2021 JAGUAR F-TYPE R: THE LAST BIG ROAR OF A PROPER SPORTS CAR

by | May 11, 2021 | Cars, Motor

The Jaguar F-Type has been one of the most enjoyable sports cars that I have ever driven and also one of those cars that consciously avoids being another “Porsche 911”. In the sports coupe space the Porsche 911 is often the yardstick by which most other sports cars are judged. The F-Type, particularly the coupe, has been a British muscle car with a hint of TVR madness about it.

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For those not familiar with TVR, those were mad sports cars with a penchant for going sideways with a mere press of the throttle. The V8 F-Type coupe in RWD form had a whiff of a muscle car about its mannerisms and the way it put down the power on offer. It was mad and it used to goad me into a drift at every corner. It looked spectacular too, in coupe form with its svelte lines and sensuous curves (at the right places).

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Then I heard the news that there is a new F-Type in town, at a time when Jaguar is said to be abandoning the good ol’ internal combustion engine and trying to be an up- market Tesla rival. So the F-Type in 2021 form is pretty much the last sports car from the famed British carmaker sporting an ICE engine. Time to shed a tear? Nope, I just buckled up for one last blast.

The 2021 model does look different. In the flesh you appreciate the new front-end more with its slimmer LED headlamps along with the J signature daytime running lights. The new clamshell bonnet is swollen to indicate the power train resting beneath it. And the classic front-engine sports car lay-out is very much there along with those distinctive rear haunches. The R-Dynamic model gets layered J aero-blades and other racy bits. No doubt the F-Type is a beautiful car and we say it is even prettier now.

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Inside, compared to the previous version, there is a marked improvement. It still lacks the solid feeling switchgear of the 911. But it makes up with a sense of charm. There is all of the latest technology crammed in here as well. It starts with a 12.3-inch reconfigurable HD TFT instrument cluster while there is also a 10-inch touch screen amongst other luxuries. In particular I liked the “mechanical theatre” of the pulsing red “heartbeat” of the start button and the deployable centre air vents. Very James Bond.

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There are various engines on offer from a 2.0-liter four cylinder to a V6 but for a swansong of the Jaguar sports car powered by gasoline engine, you really need to get the V8. There is no other option. The F-Type R gets the fruity 5.0-litre supercharged V8 with 575 PS  (567 horsepower) and 700 Nm of torque (516 lb-ft of torque)..

That is more power than the last one and this time the gearbox has also been tweaked. The exhaust still emits a rich V8 roar and reminds you how exciting a large displacement gas engine can sound. EVs just cannot match this.

Max speed of 186 mph

The sound track is so good that it alone makes it worth the asking price. Yet, with torque on-demand all-wheel drive, it is no longer an animal around corners and makes use of its power with good grip and stability. It’s not the sideways master that it once was, though technically the RWD version is still on sale. It’s highly recommended if you want to bonfire your tires at every traffic light!

Acceleration from 0-60mph takes place in just 3.5 seconds, while the maximum speed is electronically-limited to 186mph. That’s fine by us.

Some of the wild character has been watered down in this new version. But it is still an old-school V8 sports car that provides a rich sensory experience and prefers to drench you in a raw, visceral type sensation. The steering too is a bit heavy and while it lacks the precision of a 911, there is enough direct feedback for it to compliment that glorious engine.

The last proper sports car

At $120,000 plus, the V8 F-Type R is a left field choice that would appeal to old-school thrill seekers. It stands out from the crowd as has its own distinct personality. Plus the fact that it is the last proper sports car from Jaguar, that makes buying this a sound business decision since it has all the makings of a future classic!

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