The best thing you can say about most mid-engine sports cars is that their styling is purposeful or intimidating. But by and large, you’d never call them beautiful.
That’s what makes the 2023 Jaguar F-Type R an anomaly in the sports car world. It is beautiful. And it remains largely unchanged for 2023 — and that’s a good thing. But it won’t be here forever, as Jaguar has confirmed that the 2024 model year will its last, as Jaguar will be an electrified brand for 2025.
Once offered with a variety of engines, the F-Type comes in two variations: The F-Type P450 and the F-Type R. The main difference? Horsepower and some trim bits. But either trim level provides you with a classic two-seat sports car experience in the finest Jaguar tradition as either a fixed head coupe or a drophead convertible. We sampled an F-Type R Coupe for a weeklong test drive.
Long, lean and low, the F-Type’s taut lines arch gracefully over its wheels, forming the classic haunches that have characterized Jaguar sports cars for decades. The F-Type received a freshening for 2021 with noticeably slimmer LED headlights, a revised clamshell hood and bumpers, that lend it a slightly more menacing, yet still refined, appearance. It remains unchanged and with good reason: why change something so beautifully realized?
And it’s offered in 11 standard exterior colors, as well as more than a dozen custom SVO paint finishes like our Desire Deep Red Ultra Metallic Paint test car, which added $4,550 to the tab. The Type R also comes with a unique body kit and a deployable rear spoiler.
As with most Jaguar sports cars, the Fixed Head Coupe is far more fetching in appearance than the Drophead. But we would never turn down the latter.
An issue with Jaguar interiors for the better part of a decade was resolved with the F-Type’s revamp last year, which included significantly superior finishing with soft leather, satin-finish chrome and more. It’s far more appropriate given this car’s price. The driver-centric cabin is unchanged and remains fairly cozy in the best sports car tradition. It’s nevertheless reasonably comfy despite having little storage of any kind. Thankfully, the trunk measures a generous 14.3 cubic feet.
Our test car’s interior featured a number of welcome upgrades, including the $1,150 Climate Pack, which adds a heated steering wheel, heated windshield and dual automatic climate control. It also had a $1,200 fixed panoramic roof, an $1,100 suede headliner, along with heated and cooled seats for $800.
Once offered with a variety of engines, the F-Type comes in two variations, but one engine: a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 producing 444 horsepower in the F-Type P450, or 575 hp in F-Type R. The turbocharged 4-cylinder and supercharged 6-cylinder engines are no longer available.
Jaguar says that the F-Type R runs 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds. That’s pretty quick, although not best-in-class.
An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard. Rear-wheel drive is standard on the P450, while all-wheel drive is available on the P450 and standard on the R.
The F-Type comes with Quiet Start, which won’t wake the neighbors when you leave for work in the morning.
Safety and Technology
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have crash tested the 2023 Jaguar F-Type. Standard driver assistance safety systems include Stability Control, Emergency Braking, Anti-Lock Braking System, Emergency Brake Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Driver Condition Monitor and Traffic Sign Recognition. Our car also had the $550 Blind Spot Assist Pack, which adds Blind Spot Assist and a Rear Traffic Monitor.
The F-Type comes with a 10-inch touchscreen that includes navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth, along with a USB port. The $900 770-watt Meridian surround sound system returned exceptional sound, revealing just how lousy SiriusXM sound quality actually is.
Tuned for sin, the F-type R comes with selectable driving modes, an adaptive suspension, electronic active differential with torque vectoring and upgraded brakes.
Being thrown into corners in this cat is tremendously entertaining because of the steering’s hefty feel and razor-sharp handling. The suspension lacks the underlying suppleness that used to be a Jaguar trademark, making the ride hard. Although you could be tempted to listen to the epic sound system, the exhaust note, which thunders and crackles as if to declare its satanically intent, is all that is required.
The F-Type’s lack of enough storage space is the one genuine criticism that can be leveled against it. However, this is a sports car.
2023 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe Specifications
|Dimension||L: 176 inches/W: 74.2 inches/H: 51.6 inches/Wheelbase: 103.2 inches|
|Powertrain||5.0-liter supercharged V-8 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive|
|Fuel Economy||16 mpg city/24 mpg highway/18 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||575 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $108,500; As tested: $121,780 including $1,275 destination charge.|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The sensuously fun feline remains what it’s always been: a fun-to-drive, no excuses sports car. And unlike so many competitors, it’s actually beautiful to behold. It remains a rare, underappreciated gem, one filled with grace and pace.
2023 Jaguar F-Type R — Frequently Asked Questions
Is Jaguar discontinuing the F-Type?
Jaguar confirmed that 2024 will be the final model year for the F-Type coupe and convertible.
Does the Jaguar F-Type use a Ford engine?
The engines in the Jaguar F-Type are not Ford engines. They are manufactured by Jaguar.
Is the Jaguar F-Type R fast?
The Jaguar F-Type R is one of the fastest models in the line-up, with a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds.