Jaguar has decided to market its new F-Type Coupe as a “British villain,” or so the executives told us as the car was unleashed onto the world Tuesday night: “stylish, calm, calculating, and a little sexy.” As annoying as that characterization might be, when they rolled the red Coupe out, it also seemed terrifyingly accurate. Originally designed as the CX-16 Concept, the Coupe has now come to life, a sinister bullet of a car, with deeply dramatic “heart lines” that swoop from the front grille to the back tail-light, designed to turn heads and drive deep into underground fortress garages.
The F-Type Coupe comes standard with a 340-hp V-6 engine, or with a 380-hp V-6 S package. But what makes it the crown jewel of the Jaguar fleet is the R Coupe, the first time the R high-performance badge has been applied to the F Type. The R comes with a 550-hp supercharged V-8 that can go 0 to 60 in four heartbreaking seconds. It’s fitted with an adaptive dynamics system that will control vertical body movement, roll and pitch rate, an electronic active differential that works with a custom torque vectoring system, state-of-the-art stability control, and an eight-speed transmission, all of which is car-speak for “it will melt your face.” Carbon ceramic brakes and submarine conversion kit are optional.
2013 Los Angeles auto show
All three versions of the F-Type Coupe are constructed on a rigid riveted and bonded all-aluminum platform. The F-Type convertible already has an extraordinary stance through tight turns, but the full-framed Coupe will almost inevitably provide a faster, stiffer, and sharper ride. The interior, even on the new R badge, is more or less the same as on the F-Type convertible, two seats of sporty leather malevolence and a streamlined dash. The Coupe has more trunk space than the convertible, enough to fit two golf bags or one very compact steel hat-throwing manservant.
The F-Type Coupe comes standard at $65,000, the S package starts at $77,000, and the R looms large at $99,000. “This is the car I wanted to be involved with when I started at Jaguar 15 years ago,” Jaguar’s director of design, Ian Callum, told us, “and it’s the car I’ve been personally waiting for for 45 years.” Villains all over the world, British or otherwise, will similarly rejoice at the sight of their sweet new ride.