Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Jaguar F-Type Coupe: your first look

This is your first official look at the production Jaguar F-Type Coupe. And it's a first official look which proves that, erm, the F-Type Coupe has a roof. Which is good news, what with it being a coupe.

Despite this limited view, we are excited. So is Jaguar. "We've been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the F-Type convertible," says Jag design director Ian Callum, "but for me the purity of creating a sports coupe is a uniquely satisfying process. F-Type Coupe raises the bar yet again."

That's fightin' talk. We won't see the rest of the F-Coupe until its reveal at the Los Angeles show on November 19, but we already know plenty about the hardtop two-seater.

Like... engines. The C-X16 concept that previewed the production F-Type featured a 475bhp hybrid powertrain combining Jag's supercharged V6 and an electric motor driven by a battery mounted ahead of the rear axle.

But the production F-Coupe won't, at least initially, come with hybrid power. It'll launch with the same trio of petrol-gargling engines as the convertible: the 335bhp V6, 375bhp V6S and stonking V8S, good for 488bhp.

The coupe is the second wave in Jag's bid to out-911 the Porsche 911 with its F-Type range. This hardtop will, down the line, spawn a hardcore, lightweight ‘GT3' version (though it's unlikely to be badged as such), probably featuring a bumped-up version of Jag's supercharged V6, and rather less in the way of interior.

It'll also eventually be treated to four-wheel drive, using the same driveline we'll see on Jag's upcoming ‘baby saloon' 3-Series rival and the production C-X17. Using an electronic centre differential, it'll remain RWD in normal driving, with the diff pushing power to the front in slippery conditions.

But first comes the rear-drive F-Type Coupe. In our Scotland shoot-out back in May, the soft-top F-Type narrowly - narrowly - lost out to the Porsche Boxster. Can this hard-top match the brilliant Cayman?

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