High-performance comes in many shapes and sizes and these are two very different alternatives
Type R personality STYLE AND TECHNOLOGY COMBINED: The roof flows down to the tailgate to form one of the prettiest rear ends on the road, and the luxury of its interior, as well as the design details, set it apart.

FLAT and wide can either refer to a sandwich that someone has sat on, or the Jaguar F-Type Coupe. The difference is that one doesn't look delicious but the other does. The spiritual successor to the iconic E-Type, the F-Type Coupe, has equally stunning styling as well as the latest technology.

Each side of the curvaceous all-aluminium coupe uses a revolutionary single-piece pressing that gives it not only a sensuous profile but also great strength - even without a centre pillar.

The roof flows down to the tailgate to form one of the prettiest rear ends on the road. And between the muscular haunches is a concealed spoiler which automatically deploys above 110 kmh for increased high-speed stability. To ensure there is sufficient oomph to match the pulse-racing design, the F-Type Coupe gets three supercharged variants. The top-of-the-line version is the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, with a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 producing 550 hp and 680 Nm. These are delivered to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, with zero to 100 kmh accomplished in 4.2 seconds.

The R variant is unique to the Coupe and makes it the most powerful F-Type available. The F-Type Convertible has a V8 S version which also uses a 5.0-litre supercharged V8, but this unit produces less power and torque at 495 hp and 625 Nm.

Press the engine start button and the F-Type R Coupe roars to life. The Active Sports Exhaust's note can be controlled by a button on the lower centre console. It is also activated in Dynamic mode, which is selected by pulling a lever beside the electronic gearstick.

Dynamic mode increases engine response, quickens gear changes and stiffens the damping. It also makes the already meaty steering heavier.

Tap the gas pedal and the F-Type R leaps forward. The acceleration is back-thumping and the auto gearbox tuned to shift so quickly that it does not feel like a conventional automatic transmission with a torque converter. It also allows manual downshifts at high engine speeds.

The Jag has near perfect balance and it gets confident handling, thanks to the Electronic Active Differential which works in parallel with Torque Vectoring by braking.

EAD varies torque transfer between the driven wheels and does so more quickly than a mechanical limited-slip differential, while torque vectoring individually brakes the inner wheels to reduce understeer.

But this Jag is still more of a luxurious grand tourer and less of a nimble sports car. It delivers superb comfort and confidence on long high-speed jaunts. The luxury of its interior, as well as the design details, set it apart. For instance, the door handle pops out like a "handshake", while the centre air vents rise from the sloping dashboard. The F-Type R also gets a full glass roof as standard. Then there is that glorious crackle of the exhaust.

Who knows? The Jaguar F-Type could well become an icon.

CAR INFORMATION

Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe R 5.0 V8 (A)

Price

:POA

Engine Type

:

V8 Supercharged

Engine Cap

:

5,000 cc

Horsepower

:

543 bhp / 6,500 rpm

Torque

:

680 Nm / 3,500 rpm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A) Quickshift

Acceleration

:

4.2 sec (0-100 km/h)

Top Speed

:

300 km/h