Jaguar F-Type R75 Coupe – Review

Jaguar F-Type R75 Coupe Review

By Liam Bird, April 2024

Imagine, if you will, that after having done something for 75 years – being an expert in your field, having the skills, the results, the accolades, and indeed the adoration to prove it – you decided to stop what it is that you’re known the world over for in order to start again anew.

Believe it or not, that’s exactly the situation Jaguar now find themselves in. (And, one could argue, it’s exactly the situation they’ve decided to put themselves in). As of next year, all new Jaguar models will be powered by electric: their internal combustion engines will be no more – or so I’m reliably informed. That means no more silky-smooth straight-sixes, no more supercharged V6s, no more frugal 4-pots, and no more burbley V8s or V12s.

It also means the F-type you see here is Jaguar’s – the company that brought us the XK120, XK140, the C-type, the Le Mans winning D-type, the beautiful XKSS, the ill-fated and near-legendary XJ13, the slinky, sexy, and oh-so evocative E-type, the saintly and very seventies XJS, and the not quite as desirable as they would’ve liked 200mph+ XJ220 – last ever piston-propelled sports car. The XE and XF are for the chop too.

I’ll give you a little time to let that sink in.

Jaguar F-Type R75 Coupe Review

“Silhouette-shaped badging”

After 10 years of production, you could be easily forgiven for thinking that Jaguar were trying to let the F-Type bow out quietly.  Nearly every surface of their press demonstrator R75 coupe – the 75 incidentally eludes to 75 years of Jaguar sports cars – was either painted Ligurian satin black, or clad in grey, interior with Alcantara headlining, Windsor leather seats, over mats, even the door handles, included. I’m all for the sinister look when it comes to sportscars, but Jaguar appeared to have dressed this particular coupe for its own funeral.

There are, fortunately, six other colour options, including a never-before-offered Giola green, available for this limited production run-out model, plus some other less sombre hues of leather for the seats – and the soft-top if that’s your thing. Nevertheless were it not for some subtle silhouette-shaped badging on the sills and dashboard – again in yet another shade of grey – the casual observer might never guess the R75 was a special, nee final, edition.

The performance on the other hand might be somewhat more attention-grabbing.

Jaguar F-Type R75 Coupe Review

“Sounds magnificent”

Beneath that long curvaceous bonnet sits Jaguar’s supercharged 5.0 litre V8. It’s available in two states of tune, a 444bhp version – that one’s rear-wheel drive – or the 567bhp all-wheel drive version we have here. Thus equipped, 0-62mph takes 3.5 seconds, and top-whack is said to be 186mph. There’s also enough oomph – 516lbft of it to be precise – to make all four wheels lose traction all at the same time. It’s a lot of fun, and it also sounds magnificent. Switch to Dynamic mode and use the paddles to click down through the 8-speed gearbox instead of letting the electronics do it for you, and you can indulge yourself in a cornucopia of pops and cackles from the quadruple exhausts. Nothing sounds quite like Jaguar’s supercharged V8 when it’s being asked to truly earn its keep.

A day driving the R75, or any F-type for that matter is a wonderful indulgence. You sit low, the steering is direct and nicely weighted, if not perhaps bristling with feel, and there’s just enough body roll in corners to remind you the F-Type can play the GT roll as well as it can the sports car.

The trade-off, however, is a ride that is sometimes unforgiving on anything but the smoothest of surfaces. 20-inch rims with smeared-on tyres mean potholes, even manhole covers, can send vibrations crashing back through the F-type’s bonded aluminium chassis. You’ll look smooth driving an F-type but you may not always feel it.

Jaguar F-Type R75 Coupe Review

“Now showing its age”

Another niggle is the interior, these days it can’t help but feel dated. It could be said that in places it feels cheap too. When the F-Type was launched it was a sub-£60K car, and even then the interior struggled to compete with its rivals. Fast forward ten years and by comparison the fixtures and fittings Porsche offer in their ever-evolving, all-conquering, and these days similarly-priced, 911 are simply in a different league. If it were my £100,000 being spent, there’s no doubt in my mind where it would go: Stuttgart 1; Solihull nil.

There is no question that ten years after we first saw the F-Type it is, albeit still gracefully, now showing its age. If I’m honest, I was never sure the mid-term facelift/nose job did it any favours either. I still prefer the shape of the earlier cars, they’re altogether a bit less can’t-quite-afford-an-Aston-Martin-Vantage if you ask me. Nevertheless, the F-Type remains a very charismatic car, one that’s still more than capable of putting a smile on both driver and kerbside admirer alike.

I’ve been lucky, I’ve driven the Jaguar F-Type in very nearly all of its forms, and flawed as it always was, I’ll nevertheless miss it when it’s gone.

I bid Jaguar’s last modern-day classic the fondest of farewells.

Jaguar F-Type R75 Coupe 5.0 litre V8 575PS
Engine: 5,000 cc, 8 Cyl, supercharged, Petrol.
Transmission: 8-speed “QuickShift”, all-wheel drive.
Power:  567 bhp @ 6,500pm
Torque: 516 lbft @ 3,500- 5,000rpm
0-62MPH: 3.5 Sec
Max Speed: 186 mph
Weight: 1,855 kg
CO2: from 239 g/km (WLTP)
MPG: up to 27.0 (WLTP)
Price: from £100,800 (as driven £111,395)  

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