2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe vs. F-Type S
November 21, 2014
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.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 11,600 miles