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The Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is wonderful, but lacks finesse

If you want to drive a car that leaves behind memories, opt for Jaguar F-Type R Coupe


The F-Type R Coupe is many wonderful things, but a precise and finessed driving tool it isn’t. It’s too much of a hoon-happy hot rod for that.

As I climbed the ribbon of tarmac that heads towards Aamby Valley, the road started off dry and I was pushing the Jag hard. The car was in Dynamic mode which sharpens the steering and suspension and adds a knife’s edge to the throttle. I had the traction control in Trac DSC mode. The F-Type has lots of grip and power, and a noise to wake the dead. But then it started to rain, and that’s when the animal in the R Coupe was roused!

The tail was sliding out at the slightest provocation and needed an armful of opposite lock to keep it in the right direction. There’s so much power and such sharp response from the 5.0l supercharged V8 that anything more than half throttle will swing the Jag’s gorgeous behind out of line.

The F-Type Coupe has one of the finest derrieres in the business. The roofline descends in one graceful arc from the front windscreen all the way to the thin and sharp tail lamps, capped off with an aggressive diffuser that houses four exhaust tips from hell. The optional glass roof adds to the drama.

The insides are sporty and have lovely touches like the gold-finished start button and paddle shifters. My favourite part of the cabin has to be the seats, with adjustable side bolsters to keep the driver snug and supported.

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The F-Type is not a hard car to drive, at least not at slow speeds, once you get used to the low seating position and sharp throttle. You can hit the exhaust button on the centre console, which mutes the exhaust (the roar sets in only after 4,000 rpm) and suddenly you have an easy, reasonably comfortable grand tourer.

The suspension is stiff, but can handle speed bumps quite well, needing a sideways ascent only over the sharpest ones. But once the speeds climb, you have to have your wits about you. The sheer violence with which the 5-litre supercharged V8 engine propels this car can be disconcerting: We recorded a 0-100 kmph time of 4.4 seconds; Jag claims a top speed of 300 kmph.

The Rs 2.33 crore R Coupe’s biggest rivals are the 911 Turbo and the R8 V10 and both cost about Rs 25 lakh and Rs 40 lakh more respectively. By the end of the drive, I was sure that I’d have been much faster up the same road in either of the other two, but the Jaguar would have been more fun and left me with more memories.