by Jay Traugott
It's not a complete redesign, but the Jaguar F-Type range has received significant updates for the 2021 model year. Although Jaguar's stunning coupe and convertible date back to 2013, the overall design still looks fantastic but some plastic surgery never hurts. The results are what you see right now. Already one of the most beautiful sports cars on the market, the 2021 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe also remains one of the most exhilarating in terms of power and performance. It's no wonder Jaguar made some changes under the hood.
Another issue regarding the coupe's age was the interior. Although far from bland, the overall dashboard design and features were simply out of date. Not anymore. Jaguar went to great lengths to freshen the interior design and, equally important, add new technology and connectivity features.
Despite fresh competition from the likes of Porsche and even Chevrolet, the F-Type R Coupe remains one of the best choices out there for serious performance. And for model year 2021, it's become an even more attractive choice.
5.0-liter Supercharged V8 Gas
The Jaguar F-Type R Coupe already looked fantastic, so designers could have performed a simple nip/tuck and called it a day. Instead, they went above and beyond. The new styling gives the F-Type R a more assertive presence, thanks to super-slim LED headlights with updated "Calligraphy" signature J daytime running lights. The clamshell hood is also new, featuring "liquid metal" surfacing. There are also newly restyled front bumpers and a larger grille, the latter available in either satin Noble Chrome or glass black when equipped with the optional Black Exterior Pack.
At the rear, the F-Type R's rear haunches received some enhancement while the LED taillight clusters were also updated with a slimmer appearance. They also feature a "Chicane" light graphic first introduced on the all-electric I-Pace SUV. There are also new 10-spoke wheel designs wearing 20-inch Pirelli P Zero rubber, and upgraded exhaust pipes located within the rear diffuser.
The interior remains driver-focused but, like the exterior, there are numerous design enhancements and upgrades. While fine British coachbuilding tradition, premium materials such as Windsor Leather, Suedecloth, and Noble Chrome are present along with beautiful details like monogram stitching on the seats and door trim. Jaguar also incorporated several modern technological upgrades. First up is a new 12.3-inch reconfigurable HD TFT instrument cluster featuring the brand's InControl Touch Pro infotainment system. This reconfigurable cluster has graphics unique to the F-Type. A total of three display themes are available.
The 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system can be controlled with either rotary dials or digital functions. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, along with over-the-air software updates. A set of lightweight slim seats are offered in two forms. Performance seats come standard on the high-performance F-Type R, which offer more pronounced support at shoulder height.
The first thing you need to know about 2021 F-Type R's engine is that it's better than ever. The supercharged 5.0-liter V8 in the F-Type R now produces a heart-attack-inducing 575 hp and 516 lb-ft – 25 hp and 14 lb-ft more than last year. Expect 0-62 mph to take just 3.5 seconds and top speed is clocked at 186 mph. An eight-speed automatic, sending power to the rear wheels, is the sole transmission.
Other V8 upgrades include recalibrated valves inside each damper and control algorithms in order to improve low-speed comfort and high-speed control. The camber and toe stiffness have also increased by 37 percent and 41 percent, respectively. This was accomplished with new larger wheel bearings, revised upper ball joints, and rear knuckles with new aluminum die castings. All told, this results in a more connected steering feel - a welcomed change for a coupe often considered something of a hot rod. For a better overall driving experience, Jaguar has recalibrated the power steering system and added new springs and anti-roll bars.
Jaguar has not released official pricing information for the 2021 F-Type R coupe. Expect pricing levels to remain about the same, which begin at just over $100,000. An on-sale date was also not made available at this time.
Competition in this exclusive high-performance sports car segment is limited but fierce. The track-focused Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 is perhaps the F-Type R's most direct competitor. The Chevrolet Corvette, now sporting a mid-engine layout, also should not be ruled out in terms of both performance and luxury. The BMW M4, Audi S5 and RS 5, and Mercedes-AMG C63 coupe are also formidable challengers. Expect the Corvette, however, to be the cheapest of the bunch, providing the best performance-for-your-dollar factor.