by John Tallodi
The Jaguar F-Type R is a 2-door sports coupe that combines a stylish exterior and interior design with sharp driving dynamics, in V8 form it is a powerful performer too. Competition in this segment is fierce with a number of very accomplished options available to shoppers so for 2018 a number of trim and option updates have been added to the F-Type R range.
The F-Type R features high quality materials throughout the cabin, leather covered surfaces and soft-touch plastics lift the interior ambiance and all controls fall easily to hand. A revised infotainment system is a welcome 2018 update.
The seats are comfortable although you have to step down into them and the cabin is a tight fit for larger adults. There are a large range of seat adjustments to make sure that you make the most of the available head and leg room.
The cargo space is rather limited too with the tiny trunk offering just about enough carrying capacity for a pair of small overnight bags.
The real reason people buy a sports coupe is for the way it drives and the F-Type R offers excellent handling and composure over challenging roads. The burly V8 exhaust note may get a bit much when dawdling through traffic but it is just the soundtrack you want for a spirited country drive.
The firm ride and cabin noise can become tiresome on longer trips but it all makes for a more engaging driving experience.
The 2018 F-Type R is fitted with a 550 horsepower, 502 lb-ft of torque supercharged V8, power is sent to all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. The added traction of the four-wheel drive system gives the F-Type R superb acceleration off the line and 60 mph is achieved in a mere 3.9-seconds from a standing start.
This matches up well to competitors’ offerings and the deep-chested V8 exhaust note adds further drama to the proceedings.
Gear changes are smooth and quick and the brakes and steering feel sharp and responsive too. The top speed of 186 mph may be largely academic unless you happen to live next to an empty airstrip but it is a good indicator of the performance capabilities of the F-Type R even at higher speeds.
The F-Type R comes well-equipped with a whole host of standard fitment items. Some key features include 20-inch alloy wheels, electronic active differential, switchable active exhaust, LED taillights and auto-dimming power folding heated exterior mirrors.
On the inside you get 12-way power leather seats with memory function, power steering column, cruise control, 5-inch display with instrument panel, ambient lighting, 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity.
Safety is taken care of by an emergency brake assist, rear parking aid, rearview camera and keyless entry.
Optional packages include a variety of interior and exterior aesthetic items including suedecloth headliner, extended leather trim and gloss black or body colored exterior trim finishes.
There is also the option of Carbon ceramic brakes, illuminated front treadplates, LED front headlights with beam assist, an air quality sensor, power tailgate and two climate packages featuring a heated steering wheel and windshield. A carbon fiber or fixed panoramic roof and an active or fixed rear spoiler round off the exterior options.
The 2018 Jaguar F-Type R is an unashamedly single-minded sports coupe with few concessions made to the more practical side of motoring life.
It offers a command performance from its supercharged V8 and while it is a lavishly equipped and capable long distance tourer, the ride can be overly firm and taller shoppers may want to try out the interior for size before signing on the dotted line.