Jaguar F-Type R Convertible Review: Driven Hysterically
Jaguar F-Type R convertible is everything it’s supposed to be, and everything it should be.
A Jaguar F-Type is not a rational purchase; it can only carry two people, the trunk isn’t very large. Most of all, it’s expensive—the base model rings in at a sneeze under $60,000.
But rational people don’t buy F-Types, nor is Jaguar in the business of making rational sports cars. No, the F-Type is an emotional purchase. You don’t buy it out of necessity, unless that necessity involves drenching the money that’s burning a hole in your pocket. You buy an it because you want it, you covet it, and you know it is the “wrong” thing to do.
The F-Type R, with it’s $103,850 price tag, takes those covetous feelings and throws them in the oven, where it then promptly lights them on fire with its 550-horsepower, supercharged V8 engine.
Now that this rampant hedonism has scared every pragmatist in a 20-mile radius back into their Prius, I am free to talk to you, one-on-one, about the Jaguar F-Type R.
Just look at it. It’s may not be as delicately beautiful, but it is every bit as sultry and sexy as the 1961 E-Type that set the motoring world on fire at the Geneva Motor Show, and made even Enzo Ferrari question his loyalties. Anyone who says the F-Type isn’t stunning is either lying, being purposefully obtuse, or is a heretic, and should be burned at the stake.
Somehow, the Inside Feels As Special as the Outside.
Whatever Jaguar feeds its cows must be very expensive, because the delightful, padded, leather-bound interior feels both substantial and extremely supple to the touch. Jaguar black leathered all the things—steering wheel, dashboard, and even the center console. You see where I’m going with this. Everything that can be made from leather, or bound with it, is. Oh, and the red contrast stitching is a gorgeous punctuation on this “all-black” party.
Full disclosure: this F-Type R had, by my math, about $5,000 in options—most of which were on the inside. But, does anyone really buy a car with no options? Exactly.
All of this excellence surrounds the central display that, for lack of better phrasing, just exists. It’s five years behind everything else in this interior. But no one cares about that, because it’s not important.
What is Important, is the Driving
Jaguar designed the F-Type, and specifically models like the 550-hp R variant, for drivers. I’m sure sentimental, brilliant designers and engineers at Jaguar envisioned a snot-nosed punk like me when making the F-Type R. That’s my best guess upon firing up the R, at least. Why else would they make a car that sounds this violent, and then conveniently put a big button in the console that allows the F-Type R to turn that violence into sheer rage?
‘In case you were wondering, 550 hp and all-wheel drive, paired with the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission is enough to catapult two tons of flesh, bone and British sheet metal into orbit.’
The real question is: Why would the loud exhaust button ever not be lit up? The F-Type R isn’t for shrinking violets, it’s for shrieking violets. I’m surprised Jaguar doesn’t offer to paint the F-Type R in purple, for this exact reason. I need my entire neighborhood to know that I’ve fired up the F-Type for a drive. This is a public service annoucement, to let the meager know to keep their distance, this Jaguar is on the prowl.
I have driven a lot of cars—some sound good, some sound awful, others make no sound at all. The Jaguar F-Type R is one of my personal top three picks. This is, of course, a bit embarrassing as it has outranked even my own personal cars.
Those quad tail pipes emit a guttural roar with enough force to push up Jaguar’s stock prices, or, at least, enough to drop Porsche’s once 911 owners realize what they are missing. Driving the F-Type R in the Malibu canyons had me concerned that the cacophonous symphony being directed by my right foot might cause tremors. Mind the falling rocks, and loose gravel. This is F-Type country.