Our luggage fit. Just barely.
We hit some traffic as you'd expect on a Friday afternoon, but it wasn't too bad, and before we knew it we were in Santa Barbara for the evening. The 145 miles were nothing for the Jag, and negotiating around slower traffic required little more than a slight dip into the gas pedal. Yep, 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque have their benefits. Zero complaints from my passenger, too. She didn't even seem to have a huge problem with the music coming from my iPod.
We stayed at the Montecito Inn the first night. I don't know why, but that name has a nice ring to it. Apparently this hotel was built by a group of investors led by Charlie Chaplin back in 1928. One of the cooler features of this Mediterranean-style building is the original Otis elevator with its sliding gate/door setup.
When I dropped the F-Type off with the valet, he asked if it was okay if he left it up front because, "I really like your car," he said.
That's what this Jag does to people.
After a fantastic breakfast at Jeannine's in Montecito, we continued up the 101 North on our road trip to Cambria in the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. We took the shortcut across Route 154, which zigs and zags over the Santa Ynez Mountains. Not only is it shorter than staying with the herd on the 101, but as a former east-coaster I find it comforting to see some trees every now and then.
The powerful F-Type took to the elevation gain on this road with absolute ease, passing slower traffic like they were standing still. Seriously, sometimes drivers on these slightly curvy roads seem like they're standing still.
After rejoining the 101, we eventually picked up PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) in San Luis Obispo. From there it was a nice coastal drive up to the quiet seaside town of Cambria, staying in one of the many hotels along Moonstone Beach Drive.
On Sunday we headed a few miles further north to check out the huge population of Elephant Seals lazing around on the beach at Piedras Blancas, then backtracked south a bit to visit Hearst Castle. I hadn't been to William Randolph Hearst's "ranch" (as he referred to it) in many years, and I forgot just how gigantic and over-the-top it is. If you're ever in the area, you owe it to yourself to take a tour. It's incredibly cool.
After some Hearst burgers, it was back on the road and a straight shot south to the greater L.A. area. While this was only a 593-mile round trip, it still gave me a good taste of the F-Type's abilities as a tourer. Verdict?
It's fine. Yes, the ride is on the stiff side, as you'd expect of a serious sports car. I like the lateral support from the seat bolsters, but I still say these seats do not need to be as uncompromisingly hard as they are. And those wide tires give off a fair bit of noise on coarse surfaces, requiring a turn of the stereo volume knob, or louder talking.
None of this matters much to me, because the Jag's fun-to-drive characteristics make up for the comfort shortcomings. Would I shy away from an even longer road trip in the Jag F-Type? Heck no, especially if it encompassed more in the way of good driving roads.
What did my friend think? No whining whatsoever, she thought the car was great. Hmmm...easy to please...a rare quality. She was confused about the noises the car makes, though. "Why does it seem like it's backfiring sometimes," she asked?
"Oh, that's just this exhaust button here," I said. "If you press this, it makes it louder."
"So...why would you ever do that," she innocently asked?
"Um, because it sounds awesome. And it's obnoxious," I said.
She just stared at me for a while, like she was trying to figure something out. I'm pretty sure that was our last date.
Total Trip Miles: 593
Average Trip MPG: 21.5
As it should considering its $100,000 price tag, our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe comes standard with auto-up and auto-down side windows.
With one touch either of the Jag's side glass opens or closes.
At least that's how it's supposed to work.
Yesterday I noticed the auto up feature was not working on the Jaguar's driver-side window. To close the window you must hold the button for the few seconds it takes for the window to finish its travel and seal against the coupe's roof.
It's not a big deal, but it is broken. We'll have the dealer check it out at the Jag's next scheduled service which is fast approaching.
The odometer on our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe clicked 15,000 this morning. Our long-term test began with 3,755 on the car, so technically we've only added 11,245 miles.
Still to this point it's been all smiles aside from a broken clothes hanger hook, differential miscue and $1,800 replacement tires. Let's see how the Jaguar does at its first routine maintenance in 1,000 miles.
I didn't go on any hot dates in our long term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. No track time, no power slides, no car shows. What I did get to do was drive this Jaguar the same way I drive my 1998 Tahoe LT two-door. Slowly. I know, that sounds like a bit of a letdown. But before you chastise me for letting this fireball of jaw-dropping aggression go to waste, let me describe my weekend.
After leaving the office Friday night, I made my way over to Bob Hope Airport to pick up my brother who was flying in from the bay area. Pretty slow going between the office and the airport, over the 20 miles or so. I doubt I hit 30 mph more than once. Pretty typical Friday night traffic in these parts.
Eventually I made it to my brother's terminal. He saw the car, gave me a "You gotta be kidding me" grin, and hoped in. Thankfully he had only one bag, which fit in the trunk easy as pie.
Bob Hope Airport is in the city of Burbank. If you don't know, Burbank is not the town in which one wants to push the limits of local law enforcement's patience. I've actually been pulled over while riding on a mountain bike in Burbank. True story. So no chance I'm gonna do anything remotely questionable in this fair city of television studios, actors, and horse property. I turned off the exhaust button, and drove out of that wonderful city as quietly as a teenager sneaking back in the house after curfew.
I wanted to introduce my brother to an incredible Lebanese restaurant in the city of North Hollywood, which is right next to Burbank. After we had our fair share of falafel and hummus, we jumped back in the Jaguar.
Before long, we hit the freeway and boogied on over to good old Woodland Hills, which is where I live. Once on the 101 freeway, the F-Type begged to be set free. So I opened it up a little bit. Not much, but enough to make my brother utter something. Not sure what he said as the windows were down and the car was making all of that glorious racket it likes to make. But I think his utterance had something to do with God.
By the time we reached my exit, it was nearly 11:45 p.m. My brother and I wanted to celebrate some good news with a beer or two. So we parked the orange monster, and walked from my place to a local watering hole. No more action for the Jaguar that day.
My brother was in town for a weekend meeting in San Bernardino, which is about 70 miles south of home. We were both rather excited to make a long-ish drive in the car, because who wouldn't be? It's not often either of us has 550 horsepower at our disposal.
Unfortunately, it didn't matter than we had 550 horsepower. The freeways were so jammed we could have gone just as fast in my brother-in-laws Honda N600. (the two-cylinder N600 has a whopping 45 horsepower.)
While stuck in traffic on the 210, the people in cars around me started doing really weird things. Like snapping pictures of the Jaguar. Or smiling at me. Well, not at me precisely. But in my direction because of the gorgeousness of the car. Cool beans. Made the drive a bit more interesting, and a lot more fun.
After dropping my brother off at his meeting (he was going to spend Saturday and Sunday out in San Bernardino) I headed back home. Thought maybe I could finally see a little Jaguar action. Then the darndest thing happened. It started to rain. Not much, but enough to jam traffic again.
After driving at 20 mpg for what seemed an eternity, I realized I had a buddy who worked at a nearby car dealership, right off the freeway I was currently stuck on. I pulled off, and went to visit him in hopes that while we caught up on old times, traffic would loosen up.
While talking with my buddy, a never-ending line of sales people came to check out the car.
Some comments from the sales guys:
"Notice the stitching. It matches the paint."
"Adjustable bolsters? That's awesome."
"The sound system actually sounds good."
Traffic eased up while I was at the dealership. So after one more Styrofoam cup of coffee, I was on my way. Once home, the Jaguar stayed put for the night.
Didn't get to do too much driving on Sunday.
And on the way back to the office today, I got a whole bunch of this:
Typical bumper-to-bumper traffic. Not complaining, of course. Anybody who does complain about anything related to driving the F-Type truly deserves a stern talking to.
So, yeah. No real exciting drives over the weekend. But it was still an experience. Why? It feels good being in this car. And although I would have loved to go bananas in the Jag, I never got the chance to tap all of that available power. Truth is, I don't think I actually needed to in order to really appreciate how awesome this car is.
I think the magic of the Jaguar F-Type is that it's is a complete package, not just in the ridiculous amounts of power it has, nor in the over-the-top but incredibly fulfilling exhaust notes. The seats feel good. The ambient lighting is sexy. The menus are simple and easy to use. The trunk can carry a traveler's bag, and as mentioned before, it even has a nice stereo. It has great manners during regular drives, but can get wild and crazy on a moment's notice. The car is even considerate enough to have adjustable bolsters, so although I'm a wide dude, I can still get nice and comfortable.
I really, really like this thing.
The Jag is quickly coming up on 20,000 miles. It is my sincere hope I get at least one more weekend with it before it leaves our stable.
This morning I fired up the big blown V8 in our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe and was immediately greeted with a low-tire warning light on the two-seater's instrument cluster.
Not the way you want to start your day.
The car was telling me that the Jag's right rear Pirelli was down to 27 psi, which is low, but not low enough to panic. I exited the car and took a look. Sure enough, a Phillips head screw was stuck in the tread.
My commute to Santa Monica is just nine miles and it's all low-speed city driving, so I made the trip gingerly, hoping and praying the tire doesn't lose any more air pressure during the drive.
Once in Santa Monica I detoured to Stokes Tire Service, our go-to tire shop, which is just a few blocks from our office.
The gang as Stokes confirmed the issue, successfully yanked the screw and patched the tire. We forked over the $30 and our bright orange (it's actually called Firesand) Jag was whole again.
Scott recently brought a failing window switch on our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe to my attention. The auto-up feature wasn't working properly. Sometimes this means the switch is broken and needs replacing, but most often, it needs reprogramming. Two steps should do it:
(1) Press and hold the switch to lower the window, holding at full-down for a 10-count.
(2) Lift and hold the switch to raise the window, holding at full-up for another 10-count.
That's it. It works this way across brands. In my experience, the problem occurs when the car is locked with the window(s) down, or partially down, for an extended period of time. The same can happen to sunroof window switches. Regardless, they are easy enough to fix yourself.
One of the benefits of our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is the excellent 12-speaker Meridian sound system. The 770-watt system is a $1,200 option on the base, S and V8 S trims, but it comes standard on this 550-horsepower R Coupe beast, and man does it sound good.
There are three basic adjustments for bass, treble and the subwoofer but they're so well balanced with the factory settings that I leave them alone almost all of the time. Aside from the default "Stereo" setting you can choose from Meridian, Dolby Pro Logic and dts Neo:6 surround-sound settings. To my ear, they seem to adjust pitch, adding progressive amounts of echo in to the speakers. Of the three, the Meridian system provides the best surround sound without sounding too artificially enhanced.
I tend to listen to the burbling exhaust most of the time but with a few hundred miles on the highway this past weekend I discovered that all my music choices sounded crisp and clear in the Jag, even at maximum volume. Depending on the genre of music, bass can distort just a bit but only when the volume is at a painfully loud level.
The system connects to Bluetooth- or USB-connected devices quickly, indexes my 5,000+ song index immediately when connected via USB, and even when the sun is beating down on the screen it's still completely clear and legible. The audio commands are easy to learn, touchscreen buttons respond well to input and the screen graphics look great. Since our long-term Tesla Model S with its cavernous interior and 15-speaker Bose sound system left our fleet, there are a few contenders for best sound system. Some would argue the 17-speaker Lexicon sound system in our long-term 2015 Kia K900 is better, but I still consider the stereo in our Jag to be the best choice if you're music orientated.
We've had our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe nearly eight months and it's finally due for its first service. The F-Type needed a quart of oil a few weeks ago and a new set of tires before that, but neither of those issues required a visit to the dealer.
According to the manual, the F-Type will need an oil change and the dealer will check fluid levels, brake wear and tire pressure. Service intervals are every 16,000 miles and we've just ticked over that mark so we'll schedule a dealer visit and let you know how it goes.
Besides the usual commuting and canyon shenanigans, our long-term F-Type also completed a road trip up to California's central coast.
In the 1,400 or so miles logged last month, the average lifetime mpg figure has dropped slightly (from 15.2 to 15.0) and we also hit the 15,000-milestone on the odometer. Despite our spirited driving, the Jag hasn't given us a bit of trouble and it remains one of my all-time long-term faves.
Worst Fill MPG: 8.9
Best Fill MPG: 29.9
Average Lifetime MPG: 15.0
EPA MPG Rating: 18 Combined (16 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 292.4
Current Odometer: 16,485
And now they have a nifty creak!
Thankfully, this creak from the driver seat doesn't happen all the time, only when you turn right. Every time you turn right. Jimmie Johnson would never hear this.
I adjusted the bolsters in every which way and it persisted. I added some additional recline and it was still there.
It may frighten small children and annoy my neighbors, but for me, our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe produces one of the best exhaust notes of any car currently on sale. And, as I've done with other long-term cars in the past, I decided to test how loud the Jag was inside a tunnel at wide-open throttle.
For science, I swear.
I had a baseline with our official track-test numbers of how loud the F-Type was at the track, so I compared it with a few other sports cars and a couple of the quietest cars in our long-term fleet. The following numbers are all from our official instrumented testing.
dB @ Idle
dB @ "Full Throttle"
dB @ 70 mph
2015 F-Type R Coupe
2015 F-Type S Coupe (V6)
2015 Corvette Z06
2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S
2015 Kia K900
2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
Surprisingly, the F-Type R Coupe was not the loudest of the bunch. Even more surprising, during the full-throttle test, the less-powerful V6 S version of the F-Type registered 4 decibels louder than our long-term coupe with the supercharged V8.
Chevy's newest 650-horsepower Z06 decimates them both though, with nearly 95 dB inside the car, with the windows rolled up and the pedal to the metal. You can credit some of that noise to a difference in insulation, but not much since the F-Type R and Z06 get nearly identical ratings at 70 mph.
Since my nifty iPhone decibel-meter app proved inadequate in the past (it couldn't measure above 100 dB), I broke out the Edmunds testing equipment and headed for the mountains. In the tunnel with the windows down, things get quite a bit louder. With the F-Type R Coupe's exhaust reverberating off the walls, the meter registered 101.4 decibels. I've been to concerts that weren't that loud. Of course, that's just a short burst of speed in a short tunnel, not the kind of prolonged exposure that causes hearing damage.
If you ask me, the F-Type is the right kind of loud though. There's some road noise on the highway and it's not exactly silent at idle, but turn on the stereo and you'll drown out any unwanted commotion. And if your friends say stupid things like, "It sounds broken," or "That's annoying. Why would you do that on purpose?" it's time to get new friends.
When I'm up at 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning, I get a distinct sadness deep in my bones. I run (shuffle-jog is probably a more accurate term) in a lot of "races" or events such as 5Ks and half-marathons, but no matter how many I do, my body knows it's not designed to be up and moving at that hour.
An early rise is necessary if I want to make the start line on time, though, and this last weekend I was up bright and early to run a local 15K (9.3 miles). To get there, I drove our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. The Jag isn't a top choice in our fleet when it comes to a soothing ride and comfort, but it turned out a lot better than I expected.
For starters, the Jag was a 550-horsepower stimulant that was better than any cup of coffee. I was certainly awake the moment it gurgled to life, but the burst of power I gave it on an empty freeway on-ramp got me wide-eyed and bushy tailed much quicker than even 24 ounces of caffeine would have any day. And the Jag doesn't stain my teeth. Basically, it's a rapid adrenaline delivery service for $100K.
On the way home my body yelled at me for putting it through the paces, so I avoided the urge to switch the F-Type in to Sport mode. It was a smooth, pleasant ride. This is a great sports car, but it's a good daily commuter, too. It's a bit bouncier on the street than your average midsize sedan, but it still balances comfort and performance extremely well.
All that, plus the way the Firesand orange paint blends with a Southern California beach sunrise, makes the F-Type R Coupe a pretty excellent running buddy.
If you are in the market for a Jaguar F-Type, the new 2016 models will be arriving in dealerships starting in April, with all-wheel drive and manual transmission options.
Some of the new features include electric power-assisted steering and an upgraded infotainment system. Coupes will get a standard panoramic glass roof.
Jaguar is bumping up the warranty to a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty with complimentary scheduled maintenance.
MSRP will range from $65,000 to the base F-Type Coupe manual to $160,450 for the F-Type R Convertible.
Read more in Edmunds news:
2016 Jaguar F-Type Arrives at Dealerships in April, Starting at $65,995
Let's say you have up to $120 grand to spend on a two-seat sport coupe and you want a premium brand and some serious performance. Let's also say for the sake of this argument that you want it to be British. You're pretty much down to the Jaguar F-Type Coupe and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. What do you do?
I'd go with the F-Type R Coupe. Hands down. No hesitation whatsoever.
The Vantage has been kicking around for a decade and even back then, it wasn't quite as advanced or as polished as other $100,000+ sport coupes. I somehow snagged the V8 Vantage GT for a day and all I could think was, "I'd rather be in the Jag."
Everything about the Vantage GT seemed well suited to shredding through tight canyon roads, but in everyday conditions (traffic, straight highways), it suffered. Personally, I thought there was simply too much resistance in all the controls. The steering, pedals and even the shifter demanded a lot of effort. Again, great on a track or twisty road, not so much in a parking lot or the daily commute.
Sure, the Vantage has that certain curb appeal that the Jag might be lacking, but that all ends once you're inside. The poor interior quality that has plagued Aston Martin remains, and in a six-figure car, it's unforgivable.
By comparison, the F-Type is more polished, higher performing and has much more range when it comes to everyday drivability.
What do you think? Is it worth the sacrifice to pretend like you're James Bond for a day, or do you go for the Jaaaaaag?
After crossing the 16,000-mile mark on our beloved F-Type, it was time for a scheduled visit for what amounted to an oil change and inspection. But we also had a few other issues to address.
Consulting with a service advisor at Hornburg Jaguar/LandRover, just a few blocks away from Edmunds HQ, a few other items popped up on the computer. Service campaigns were noted for creaking parcel shelves, delaminating load spaces and the wiring for the seat belt tensioner systems.
Adding to the to-do list, I asked them to check out a clunking noise from the driver seat that we've heard while making right turns (I've never experienced this myself) and paint chipping off of the paddle shifters. The advisor said that it'd be done the next day.
Near the end of the next business day, the advisor called to inform us that they'd be replacing the paddles, but that they wouldn't be in for another day. No big deal. We waited. About 24 hours later, the car was ready. There were no service charges.
Considering how hard we drive this car, I think it's holding up like a champ.
Roy Haynes is a legendary jazz drummer. He's 90 years old and still performs. Haynes has played with the heaviest jazzbos: John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Theolonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea. Back in the 50's and 60's, Haynes, like Miles, dressed sharp and liked fast cars. Davis and he would often race each other through New York City in their convertibles.
He's said his first car was a convertible Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight and his garage has included custom Eldorados, a CL500, a Firebird, a Bricklin, and several others I don't recall from my reading on the man. And even if he no longer hammers the throttle (and I can't say he doesn't), I suspect Roy would like our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.
It's got 11 cubic feet of trunk space, enough for a very small drumkit: a snare, maybe a floor tom, some cymbals and stands in the cargo area. A small bass drum could ride in the passenger seat. I didn't need all that gear where the Jag was taking me this particular evening, but with more effort than my slap-dash packing here, I'm sure it would've fit, especially if I dispensed with space-consuming hardshell cases.
I remember reading an interview with Haynes in a drum magazine. He'd been criticized by a writer who said he used small drums because he was a small guy. Nonsense, Haynes said. I'm paraphrasing but the answer was something like:
"I played small drums because I had a small sports car and they fit in the trunk!"
For a low-slung sports car, our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe has pretty excellent curb clearance. The curb in this photo is 12 inches high, pretty tall by curb standards. But the Jag's door clears it with no problem. With a step-in height of 16.38 inches, the bottom of the Jag's doors are higher off the ground than our long-term 2015 Mustang (14.75), a 2014 Boxster S (14.31), or our long-term 2014 Stingray (13.0).
It's worth considering, however, that those step-in heights are measured with the car unloaded. With a passenger, ride height can change enough to catch the door on a curb or raised landscaping, which makes getting in the car much less graceful. The F-Type's high door sill also helps you avoid that awkward maneuver where you need to pull away from the curb, out into traffic, just to allow your passenger to climb in.
Sure you have to step up and over the door sill to get in, which is mildly annoying, but it's better than scraping off paint on the concrete.
LED map/reading lights sound like a great idea. They're bright, energy efficient and generally emit a pleasant color temperature. But LEDs bulbs are also pretty directional, focusing their beam of light in a fairly narrow spread. That's actually pretty handy when, you know, you're reading a Thomas Guide. But since most people abandoned that skill last millennium, LED overheads seem a bit more of a fashion than true utility.
And since everything seems turned around backwards in our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, I couldn't make sense of which controls were on the left stalk after a long absence from the F-Type and starting home in the dark (I was also looking to set the headlight controls back to Auto because resident technophobe Kurt Niebuhr insists on deselecting the Auto setting on any car he passes through. He'd have the whole fleet on bias plies if he were king).
The LED dome lights were no help in illuminating the left side doorwell. The photo above is a good representation of the light coverage. There's just no ambient spill over there, making it near-impossible to determine what controls are over there, at least at a glance while driving in the dark. I'll chalk up some of this to age and deteriorating eyesight, but in this scenario, I'll take a regular incandescent or fluorescent bulb.
When Edmunds first got a hold of our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe in July 2014, I told everyone. I was anxious to drive the car and excited to talk about it. If you had five minutes to spare, I was going to tell you about my new favorite car in our fleet. That same week, I spoke to my father and our conversation, as it almost always does, led to cars. He wondered what I was driving and what was new at the office, so of course I brought up the F-Type.
Then, in true Dad-style, he regaled me with tales of a car from his past. In this case, it was his Jaguar XK120. To follow up, he sent me a few photos of the XK120 and his thoughts about the design language of the two cars.
That's Dad's old Jag in the photo (and his period-correct 70's haircut) and here are his thoughts on the XK/F-Type design language:
"Looking at this photo, I was reminded why Jaguar styling has generally been so successful. The great automotive designer Alex Tremulis (who was a good friend for several years before he passed away) once told me that every truly great design is "wheel-specific." He meant that the proportion between the body of the car and its greenhouse had to be in tune with the size and placement of the wheels and tires, especially the size. "Wheel size is everything," he said. Since he designed several Duesenbergs and Cords and the Tucker, he definitely knew.
"When you look at the XK 120, it has those large (for the time) 16-inch wire wheels and those very tall 600x16 tires, which makes the wheel masses dominate the side profile of the car, giving it a sense of motion, power and grace that is just absent in lesser designs. The car exudes the feeling that it was designed from the wheels up, which gives it a purposeful, race-bred look, too. Same with the E-Type and same with the F-Type. They're beautiful because the proportion of the wheels and tires makes them that way."
When I look at the two photos of the different Jaguars, separated by nearly seven decades, it doesn't take me long to see what he's talking about. It also doesn't take long to realize that I'll never be cool enough to pull off that afro, those lifts or bell-bottoms of any kind.
There is no better way to wind down a long day at the office than jumping into the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe and roaring through downtown Los Angeles when traffic has cleared. After a late night photo shoot, I grabbed they keys, fired it up and...there was the low tire-pressure warning. The instrument panel displayed 22 psi in the right rear tire. The recommended tire pressure sticker in the doorjamb stated 36 psi.
I was in a rush to get home and left the Jag to sit overnight in the parking garage. The next morning, we checked the tire with a gauge, which now read 10 psi. Rolling the car back, we found a nail in the tread. The leak was slow, so we inflated the tire slightly over the recommended pressure and proceeded to Stokes Tire Service.
I've driven our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe for an extended stretch over the last few weeks — about eight days combined — and at least four times, the car has refused to start on the first attempt. Nothing was mechanically wrong, but according to this little screen on the dash, the Smart Key was in a place where the Jaguar couldn't sense its presence. I like to call that place my front pocket.
Each time it happened, I took the key out, placed it next to the steering wheel as per the Jag's instructions and a few seconds later it fired to life.
What's strange about this is that the Jag could sense the key from outside the car (I pressed the keyless-entry button on the door to unlock it and get in). But once I was sitting in the driver's seat, it lost track of the key somehow. Maybe the smart key needs a new battery, although that seems unlikely since it still locks and unlocks the car on the first press, every time. If the issue persists, we'll call the dealer and see what advice they've got.
For the first time in a long time it rained in Southern California last week. And lucky me, I was in our long-term, 550-horsepower, rear-wheel drive, summer tire-equipped 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.
It's seldom that we get to test cars in conditions other than "sunny and warm" here in SoCal, so I was curious to see what the F-Type was like in the wet. And just how sideways I could get it.
With the traction control engaged, the rear end of the Jaguar is extremely sensitive to application of power. The throttle is limited dramatically when the tires start to lose traction, or at least enough to keep you out of trouble. Winter Mode limits power even further, but it wasn't really necessary in these conditions.
The rain-sensing wipers were useful and the functionality easy to learn. Once I had them turned on, I let the computer do the work. After about an hour on the freeway, I realized I had only fiddled with the wipers once or twice. This technology is well-sorted on the F-Type.
Driving the Jag in the rain wasn't intimidating at all. It may be a low-slung sports car on summer tires, but those tires are still very capable of calm and composure in wet conditions. As we've detailed in the past, summer tires don't get nearly enough credit for their wet-weather performance and with the Jag's Pirelli P-Zeros, I never felt unsafe.
Jaguar, it seems, felt they needed a bit more traction for the 2016 version so they added all-wheel drive. But in a climate like southern California's, this rear-drive F-Type gets the job done just fine.
To me, the active spoiler on our long term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is the car's least-aesthetically pleasing feature. On an otherwise smooth and exquisitely-designed rear end, the spoiler looks out of place. Even when the spoiler is tucked away, the rear character lines are abruptly interrupted by the spoiler's presence.
What's more, it pops up automatically at freeway speeds and can't be put down manually. In the coupe, the spoiler goes up at 70 mph and doesn't retract until you drop below 50 mph. This means you see it every time you check your rearview mirror and you're reminded of its less-than-conspicuous presence (my colleague Brent Romans related a story about a concerned phone call from his wife during her first drive in the Jag and mistaking the spoiler for an open hatch lid).
It also means you look a bit silly when you're stuck behind an 18-wheeler on the highway doing 55 mph and your spoiler is deployed.
According to Jaguar, the active rear spoiler "generates 264 pounds of downforce on the rear... at top speed of 186 mph" and that's a good thing. I'll always value function over form, but I don't believe the two are mutually-exclusive attributes. I've seen smaller, more understated and better integrated spoilers on high-performance Jags in the past (the XKR Coupe comes to mind) and I don't mind those at all.
This is, admittedly, a small gripe on a car that I like quite a bit. It will never stop me from signing the Jag out when it's available. I'm not sure there's much that would.
We skipped our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe fuel economy update last month, so we'll make up for lost time here. We've put approximately 2,250 miles on the Jag in the last two months and during that time it went in for routine maintenance and tire repair.
Our lifetime MPG, and best and worst fills remain the same, but we did manage to slightly increase our best range.
Dan Edmunds squeezed 297.8 miles out of a tank for a calculated mpg of 16.8 (Jaguar specs our coupe to achieve 296 miles in the city and 425.5 on the highway). Dan ran the tank down pretty good too, filling the 18.5-gallon capacity tank with 17.70 gallons of 91 octane.
Personally, I don't think I could ever achieve those kinds of numbers. I just spent a few days with my favorite long termer and turned in single-digit mpg results. What can I say? This car brings out my wasteful side, though my colleagues will argue that I don't have a frugal side.
Worst Fill MPG: 8.9
Best Fill MPG: 29.9
Average Lifetime MPG: 15.0
EPA MPG Rating: 18 Combined (16 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 297.8
Current Odometer: 18,880
I recently started taking long-term cars on one-day road trips for no particular reason. One morning it was our 2014 Mini Cooper for 600 round-trip miles to Bishop, California, then the Mini again to Laughlin, Nev., for another 600 miles.
This time my destination was the Arizona border, 500 miles away. I chose our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.
As with previous road trips, I had little more planned than the turn-around point. Get to the Arizona border, touch the sign and head home. That was my agenda. Along the way, I formed some long-haul opinions of the driver seat and the seldom-used Eco mode, and exploited the Jag's true fuel-efficiency potential.
There is a seam down the center of the F-Type seat bottom. It turns out my body has a seam that runs down the center in about that same area. The two do not get along well. I found the seam rubbed my tailbone uncomfortably when wearing jeans but wasn't nearly as invasive with shorts. I made a point to wear shorts on this trip.
The F-Type seat is jeered on this blog for its lack of comfort. And sure, I noticed the low-hanging headrest, the aggressive side bolsters, the aforementioned seam and the general firmness of the seat when I first climbed into it. I can add a lack of legroom to the list. Not even pushing the seat all the way back gave me enough room unless I stretched both legs to the dead pedal side of the footwell.
But I'll tell you what. After a short time on the road, I settled in and forgot all about these complaints. Seat comfort was fine.
The first leg of this road trip was going to double as a fuel economy test. So as boring and counterintuitive as it felt, I turned off the sport exhaust and turned on Eco mode. Doing so quelled the intoxicating aria of the tailpipes and silenced the cabin. Jaguar's sound deadening efforts were evident as the F-Type cruised at a steady 70 mph and 1,500 rpm. Normally the engine note is entertainment enough. Without it, I had to find a good radio channel to save me from boredom.
A firm ride is normal here. It can be harsh across more significant bumps in the road, true, but it was hardly tooth-chattering along most stretches of State Routes 22, 91, 60 and Interstate 10. These Pirelli tires tend to follow expansion joints and ruts in the road, which I consider a knock against ride quality. Beyond that I had no issue.
Part of my goal was to see just how far the F-Type would travel on a single tank of fuel. I figured that ought to give me a pretty good chance of beating the established best range record of 297.8 miles and best single-tank fuel economy of 27.1 mpg.
I locked the cruise control at 70 mph and relaxed. After 408.2 miles, it was time to find a gas station. That was a podium topper. My 25.5 mpg was not enough to claim the best single-tank record, but did surpass the EPA highway estimate of 23 mpg.
Stay tuned for a photo recap of the trip.
A few weeks ago, we had our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe in for regularly scheduled service. While there, we had them replace the painted-plastic shift paddles because the paint had begun peeling from one of them.
Now it's already happening on the new ones.
It's tough to see in pictures, but fingertips are very sensitive and if you just touch the thing, you can feel the rough edges of peeling paint. It hasn't started to wear off the bronze coloration, but the clearcoat is eroding away from the seams.
What's causing this? An Edmunds editor with long, sharp fingernails and a habit of picking? Someone with a wedding ring? Paint that is dissolved by contact with human skin?
I don't think it matters either way. Painted plastic is an inelegant (but cost effective!) option here. The chromed plastic ones on the Cadillac ATS were better. And while the manual transmission-equipped Corvette was lame-lame-lame for having paddles at all (only offering one steering wheel regardless of transmission is cost effective!) those unpainted paddles were better.
Then there are the kings of the hill: Porsche and Nissan. The Porsche's are metal and feel solid with no seams. The GT-Rs paddles are magnesium with leather on the bits you touch. Mercedes-AMG's shift paddles are metal too, but they're a little stubby so I'm not highlighting them here.
With more than 20,000 miles on our clock, we probably won't have time to get these replaced, but the moral of the story is clear: Metal good, plastic bad.
Take the jump for a photographic recap of my recent 500-mile road trip to Arizona and back in our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.
I was 90 minutes into the drive before the sun considered showing its face, passing through Banning, Calif., when there was finally enough light to start shooting photos.
The name of this liquor store and smoke shop was ironic, so it deserved mention.
A handful of shots from behind Whitewater Rock & Supply in, big surprise, Whitewater, California.
Always neat to see the windmills outside of Palm Springs.
Reminded me of those black snake fireworks I used to light as a kid.
General Patton Museum at Chiriaco Summit, California. The big rigs parked out front led me to believe it was closed this early in the day. The "Hours of Operation" sign confirmed it.
The Arizona border was my goal. So I turned around in Ehrenberg, Ariz., neighbor city to Blythe, Calif., on the other side of the Colorado River.
Back in Blythe at the Steaks 'n Cakes restaurant. I recommend the shakes.
I couldn't decide whether these patches of headless palm trees along I-10 belonged in a nuclear fallout documentary or an Ansel Adams print.
After driving the 550-horsepower F-Type R like a granny for 408 miles, I was out of gas. Well, the car said it had another 12 miles in the tank but that was close enough to empty for me.
March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California. It's a neat detour if you have the time and planes are your thing.
Our F-Type is cool. I think these F-Types are cooler: F-84, F-86 and more.
After 500 miles and 10.5 hours, I was back home. Or at a place nearby that I would like to call home one day.
I don't usually call anything shy of 1,000 miles a road trip, but after covering half that distance in our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, I'm going for it. When I signed out the Jag for this trip, I was torn. On one hand, I would have to suffer its invasive seat-seams for hours.
On the other hand, it was going to rain and I like RWD + rain.
Turns out I didn't have to worry about the seat. I'm not sure if my physiology has changed or if, after 20,000 miles, the leather on these seats has finally broken in. The seat felt more supple and accommodating, and the giant seam that runs down the center seemed to violate me less. It didn't stop violating me, it just violated me less.
What I hadn't expected was the amount of road noise this thing makes. Yes, it's loud on throttle and it's a sports car with big meaty contact patches, but I drove a 911 cross-country with no hearing loss. I don't think I could say the same if I cross-countried the Jag. There's no real exhaust noise on the highway, just tire and suspension. Roaaaaar. Thunk thunk. WSHHHHHHHHHcrackWSHHHHHH. Can't-listen-to-an-audiobook-loud. For hours.
Steering: On city streets, the Jag tends to feel darty as it hooks into ruts and rain grooves and dives down road crowning like it's high-speed banking. I expected similar performance on the highway and got it. At freeway speeds, the Jag's a two-hander. If you tried to send a text while driving this thing, you'd cross three lanes and be upside down in a ditch before selecting the correct winky-face emoji.
I may be in the minority, but I prefer a car that requires some effort on the highway. It helps to keep me alert, entertained and happy. To this end, I was a fan of the Jag. It needed me just to stay on the road.
Cargo space: Overnight bag. Gym bag. Briefcase-thingy. They all fit. So did my coffee cup. I did, however, want more center console space. Sunglasses, iPod charging cable, parking pass and GoPro took up the whole thing.
Ride: Expectedly stiff. Doesn't like big seams in the pavement. Perfectly fine.
Stereo: Not great. I can't figure out what kind of music this thing is tuned for, but it's nothing I listen to. Even audiobooks and podcasts don't sound right. I wish I could point to a specific flaw, but it's just lifeless.
Rain performance: Weeeeeee! Totally made me forget everything else.
Last year I took a road trip to Las Vegas in our departed 2014 Kia Cadenza. In search of a new favorite restaurant after our old one, Max Brenner, closed, my friends and I discovered Holstein's Shakes and Buns at the Cosmopolitan. I ordered the Gold Standard burger. It's one of the best I've ever had and I've been thinking about it ever since.
As time dulled my memory, I asked myself whether the burger was really that good or if I'd let my enthusiasm carry me away. There was only one way to know. I would have to go back for round two before I recommended it to everyone I knew. I cleared my schedule, grabbed the keys to the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe and prepared to go to Vegas for lunch.
The F-Type isn't the first car requested for a long trip due to its sport suspension and hard seats. As a result, the car was 4,300 miles behind our 20,000-mile target at the outset of my trip and 500 round-trip miles would inch us closer to the goal. A friend and I left Los Angeles on a Thursday morning at around 7 a.m.
Traffic was nonexistent, save for a small spot of congestion near Ontario International Airport. A breakfast limited to coffee necessitated a restroom break in Barstow and then it was back into the empty Mojave. We arrived at Holstein's just after the restaurant opened at 11 a.m.
We enjoyed complimentary cayenne-dusted popcorn and salivated when we saw our twin Gold Standard burgers leave the kitchen. The combination of dry-aged beef, bacon, aged goat cheddar, tomato confit, arugula and garlic-chive aioli was almost too much for our flavor-deprived taste buds.
"This was definitely worth the drive," my friend mumbled as he ravaged cow and pig. I agreed. The fries were a little soggy, but I've had few better burgers. It's a lunch worth driving from LA to Vegas.
We snapped a few photos on top of the Luxor parking garage, fueled up and left. The return trip also took four hours and was uneventful, with one exception. Construction on Interstate 15 highlighted the Jag's trouble navigating longitudinal cracks and joints in the road. I noticed this on a previous trip to San Diego, where freeway construction had exaggerated the steering wheel pull.
We've noticed this behavior from Pirelli PZero tires before. The tire tread just likes to follow grooves. I wonder how the optional Michelin Pilot Super Sports might have performed under the same conditions. Too bad they weren't available when we replaced the Jag's tires last October.
I managed a respectable 23.3 mpg from Fontana to Vegas and 22.7 mpg on the reverse trip, making for overall fuel economy of 23 mpg. Not bad considering the presence of a second passenger, blasting A/C and several thousand feet of elevation change.
Given the spate of recent road-trip posts about our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, with plenty more in the archives, I'm disinclined to give you the blow-by-blow of my trek to Temecula Valley wine country.
So I'll just observe that this car is recalibratingly fast.
And now I'll explain why I had to make up a word to describe it.
A lot of modern performance cars are what I would call blandly fast. Twin-turbo V8? Ho hum. Zero to 60 in less than 4 seconds? Moderately diverting. There tends to be an ultra-refined, almost clinical quality to the experience that frankly makes it less thrilling than it should be. Cars are faster than ever these days, but are they more exciting? Not necessarily.
As such, I can generally hop back into an ordinary car without feeling like my whole sense of speed has been redefined.
But when I got out of the F-Type R, I needed a full night's sleep before other cars stopped feeling broken.
With its low driving position, stiff ride, hair-trigger throttle response and downright antisocial exhaust situation, the Jag pulls off an exceedingly rare trick for a 550-horsepower sports car — it actually feels faster than it is. By the numbers, you could do better, but this car is far more engaging than, say, a Nissan GT-R. I honestly can't think of another car in which flooring the accelerator brought me this much happiness. It's the perfect marriage of contemporary speed science and old-school sensory overload.
I had a lot of fun configuring a Porsche Macan the way I'd have it and loved seeing how you guys would (and in some cases have) configured yours. So let's do it again, this time with our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.
A quick refresher: Starting at $99,925, the 2015 R Coupe comes loaded. Twenties. Five hundred fifty-horsepower V8. Leather. Automatic. From there, we made a couple of personalizations like orange paint, dark wheels and blacked-out details. Ours wears a sticker price of $103,425.
It's cool, but it's not how I'd do it.
The Jag is neat, but I don't totally get the styling, its seat is far too invasive, and it's too loud. I'm glad that someone makes a car like this. They just didn't make it for me.
I briefly considered the big boy, but the 911 is too comfortable and has too many seats. You can for sure get a Carrera S with minimal options (standard paint and wheels, PASM, aggressive seats) for $103,000. That's a darned good car, one of the best. It's one of those cars that makes you feel like you've spent money wisely and it just so happens to be wicked quick.
On a canyon road, my money's on the Carrera S over the Jag F-Type R Coupe every time. The only trouble with the 911 is that it's sensible. It's why I love it and question the sanity of Mark, who loves the Jag.
So if I were in the market for a go-fast sports car with theater, drama, presence and curb appeal, I'd get the Porsche Cayman GT4.
Yeah, it "only" has 385 horsepower, but it also only weighs 2,955 lbs. We haven't had a GT4 in for testing (yet), but we recently tested a Cayman S manual (325 horsepower) that did 0-60 in 4.6 seconds (4.4 w/rollout) and cleared the quarter in 12.8 @ 108.8 mph. That's slower than the Jag's 3.8 to sixty (3.6 w/rollout) and 11.8-second, 121.3-mph quarter-mile run. I'm okay with that.
Here are the important bits of my GT4: Manual transmission, adaptive sport seats (18-way adjustable), dual-zone climate (yeah, I skipped A/C delete; I'm not that hardcore), heated seats (see that whole "not hardcore" thing), navigation, bi-xenon adaptive headlights, Sapphire Blue Metallic paint.
Total cost: $95,735.
See more here http://www.porsche-code.com/PG5H4LP5 and share how you'd blow $103k in the comments.
In a recent Southern California poll, the fourth most-popular vehicle among both male and female surfers — behind three generations of Volkswagen Beetle — was the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.
OK, that's not even remotely true. But we can guarantee that at least one person has attempted to take 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe out surfing in the past 24 hours. And he's probably not a complete tool, either.
Those familiar with lugging gear up to the slopes or down to the beaches will probably agree that there are significant advantages to securing your equipment inside the vehicle. If traveling long distances, you want to avoid mounting a large aero brake on your car by strapping boards or other equipment to the roof. In 2009, Edmunds investigated the effects of vehicle aerodynamics on fuel economy, where carrying luggage on the roof decreased fuel economy by a whopping 21 percent.
Another reason: security. Between your house and destination, transporting anything of worth on a roof rack increases risk for passive mechanical failure (your stuff ends up on the highway) or active mechanical failure (your stuff ends up on Craigslist). Sure, they make equipment to help avoid such events, but nothing provides more peace of mind than stowing your stuff indoors and out of sight.
Third, and most important (for this guy at least), is the convenience factor. If I can save 10 to 15 minutes worth of throwing nylon webbing straps across a roof and fidgeting with foam padding placement, the time accumulated over a lifespan would amount to days better spent doing other things. Like surfing.
And now for the answer you didn't know you were waiting for. Yes. Yes, you can transport a surfboard inside a 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. The boards pictured below measure 6'2 and 6'4 long and 20 inches and 19 inches at their widest points respectively.
6'4 board, 19 inches wide. Fits easily between the seats with length to spare
6'2 board, 20 inches wide. Fits well, but nearing the width limit between seats. Costco Wavestorm is definitely a no-go.
Loading the boards requires removing the detachable trunk tonneau cover, but otherwise poses zero hassles in either case. The longer, 19-inch wide board seems to be the optimal width for the space between the seats and you probably can't go much wider than 20 inches.
As for longitudinal constraints, this Jag has more to give. Ignoring the dimensional effects of a surfboard's rocker (the deck curvature at the nose and tail), my quick and dirty tape measurements estimate a board measuring up to 7'5 should fit like a glove. This also leaves ample trunk space for other water-related necessities.
The 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe was not designed with "beach activity compliance" as a primary concern, but for those with the interest and means, it's good to know it can pull such duty. Take it from a nut whose current mode of surf transport is a 2001 BMW Z3 M Coupe. Yes, there are people who care about such things.
The 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe arrived at our doorstep with 3,755 miles. So we haven't technically had the car for a full 20,000 miles yet. Nevertheless, we're in the habit of recapping long-term car progress at 5,000-mile odometer intervals. That also happens to be how many miles we added to the Jag since its last milestone in February.
Trips to Arizona, Las Vegas and around town helped put us on target to reach our 20,000-mile target by the time the car leaves in July.
The Jaguar proved an affable running buddy to Travis when he ran a 15K. Travis also noted its wet-weather stability during the one weekend this decade that it rained in Southern California. Schmidt decided to visit Arizona on a whim, and returned with cool photos to document the trip. And I took a friend and the Jag on a road trip to Las Vegas for a much-needed burger run.
On the maintenance side, the right rear tire needed a patch in February and again in April. The Jag's first service, which consisted of an oil change and safety inspections, was done at the 16,000-mile mark in March. Service bulletins for delaminating load spaces, creaking parcel shelves and the wiring for the seat belt tensioner systems were addressed.
We also notified the service technicians of a clunking driver seat and paint chipping off the shift paddles. We paid nothing for the service. Maybe we got what we paid for because the paint is peeling off the new set of paddles, too.
The next milestone is 23,755 which, sadly, will mark the end of our test.
May was a big month for our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. Thanks to road trips by Mike Schmidt, Mike Magrath and Cameron Rogers, we added another 2,584 miles. In the process, our overall average nudged just a bit higher and Schmidt obliterated the previous range on a single tank.
He somehow squeezed 408.2 miles out of a single tank on his Arizona road trip. That's 110.4 miles further than anyone's managed. This is in stark contrast to two fuel log entries that list single-digit mpg numbers with the initials "MT" scrawled next to them. Funny, I don't remember having Marlo Thomas or Mike Tyson visit as guest editors. Oh look, a squirrel!
In order to hit our 20,000-mile target before the car goes back to Jaguar, we'll need another banner month like May (the car came to us with almost 4,000 miles on the clock). It'll be a sad day in the office when we surrender the keys, but perhaps we'll give it a proper road trip send-off.
Worst Fill MPG: 8.9
Best Fill MPG: 29.9
Average Lifetime MPG: 15.4
EPA MPG Rating: 18 Combined (16 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 408.2
Current Odometer: 21,464
If and when the F-Type receives a mid-cycle refresh, I hope the seats get a lot of attention. Yes, it's been well-documented how our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe seats leave much to be desired, but here are a few less disheartening examples.
For example, the F-Type's lumbar and side bolster supports are pneumatic, not mechanical. That means when you add a little support, a tiny compressor inflates some air bladders embedded in the seats. The problem with the F-Type's system is mainly with the vertical lumbar adjustment.
In order to find the right extension and position, you have to inflate both the upper and lower lumbar bladders. Then you have to move the toggle up or down to adjust the position. Unlike mechanical systems, the Jag's simply deflates the opposite bladder. And upon deflation it sounds as if I ate too much sauerkraut the night before.
By contrast, the underlying supports in mechanical systems move and maintain their adjustments in the process. My theory is that Jaguar uses pneumatic adjustments to preserve weight and space. I can't imagine that mechanical units are very light or compact compared to a tiny compressor and a few air bladders.
Admittedly, these minor inconveniences are less of an issue for a "real" owner. We're hopping in and out of cars on a daily basis, so we're constantly adjusting seats. Also, as limiting as the seats are, they do little to tarnish the little Jag's shine. Eleven months later, I am still madly in love with it.
About two months ago, we took our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe to the dealer for scheduled maintenance. One of the service campaigns that the dealer addressed during that visit was "delaminating load spaces." It would appear the job needs to be done again.
This problem looks pretty basic. The sound deadening underneath the trunk cover is glued on and the glue isn't strong enough. When I opened the Jag's trunk to see this happening, I momentarily considered picking up $10 worth of epoxy to fix it. But this is a loaner car, so I drove to Hornburg Jaguar instead. David, the service advisor had me in and out in about 5 minutes.
At first, he suggested that I leave the car over the weekend but when I showed him how easily I could take the part out of the car, he was fine with me leaving the trunk cover so they could do their work and I could keep driving the F-Type. We'll wait for their call to pick up the trunk cover and re-install it.
I hate the driver's seat in our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. It looks great, but a bleacher seat at Fenway is softer and ultimately more comfortable.
But this isn't about the seat's function; it's about its durability. In the last 11 months, we've driven our orange beast almost 22,000 miles, which is probably about two years of use for the typical owner. And the interior is showing signs of wear.
We've already documented the peeling copper finish on the Jag's paddle shifters. Well, now the driver's seat is looking pretty beat. The leather on the bolsters, especially the one on the seatback, is showing major wear due to continuous butt-rubbing as we get in and out from behind the wheel.
Some of the plastic trim on the pillar behind the seat is also warping and pulling away from its proper placement, and there are some carpet issues beginning to creep into the foot well area.
Jag has definitely addressed the reliability and dependability of its vehicles. Once legendarily bad in these areas, Jags now border on bulletproof. This F-Type and our former long-term XF, workhorses both, prove that. If you're hesitant to buy a Jaguar because you think it's going to break down all the time, get your head out of 1982. It's just not the reality in 2015.
Having said that, it seems Jaguar has a little ways to go on the durability of some of its interior materials.
I've spent a lot of time in our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe over the last year and I've loved almost every minute of it. To my mind though, our particular car is missing a few things. If I were buying my own F-Type, I'd choose some additional options and make some theoretical changes to the platform, too.
5. Big cupholders. The door cubbies hardly hold a 12-ounce bottle and the center console doesn't do much better. Pretty much everything I can buy at the local 7-Eleven outsizes the small cupholders.
4. A sunroof. I flip-flop between the benefits of a convertible F-Type in sunny Southern California and the epically good looks of the coupe (along with the actually-useful trunk), but the best compromise is a coupe with a panoramic sunroof.
3. Tinted windows. Any good sports car deserves a bit of anonymity and some deep tint on the back window would keep out the glare from tailgating SUVs in and around Los Angeles. On any car as low as the F-Type, window tint is a must.
2. Comfortable seats. Our long-term 2014 Stingray had fantastic seats and cost $31k less, so the Jag doesn't have any excuse. Hell, if anybody's got a 2014 Stingray to cannibalize, we'll take the seats from that. The Jag's seats are great at holding me down during high-G corners, but after a few hours, I want out.
1. A third pedal. The perfect combination for the F-Type would be the 550-horsepower R motor, rear-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission. With the 2016 F-Type, you can have the manual or the 550-hp motor, but not both. What's more, if you want the most powerful engine, you have to get all-wheel drive. It's probably still fun to drive, but the dream world where I live and own an F-Type should be as specific as possible.
With all that said, I'd still choose the F-Type over any car in our long-term fleet right now (and I often do). It's an excellent car and if I hit the lottery this week, it'll be one of the first purchases I make.
I'd been itching to go to Las Vegas for a while now, especially now that the weather is heating up. Matter of fact, going to Vegas in the summer is one of my favorite things to do. You can always fly to Vegas, but when the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is available for the weekend, the choice to drive becomes a whole lot easier.
I live in Southern California's San Fernando Valley, about 15 miles west of Universal Studios. When I head over to the city of lost wages, I nearly always drive. In fact, I've flown to Vegas only twice in the past two decades, even though I visit Sin City at least twice a year. To me, driving is more convenient and only takes a bit longer than hopping on a plane.
A quick check of Google Maps says the trip from home to hotel is about 280 miles. Estimated drive time is about four and half hours. I'll add 15 minutes for a gas/ bathroom break for a grand total of four hours and forty five minutes.
If I flew, I would:
1: Drive to LAX airport (45 minutes)
2: Arrive early for TSA, etc (90 minutes)
3: Fly (60 minutes)
4: Claim baggage (25 minutes)
5: Cab/shuttle/car rental to hotel (25 minutes)
That's all about four hours, so I save about 45 minutes by flying. Still, driving makes more sense. No rentals to deal with, and having your own car saves on cab fare.
My wife met me in Vegas. She was coming in from Denver, so she flew. Our combined six travel bags fit in the trunk with no problem. I'm always surprised how much stuff I can pack into the cargo area.
One quick observation about this car is that, somehow, it makes me more memorable. The Missus and I have stayed at this same hotel more than once, in regular cars, and never once has the valet team remembered my name. I've been "hey man," "buddy," and "bro" plenty of times. But pull up in the F-Type and all of a sudden I'm "Mr. Jones."
Once we were settled, my better half and I decided to check out this Holsteins burger joint that Cameron won't shut up about. And just like Cameron, I'm now officially a Holstiens fan.
But unlike Cameron or Mike, Travis, the other Mike, Ed, or the other other Mike, I have absolutely no problem with the F-Type seats. They don't seem hard to me, and actually I was quite comfy on the 280-mile drive from Los Angeles to Clark County. That seam down the middle of the seat that bothers the other guys didn't bother me in the least.
Is it because I'm heavier than these guys and the seats are secretly made for us burly types? Or maybe over the past 22K miles, the seat has worn in, becoming less invasive? Could it just be that my backside is less sensitive? Beats me. But I tell you what, I think I could drive this bad boy from LA to NY and back again without much comfort issue. Matter of fact, I volunteer.
I do agree that the car is loud on the highway, however. And I love every decibel. The only thing missing in my mind is a sunroof, which would always be open and make the ride even louder. I'd also be okay with that.
We didn't drive the car much while in Vegas. And much too quickly, our weekend was over and it was time to get back to real life. After taking the Missus to the airport to return to Denver, I left Vegas for home at about 6:30 Monday evening.
Some people dread driving home from Vegas, but I'm not one of those people. In fact, I look forward to it. Driving across the Mojave in a Jaguar? I kinda felt like Sting in that Desert Rose commercial from way back. Except I wasn't being chauffeured.
I was fortunate enough to miss Vegas rush hour on Interstate 15 and before long I was at the state line. By the time I pulled in to Whiskey Pete's for some iced coffee, I had all of my Led Zeppelin albums on shuffle, connected to iPhone via Bluetooth. I was pretty content.
If you've made this LA/Vegas trip, you've probably noticed the Mad Greek Café about 90 miles outside of Vegas. Mad Greek advertises the "Best Gyros USA." And while I can't attest to that, they certainly are tasty and those $5 shakes are mighty good. So I decided to stop for a bite.
Sitting in the diner and snacking on fried mushrooms, I thought about the F-Type. It is simply awesome. Back in February, I wrote a post about how much I liked the Jaguar, even though I never really got a chance to go all wild and crazy. Now that I've been able to push the F-Type out on the empty Mojave highway, I like the car even more. I may even have a crush on the thing.
To me at least, the car is nearly perfect. Sure, there are meaner cars (the Viper we just got), cars that might perform better on the track, cost less, or might be more livable on a regular basis.
But when I put together my checklist of what I'd want from a lux-sport car, this is it.
Over a recent weekend, I had a house-guest who wanted to tour Los Angeles and see all the sights. Two days isn't much when it comes to a city so large, so it's a tall order to be comfortable and entertaining through it all, but our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe was the perfect vehicle for the job.
We drove 90 miles up the coast (and through the mountains), stopped at Neptune's Net for fish, watched the surfers, checked out the city skyline at the Getty Center and rented some bikes to cruise the Venice Beach bike path.
As if to mirror the amusement I got out of her Australian accent, Sarah laughed every time the Jag started up and growled to life. As a result, I left Jag in "loud" mode all weekend long. There may or may not have been a brake stand burnout involved in the weekend's frivolity as well.
At one point in the weekend, I thought "the convertible would've been better for this," but when it came to out-of-town levels of luggage, that definitely wasn't the case. Her massive luggage fit fine in the coupe's trunk, but wouldn't have stood a chance in the F-Type convertible.
If you've got the means to buy an F-Type, you should. If you don't, you should rent one every time your friends come to visit.
We got our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe eleven months ago, with nearly 4,000 miles on the clock already. Since then, we've driven it about 19,000 additional miles and used 1158.6 gallons of fuel. That works out to 15.4 miles per gallon, which is 2.6 mpg less than the combined EPA estimate of 18 mpg and 0.6 mpg lower than the EPA city estimate of 16 mpg.
With an equal mix of city driving, highway commutes and canyon carving, the Jag averaged 15.3 mpg during the month of June, with a best-fill of 25.6 mpg and a worst-fill of 11.1 mpg. At this point, that means that all other lifetime-numbers stayed pretty much the same. Here's what eleven months of fuel economy looks like:
Worst Fill MPG: 8.9
Best Fill MPG: 29.9
Average Lifetime MPG: 15.4
EPA MPG Rating: 18 Combined (16 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 408.2
Current Odometer: 22,744
Before I ever saw it, I knew that someone in my neighborhood bought a 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. From inside my apartment, I could hear the Jag's tuned exhaust and I knew exactly what was driving up and down the street each night. Vrooooooooom. Crackle-crackle-crackle. POP. POP. POP.
"Yup. That's an F-Type. And they've got the active exhaust turned on. Nice."
It was about a week before I spotted the black ("Ultimate Black?) F-Type R in front of my building, happy to see that my neighbor had purchased the rear-wheel drive, 550-horsepower coupe version as well. It even has the same wheels as our former long-termer.
Hopefully they'll enjoy the F-Type as much as I did over its year in our fleet. I'm already really missing this one.
"Hey Mark, how're you doing? Is everything going alright? You look healthy!"
"What do you want, Cameron?"
It seemed Mark had caught on to my pattern of dignified groveling. It was a Thursday and he had signed out the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe for the night, but was switching into another car for the weekend. I didn't plan on going to the office on Friday and asked him to give up his favorite long-termer to satisfy my schedule.
"No problem at all," he said and tossed me the keys.
I owe him one. It didn't feel right to let the F-Type sit in the garage over the Fourth of July weekend, just days before it was due to be returned to Jaguar. It needed a proper send-off. And although my schedule didn't allow for a road trip, I still had a fantastic time driving the coupe around town and giving friends one last ride-along.
I also had plenty of time to reflect upon my experiences with the car.
I first drove it home last October. I took it on a trip to San Diego and immediately fell in love. I distinctly remember returning to the parking lot after checking in at my hotel and saw that it had attracted a crowd. It would be the first of many times I caught people staring enviously. The seductive roofline and hips command attention, as does the divine Firesand orange paint job and the barrage of machine gun blasts that report from the quad exhaust pipes.
I took it on a second road trip just a few months ago. This time, I wanted to get lunch in Las Vegas and I had no interest in waking up at the crack of dawn to do so. I just needed something fast. The F-Type was the obvious choice. It's a tight cabin for two full-size adults, but neither of us suffers from claustrophobia so we managed. We found the burgers delicious and the return drive agreeable.
The seats were hard and tires busy over poorly maintained roads, but the immediate propulsion afforded by the supercharged V8 proved so intoxicating that it overwhelmed all negatives.
And that's the thing with this car. It has faults, from build quality issues to the useless sun visors, but they all seem to go away when the throttle is nailed. The driving experience is complete sensory overload, a major reason why the F-Type is one of the most coveted vehicles in our fleet. The experience is also why its departure is difficult to come to terms with.
But say goodbye we must. The F-Type is going away. May it arrive at the gates of Valhalla, shiny and chrome.
Burnouts are juvenile. Unsophisticated. Lowbrow. Even in a sophisticate like our former 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. Not to mention, burnouts are like, you know, just environmentally uncool, like terra firma chemtrails.
But someone's gotta do 'em. And you haven't come here just to shop for a car, now have ya?
Click through the jump and enjoy.
Big Cat Moves On
What more is left to say? We loved our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. I'd venture to say it was unanimous affection, in varying degrees. Jacqout probably didn't like it as much as, say, Takahashi or Langness, but that's not a surprise. The F-Type doesn't crush cars in big stadiums or go fast on dirt, both key criteria for earning Jacquot's seal of approval.
The rest of us loved it and were sad to see it go. It had some quirks, sure, some that weren't excusable with a sticker of around $103,000. The seats weren't universally loved. The navigation and multimedia interface would've felt old five years ago. The paint started peeling off the paddle shifters, reminding us that they were simply janky plastic pieces, not the sturdy aluminum or magnesium controls found among the performance car kingdom's lesser species.
None of these kept us from driving it. And we had plenty of opportunity. In the 12 months we had it and more than 20,000 miles we drove it, the Jaguar spent just one day out of service.
Check out our collective thoughts, opinions and a general recap of fuel economy, maintenance and what our projected resale value would have been (Jaguar loaned us the car for the long-term test).
What We Got
In 2014 the Jaguar F-Type made its debut as a convertible. It was everything a Jaguar should be — fun to drive, fun to look at and fun to listen to. We liked it, but thought a coupe version would be even better. Sure enough, the F-Type coupe arrived a year later and we decided to add one to the fleet to see if the infatuation would last a whole year.
Our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe was the top model offering. The R trim carried with it a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 generating 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. A firmer suspension, 20-inch wheels, larger brakes and an improved electronic differential set the R apart from the entry-level S trim, though both share an eight-speed automatic transmission. The base MSRP for our car was $99,925.
Options were minimal. Dark alloy wheels were an extra grand and went well with the Black Pack ($400) interior trim package. The Vision Pack ($2,100) added adaptive headlights, a blind spot monitor and a rearview camera. Our total as-tested MSRP was $103,425.
"The V8's engine and exhaust note is brash. The crackles from the exhaust are so far over the top that it almost made a knuckle-dragger like me self-conscious. Almost.... I love the V8. I love that it challenges me. I love that it scares me. I don't care that it's too loud or that I get horrible fuel economy figures. I love driving, and the F-Type R Coupe is a driver's car." — Mark Takahashi
"'Crackle, pop, bang!' the Jag F-Type R sound show began. She looked over at me and said, 'Oh my gosh, you love this car, don't you?' Yeah, I kinda do. And yes, maybe I am a bit obnoxious. But the Jag sounds so fantastic, even if the exhaust noise is a bit over-tuned and overly contrived... not exactly minding the power and speed, either." — Mike Monticello
"I filled up before I left so I could separate the Buttonwillow miles and see what a pure point-to-point highway run at 70-something miles per hour would amount to. The answer: 27.1 mpg for the 200.2 miles to my usual pump #2 at the Sam's Shell station on the edge of my neighborhood." — Dan Edmunds
"I locked the cruise control at 70 mph and relaxed. After 408.2 miles, it was time to find a gas station. That was a podium topper. My 25.5 mpg was not enough to claim the best single-tank record, but did surpass the EPA highway estimate of 23 mpg." — Mike Schmidt
"I'm going to have to agree with Ed Hellwig.... The seats in the F-Type aren't as comfortable as they should be. The stuffing, in the seatback in particular, is quite hard and after a couple of hours in the car you definitely notice that, well, you're noticing the seats.... There are many seats out there with equally superb lateral support, plus all-day comfort. Jag should have done a better job here." — Mike Monticello
"The F-Type seat is jeered on this blog for its lack of comfort. And sure, I noticed the low-hanging headrest, the aggressive side bolsters, the aforementioned seam and the general firmness of the seat when I first climbed into it. I can add a lack of legroom to the list.... But I'll tell you what. After a short time on the road, I settled in and forgot all about these complaints." — Mike Schmidt
"I removed the rigid cargo cover and all of the longer woods from my (golf) bag. At that point, my bag went easily in, as there is actually quite a lot of space underneath the left quarter panel. The woods then fit easily adjacent to the bag and the cargo cover went back on." — James Riswick
"Longboarders will have to look elsewhere, but that's a 5-foot, 6-inch Roberts El Tormentor, with matching orange fins stowed in the back of our long-term F-Type R Coupe." — Scott Oldham
"The F-Type's wide C-pillars look great on the outside, but inside they create two big blind spots at the 5 and 7 o'clock positions. The rear window doesn't help much, either.... Expect half of that tiny view to be blocked when the active spoiler comes up at highway speeds. All this makes the rearview camera and blind spot monitoring systems essential items to put on your must-have list." — Ron Montoya
"Overnight bag. Gym bag. Briefcase-thingy. They all fit. So did my coffee cup. I did, however, want more center console space. Sunglasses, iPod charging cable, parking pass and GoPro took up the whole thing." — Mike Magrath
Audio and Technology
"The system connects to Bluetooth- or USB-connected devices quickly, indexes my 5,000+ song index immediately when connected via USB, and even when the sun is beating down on the screen it's still completely clear and legible. The audio commands are easy to learn, touchscreen buttons respond well to input and the screen graphics look great." — Travis Langness
"I know that some drivers consider blind-spot monitors a wussy feature: Real men (and women) turn their heads. By all means, look over your shoulder, but head-turning will not help you in the Jaguar F-Type. Blinking lights on the mirrors will." — Carroll Lachnit
"After crossing the 16,000-mile mark on our beloved F-Type, it was time for a scheduled visit for what amounted to an oil change and inspection. But we also had a few other issues to address.... About 24 hours later, the car was ready. There were no service charges. Considering how hard we drive this car, I think it's holding up like a champ." — Mark Takahashi
"So when our Jag started to intermittently flash its tire pressure warning light on the right rear, I had to guess that the tire was teetering right on that 20-percent-low threshold that usually activates these devices. And experience tells me that's a slow leak. And living in L.A. where we've got 9,000,000,000 construction sites, experience tells me the cause is a nail." — Mike Magrath
"Take a look at the shift paddles.... They're losing their orange.... I like the idea behind this splash of color, but seeing it rubbing away on the edges of the shift paddles is a little disappointing. Not only does it look shabby, it exposes the fact that behind that glittering orange sheen, the paddles are made of white plastic." — Ed Hellwig
"...by the third session I was finally having fun. The herd thinned from 25 drivers in the first session to fewer than a dozen after lunch, and this meant several uninterrupted laps to truly experience the Jag's capabilities. On the front straight the F-Type R easily cracked 130 miles per hour.... The Jag performed brilliantly." — Travis Langness
Maintenance & Repairs
Service intervals of 16,000 miles meant we visited the dealer for routine maintenance just once during our test. But fresh oil wasn't the Jaguar's only need for dealer attention. There were some service campaigns and warranty repairs as well.
At the 16,000-mile service we had several items addressed. A creak from the parcel shelf fell under a recall campaign (K251) that recommended application of the aptly named "anti-creak paste." Another recall (K255) reapplied failed adhesive to the cargo cover. This came unglued three months later, at which point the cover was replaced completely and under warranty. Paint on both shift paddles was peeling and they were replaced at no charge. Finally, a safety recall (J047) remedied a seatbelt tensioner wiring concern.
Fuel Economy and Resale Value
Observed Fuel Economy:
The EPA estimated 18 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway) for the F-Type R Coupe. Our best single-tank range of 408 miles was the result of intentional frugality, but most tanks averaged closer to 200 miles. Our lifetime average was 15.5 mpg despite a single-tank best of 27.1 mpg.
Resale and Depreciation:
Our test car had an MSRP as-tested of $103,425. After one year it had 23,269 miles on the odo and was valued at $86,504 based on a private-party sale by the Edmunds TMV® Calculator. This equated to just 16 percent depreciation. This is far better than our fleet average, which tends to sit between 20 and 22 percent.
Pros: Stunning performance and sound from the 550-hp V8, responsive automatic transmission rarely picks the wrong gear, can get decent mileage if you're willing to use the cruise control, nicely detailed cabin, useful trunk, solid resale value.
Cons: Aggressive seats don't fit every body type, slow navigation interface, no manual transmission offered with the V8, a few cheap plastic interior parts.
Bottom Line: If you want a high-end sports car that looks good, sounds good and feels good when you're behind the wheel, the Jaguar F-Type R presses all the right buttons. It's not as nimble as a Porsche 911 or as fast as a Z06 Corvette, but if those aren't your priorities, the F-Type is an alternative worth considering.
|Total Body Repair Costs:||None|
|Total Routine Maintenance Costs:||None (over 12 months)|
|Additional Maintenance Costs:||$1,860 to replace four Pirelli P Zeros and patch three flat tires.|
|Warranty Repairs:||Repair parcel shelf creak, apply adhesive to parcel shelf cover, replace parcel shelf cover, replace both paddle shift levers, repair seatbelt tensioner wiring.|
|Scheduled Dealer Visits:||1|
|Unscheduled Dealer Visits:||1 to order replacement parcel shelf|
|Days Out of Service:||1|
|Breakdowns Stranding Driver:||None|
|Best Fuel Economy:||27.1 mpg|
|Worst Fuel Economy:||8.9 mpg|
|Average Fuel Economy:||15.5 mpg|
|True Market Value at service end:||$86,504 (private-party sale)|
|Depreciation:||$16,921 (16% of original MSRP)|
|Final Odometer Reading:||23,269 miles|
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.