2016 Jaguar F-Type R follow-up review: Pushing its button

2016 Jaguar F-Type R

2016 Jaguar F-Type R

Not every car we drive has a favorite button, but the 2016 Jaguar F-Type R does. It’s down on the console and looks like a pair of exhaust pipes.

What it does is opens up the exhaust system, routing the exhaust and all its glorious noises around baffles meant to suppress them. The baffles are there for one purpose, of course. They allow the F-Type R to pass various exhaust noise regulations. Nudge nudge wink wink, the F-Type R isn’t really that loud, Mister Vehicle Certification Officer. Just let me un-push that button.

It’s skirting noise regulations, hidden in plain sight.

True confession, we pushed that button right after the start button. We didn’t drive it with the baffles in place. What’s the point? The 2016 Jaguar F-Type is clearly a car for enthusiastic driving, even when used for puttering around town.

2016 Jaguar F-Type R interior

The 2016 Jaguar F-Type R has a handgrip on the center console…and advice from the driver to hang on. (click to enlarge)

It’s certainly not a utility champ. The trunk is small, although it’s bigger than it looks. A slot-like opening extends well forward, just right for that impromptu art purchase. But still, for any kind of road trip, pack light.

The cockpit doesn’t have much spare room either, without even a minimal shelf behind the seat, not even room for a ball cap. There’s a small bin that opens up from the back wall and a small bin, which has a USB port, an aux socket and a 12-volt power socket, in the console between the seats. Even the map pockets in the doors are small. There’s nowhere other than the trunk for a coat when it’s finally time for the top to go up.

2016 Jaguar F-Type R seats

The 2016 Jaguar F-Type R seats look like expensive baseball mitts. (click to enlarge)

At least the 2016 Jaguar F-Type accommodates al fresco driving well into chilly temperatures. There’s a windblocker, of course, strung between the headrests, and not only the seats but the steering wheel heats to arctic-fighting temperatures. We were able to keep the top down with temps in the 40s, well, with a hat and a coat. With the top down, all the better to hear the pipes.

If there’s one disadvantage to the pipes, other than of course attracting official attention, is that they’re attached to a supercharged V-8 rated at 550 horsepower, and we have no doubt every one equine shows up for work highly caffeinated. The 2016 Jaguar F-Type R is fast. There are just too few places to exercise the ponies for more than a couple of seconds. Indeed, Jaguar claims 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. And as we mentioned, with the exhaust baffles open, the F-Type R loudly advertises delinquent behavior.

2016 Jaguar F-Type R

2016 Jaguar F-Type R (click to enlarge)

To be honest, we spent much more time appreciating the exhaust when slowing down. Downshift with the throttle closed and the baffles open for a cascade of onomatopoeia on the overrun, with the pipes snap, crackling and popping like and angry bowl of Rice Krispies. Give it a touch of throttle pedal for another round. With a deft toe you can keep it going all the way down a long hill. We did. (Insert devil smiley face here).

Although we were well into fall weather, we weren’t into snow, which would further justify the all-wheel drive that’s optional for both the Jaguar F-Type Convertible and F-Type Coupe, beyond helping with traction for the supercharged V-8 on dry pavement. Invisible in operation, unless perhaps if it weren’t working is Jaguar’s “Intelligent Driveline Dynamics,” which distributes the power among the AWD Jaguar’s four wheels.

2016 Jaguar F-Type R

2016 Jaguar F-Type R (click to enlarge)

Our test 2016 Jaguar F-Type R was finished in a naval task force-ready Ammonite Gray with a Camel Duo/Jet with Camel Stitch interior that looked like the inside of an expensive baseball mitt…in a Brit car. Sorry, it’s the only metaphor that fits. And the seats fit too, by the way, with inflatable bolsters that match occupant’s personal inflation.

Fuel mileage. Do we have to discuss it? Driving it like we drove it, we recorded an overall 18.1 mpg. We suspect it would be less, though a significant amount of those miles were, shall we say, time-efficient driving that still netted 22 mpg.

At what cost fuel, however, is of little interest to the owner of a 2016 Jaguar F-Type R, which comes at a rollicking $106,450 before options and delivery. Our tester had the Extended Leather Pack at $1,100, and the $2,100 Vision Pack, which includes adaptive and intelligent front lighting, front sensors and rear parking camera, and blind spot monitor.

Important, true, but we still favor that button as our favorite feature on the 2016 Jaguar F-Type R, and for those among the fortunate few who will own one, it should be their favorite too.

Specifications and window sticker next page