2015 Jaguar F-Type Test Drive.

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2015 Jaguar F-Type Test Drive

This gorgeous 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe is built on the same stiff, lightweight, all-aluminum platform and offers the same powertrains, features and options as the Convertible, with one big exception: the top-shelf R-model's supercharged 5.0L V8 pumps out 550 horses and 502 lb.-ft. of torque, while the soft-top Jag line tops out with a V8 S model good for "just" 495 ponies and 460 lb.-ft.

The Jaguar R Coupe rockets from 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds, and 50-75 mph passing bursts take just 2.4 seconds. Like the other F-Type engine, the all-aluminum DOHC 32-valve 5.0L V8 benefits from spray-guided direct injection (SGDI) and dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT), and its output is boosted by a Roots-type twin-vortex supercharger with two air-to-liquid intercoolers.

The Jaguar Adaptive Dynamics system (also available on S models) continuously monitors driver inputs and the car's attitude on the road and adjusts damper rates up to 500 times a second to actively control body movements and optimize stability. Its selectable Dynamic mode delivers firmer damping and steering, sharper throttle response and quicker gear changes, and its Electronic Active Differential (EAD) works with Torque Vectoring and the Dynamic Stability Control system to precisely control the amount of torque fed to each wheel. The EAD also reduces cornering understeer (front-wheel traction loss) by applying light braking to individual inner wheels as necessary.

It also boasts Jaguar's Super Performance braking system with under-body air cooling and red calipers clamping 15-inch front and 14.8-inch rear discs. R and S models are available with (very expensive) optional Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes with bright yellow calipers (six-piston front, four-piston rear), which offer absolute performance consistency, excellent fade resistance and 46 lb. less unsprung weight for more agile handling.

Inside its beautifully crafted, leather-lined cabin are multi-adjustable, heated Performance bucket seats with inflatable bolsters for high-G cornering and the 'R' logo embossed on their headrests. Also standard are a small-diameter, flat-bottomed, heated steering wheel in black leather with the R logo and a 770-Watt Meridian Surround Sound audio system.

The 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe is also available in two supercharged aluminum V6 variants, both engines (like the R's V8) driving their rear wheels through ZF eight-speed Quickshift automatic transmission with steering wheel shift paddles. The 340-hp base car, with a Dynamic Mode, sport suspension and a Performance Braking system, can do 0-60 mph in 5.1 sec. The 380-hp

S Coupe adds Dynamic Launch, Active Sport exhaust, Adaptive Dynamics and a High Performance Braking system and ups the 0-60 ante to 4.8 sec. All models have fuel-saving Intelligent Stop/Start, which shuts down the engine when the car is at rest, then restarts it when the brake is released.

We tested the 2015 Jaguar F-Type S and R Coupes on busy freeways and twisty two-lanes, and on California's fast, tricky Willow Springs road-racing track, and we found it quicker (R vs. V8 S), quieter and even more responsive (because it's 80 percent stiffer) than the 2014 Convertible. The variable-ratio hydraulic steering is quick, crisp and accurate, the brakes strong and fade-free, and the eight-speed automatic shifts manually with steering-wheel paddles or the console shifter, blips the throttle for downshifts, holds gears during hard cornering, and adapts to road conditions and driving style.

At prices ranging from $65K for the standard V6 to $99K for the R, the 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe provides strong competition for Porsche's 911 as well as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz two-seaters, and might even be cross-shopped against Chevrolet's very impressive new C7 Corvette.

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