Photography and video by: ©2016 Toni Avery
After nearly a year separating my test in the RWD and AWD F-Type’s, I didn’t hesitate to see what Jaguar had in store for the new 2016 model year. With a five out of five rating for the 2015 R Coupe, will the new AWD Convertible meet the mark? Read on to find out.
This F-Type is equipped with a 5.0L Supercharged V8 producing 550 HP @6500 RPM and 502 lb-ft of torque @2500-5500 RPM mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, sprinting from 0-60 in just 3.9 seconds.
The 2016 F-Type lineup sees a few changes including replacing the V8 S convertible with this R AWD and bumping the horsepower from 495 HP to 550 HP, putting both the Coupe and Convertible R on an even playing field. Also, all R and V6 S models (except for the manual transmission cars) come standard with an AWD system.
While it may be called AWD, the system on the F-Type behaves more like 4-wheel drive. This is due to the fact that 100% of the torque is active at the rear axle in normal conditions, to retain the feel of a rear-drive sports car, and when needed, torque is transferred to the front via an electronically controlled center coupling when extra traction is required. It’s like having the best of both worlds. You’ve got an AWD sports car for those tricky weather and road conditions and you’ve also got a rear-drive sports car for perfect, dry conditions.
Even with nearly a year between my RWD test car and this one, I can tell just how much quicker off the line this car is than the last. No matter how many times I tested the cars off the line performance, I was blown away with just how quick it was. Turning on Dynamic mode and manual shifting was the ultimate in fun with this car. Even though the F-Type’s 3.9 0-60 MPH time is about one second off that of the monster GT-R I tested last year, I feel this car is just way ahead of the GT-R in terms of overall driver enjoyment.
Another newly added feature is the electronically assisted steering system. It was difficult to tell if there was a huge, if any, different in steering feel or precision from this car to the previous one. It is said that with this new steering system that better gas mileage can be achieved. This is thanks to less drag on the motor. While better gas mileage may be possible, I had to fill up only two days after getting the car. I was also enjoying myself, not going for high MPG numbers. Avoiding the pump is so not the point of this car anyway.
With all the straight line and canyon testing I did, I was equally impressed with the stock brakes. Sure the idea of adding optional Carbon Ceramic brakes and very cool 20” Storm Black and Diamond Turned Wheels at the steep coast of $12,000 may sound appealing, unless you are going to be doing intensive track work, they aren’t a must-have option. The stock brakes are responsive enough as they are. But if you have the cash to spend, maybe go for some nice interior upgrades and even opt for the 20” Blade wheels that feature carbon fiber.
The outside of the F-Type is finished in Glacier White with standard 20” wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires, an optional grey fabric soft top ($600), and optional Vision Pack ($2100).
From 2015 to 2016, there really isn’t a significant difference in the exterior styling. Now standard on all R models, a new AWD badge is added to the rear. Other than this small addition, the outside remains as beautiful as last year.
Inside this F-Type are Camel colored seats, Camel stitching throughout, and the optional Extended Leather Pack – R ($1,100).
Just like the outside, there aren’t any significant changes to the interior cabin of the 2016 model. With most soft-top cars I’ve driven, highway noise engulfs the interior and completely muffles anything you might have been listening to on the radio. This has to be the quietest soft-top convertible I’ve driven yet. Noise level is minimal even on rough roads, at highway speeds or in hard rain.
My only two gripes with the interior is the tiny trunk space that unfortunately comes with a convertible top and the comfort of the seats. Just like in the previous F-Type I never quite found my ideal setting. I will add, though, that seat comfort is one of the most common complaints I have in any car, so this is probably more personal preference than anything.
Now that I’ve experienced two examples of exceptional Jaguar F-Type engineering, I can’t wait to give the six-speed manual a try very soon.
2016 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Convertible
Base Price: $106,450.00
Grey convertible top, Extended Leather Package – R,
Camel Duo/Jet with Camel Stitch (N/C), Vision Package
Price with Options: $110,250.00
Destination Charge: $995
Total Price: $111,245.00
Fuel Economy: 15 City, 23 Highway, 18 Combined
GirlsDriveFastToo gives the 2016 Jaguar F-Type R AWD Convertible an overall rating of (out of 5 total):