Jaguar F-Type P575 R review: it's all about roar refinement
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Jaguar F-Type P575 R
- Sharp new look, but still classic proportions
- Jaguar-appropriate refinement and comfort
- Jaw-dropping performance
- It's a $200k-plus car with no adaptive cruise
- Sluggish infotainment system
- Hardly any boot space with spare wheel on board
A couple of hundred thousand dollars buys you a lot of choice in coupe-world: from the elegant and extravagant, like a fully loaded Mercedes-Benz E-class (or even an entry-level S-Class coupe at a stretch) to the raw and focused, like a Porsche Cayman GT4.
Jaguar’s facelifted F-Type is trying pretty hard to offer the best of both worlds in flagship $214,990 P575 R form. It’s got a sharp new suit, it’s very traditional in layout and Jaguar always does the leathery cabin thing really well. It’s pretty posh.
But there’s also a wild animal waiting to be unleashed when you poke it. The P575 R’s supercharged V8 now produces as much power as the previous SVR: a mighty 423kW, enough to get it to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds. That got your attention, right?
The eight-speed “Quickshift” transmission is also now a bit more fast and furious in Dynamic mode, thanks to the work Jaguar did on the gearbox of the track-focused XE SV Project 8 sedan.
The F-Type steering has been recalibrated and the chassis has new anti-roll bars, springs and dampers. The 20-inch wheels are wider and now wear a bespoke design of tyre. The electronics, including Adaptive Dynamics and Configurable Dynamics (which allows you to personalise the drive modes) have been tweaked as well.
Luxury first. Styling cues that owe a lot to the I-Pace EV (“pixel” headlights, “chicane” tail-light illumination) might seem hilarious on a growling supercharged V8 coupe, but the P575 R can be very quiet when it wants to be. Not especially green, but definitely quiet.
One of my big gripes with previous V8 F-Types was the show-off start-up mode. I don’t actually own an F-Type and therefore don’t live on a country estate, so all that startup noise used to do was make the neighbours hate me. The new P575 R will still pop and crackle if you push the go-button with Dynamic mode or the loud-exhaust button engaged, but otherwise it just fires up like a car that’s owned and driven by an adult. An adult with neighbours.
The big V8 is also remarkably docile and refined in urban driving. You could even say the transmission is a little too relaxed: in the less aggressive drive modes it’s not overly keen to kick down, preferring to stretch the torque of the engine as far as possible.
But it is very cosseting. Cosseting in many ways, because the F-Type is not a terribly large car (only 100mm longer than a Toyota Corolla) and the two-seat cabin is snug. You sit right on the ground, arms and legs outstretched with that massive bonnet arcing out the front.
Don’t expect cutting-edge driver-assistance equipment. In fact, don’t even expect adaptive cruise control, which is standard on a Suzuki Swift but unavailable on this $215k luxury coupe. Seriously?
Save a new virtual instrument panel and some minor trim, there haven’t been overwhelming changes in the cabin. It’s certainly a long way from the surreal interior environment of the company’s new-gen Range Rovers. But it’s beautifully upholstered, quietly elegant and still gives an impression of quality and luxury. It has stuff like “Sienna Tan Windsor” seats and “Noble Chrome” satin inserts; you get the idea.
The F-Type’s infotainment system has long irked. It looks pretty, but it’s also sluggish and sometimes just weird: it’ll be playing one song on your phone and often showing another on the screen, for example. There has been a bit of a fix in the new model with the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which at least allows you to circumvent a lot of that JLR proprietary stuff.
So it’s a flawed but also feel-good luxury coupe, and it certainly ticks the boxes for elegant styling, touchy-feely cabin and low-speed refinement.
But when you decide to go silly the car does too, in remarkable ways. The previously subdued V8 sounds epic beyond 4000rpm, in exactly the way that you expect a high-performance Jaguar to. You might have been scratching your head about this supposed Project 8-inspired gearbox calibration, but then you experience a sharp shove in the back as it shifts at full throttle in Dynamic mode.
The P575 R comes only with AWD. Which I’d argue is essential to get all of that power down to the ground safely in such a compact car, with such a short wheelbase.
But it doesn’t dampen the fun: Jaguar’s Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD) system still makes the rear feel pretty playful under power. The AWD is there to catch you when you falter, but the chassis succeeds in communicating a distinctly edgy feel on backroads. It all feels a bit irresponsible, actually.
It’s not a car to chuck around too much, though. It’s heavy for one so compact (1743kg) and so you’re better leaning on the clever AWD system and that massive footwear, than trying to dance around on bumpy backroads. The chassis stiffens up substantially in Dynamic mode, but you’re still aware of weight transfer. Slow in, incredibly fast out is the way around tight corners.
So, the best of both worlds? That would be impossible. The F-Type P575 R is highly polished and refined, but isn’t modern or techy enough to be a pure luxury coupe. It’s crazy-fast, exciting and very capable at speed, but not quite light and responsive enough to be a pure super-sports model.
But it does offer enough of both personalities to be satisfying and genuinely surprising at times.
JAGUAR F-TYPE P575 R
ENGINE: 5.0l supercharged petrol V8
GEARBOX: 8-speed automatic, AWD
ECONOMY: 10.7l/100km (WLTP)
PROS: Sharp new look, refinement and comfort, jaw-dropping performance.
CONS: No adaptive cruise, sluggish infotainment, hardly any boot with spare wheel installed.