Farewell, sweet cat – lithe, powerful, and yet subtle in its snarl until played with. The ‘24 JAGUAR F-TYPE R75 MOVES LIKE A SCALDED CAT! writes Dan Scanlan.
This ‘24 Jaguar F-Type R75 AWD convertible and its 570-horsepower supercharged V-8 are almost the last of this line of gas-powered Jaguars It’s a heritage begun 75 years ago (hence the R75designation) with the 1948 Jaguar XK120. But with EVs now superseding gas engines, and that means this 5-liter V-8 cat is Jaguar’s last gas – sports car that is – before batteries fuel its successors. At least we gave Britain’s answer to the Corvette – albeit the last-gen front-engined C7 – one last prowl through the asphalt jungle.
This supercharged V-8 ladles out a decent 516 foot-pounds of torque through an 8-speed ZF transmission and into on-demand all-wheel drive, with Normal or Dynamic drive mode and a Sport shift setting. Tap the pulsing red Start/Stop button and it literally barks to life from quad exhausts, then settles into an angry purr. No matter if Active Exhaust mode is on or off, it spits and pops as you blip that gas pedal. And fire up that mode, and the soundtrack adds crackles and pops even more delicious and anti-social on overrun as the ‘24 JAGUAR F-TYPE R75 MOVES LIKE A SCALDED CAT!
Even in Normal mode, our 6,000-mile-old ragtop leaps off the line with supercharger whine and exhaust growl to hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds as all four paws dig into the tarmac. Tap on Dynamic Mode – sharper throttle response, quicker shifting and a rip/snarl exhaust bark at upshift to second – and 60 mph arrives in 3.5, with 100 mph in 8. We pulled a decent .80Gs on launch. And each downshift was rev-matched.
Taken on a day trip to Jekyll Island, Normal drive mode gave an acceptable 20 mpg. To compare, a coupe we tested with same engine hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. In Dynamic with Sport shift – 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, and 100 in 7.8. And, a 2017 F-Type SVR we tested then with the same engine hit 60-mph and 100-mph in the same times.
That bodywork is all aluminum – our 3,760-pound convertible is 240 pounds more than the coupe – and hides a forged aluminum double wishbone front suspension, plus multilink in back with adaptive damping that reads the car’s motion, roll and pitch to firm up or soften as needed. In Normal mode, the ride was taut but nicely buffered on rebound, firm but comfortable. In Dynamic mode, we felt lightning-fast damped rebound, with a firm, quick nudge at full compression, and still well buffered. But these tires are noisy at highway speed.
Commuting in Dynamic, the Jag was glued to corners with a taut yet livable ride, even with cobbled roads and cracked asphalt. With all-wheel-drive offering a bit more rearward bias, we had flat cornering in turns, eagerly maintaining poise powering out. Steering was nicely weighted and direct, allowing us to point and shoot this agile ragtop – it was a delight on the road tour as we went through sweeping coastal Georgia roads. On the skid pad, there was initial understeer. But power on and it’s neutral, then we nudged a hint of power oversteer with throttle as a rear electronic active differential handled torque distribution between the front and rear axles, and across the rear wheels. The result – the G-force meter showed it pulling a super-grippy 1.12 Gs in hard cornering! All-wheel-drive gave solid footing on the run, even in the wet. And the brake pedal had a nice bite high up, with great control as you feel big (15-inch front/14.8-inch rear) disc brakes grab. The Jag stopped clean and straight from any speed, hard repeated use seeing no fade or apparent nosedive, pulling 1.09Gs at full stop.
As for looks, our F-Type sure pays homage to Malcolm Sayer’s original ‘61 E-Type. Debuted in 2014, its nose and front fenders redesigned for the 2021 model, the F-Type nails that sleekly aggressive look with serious, mostly modern edges, still retaining hints of classic – long hood and rounded rear fender E-Type.
Touring around historic Jekyll Island’s 19th Century architecture, holiday lights glowed off its very aggressive face with wide gloss black meshed intake, black cat’s face growling dead center. Slim LED headlights slash out from that knee-high grille. The lower grille gets aggressive side inlets flanking a lower center intake over big air dam.
There’s a subtle center power bulge on the long bonnet, flanked with inset vents. Flat-edged flares frame low-profile P265/35ZR20-inch front/ P305/30AR20-inch rear Pirelli P-ZERO rubber on 10-spoke gray and silver wheels framing huge disc brakes with red calipers. Then my favorite E-Type homage – rising rear fender haunches that flare wide before wrapping around the short tail. The neatly rounded black cloth roof, with decent-sized glass rear window, drops in 15 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. The short rear deck has a pop-up spoiler over slit LED taillights and four huge polished steel tips, flanking a lower aero piece with diffuser.
Inside, this F-Type’s cockpit is a cozy-yet-stylish place to drop low into with just enough space for two, surrounded by quilted tan leather under black with contrasting stitching. It’s finely done and luxurious. Inviting sports buckets get full power adjustment and three memory presets each, highly bolstered and mostly grippy. They still lack the extra half-inch of legroom I’d like.
In the 2021 redesign, Jaguar replaced analog gauges with digital – 200-mph speedometer and 7,000-rpm tach with configurable display showing navigation, radio, economy, map and more. The center touchscreen takes a while to cycle on, and it’s a slightly dated look. The entire screen briefly went black one afternoon. And there’s no voice command of anything. The cozy cockpit leaves no place to put a cellphone other than a cup holder, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t wireless. There’s a small-but-deep trunk – we had to pack smart to fit. It is a cozy, cool place to curl up for a prowl top down – decent wind resistance at speed – but more tech could have been updated.
To prowl in this last of the breed, $77,900 gets you an F-Type P450 RWD with 444 horsepower, while our F-Type R75 AWD starts at $115,000; with leather upgrade; paint; and Nubuck leather-trimmed mats clawing the final price to $119,875.
For more information about the latest Jaguar luxury-performance vehicles, please visit https://www.jaguarusa.com/all-models/index.html?gad_source=1&gclsrc=ds