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by Tim Beissmann

The 404kW Jaguar F-Type R will be the star of the new coupe line-up when it goes on sale in Australia in the third quarter of 2014.

Unveiled at today’s Los Angeles auto show, the V8-powered F-Type R coupe headlines a three-model range that also includes two V6-powered variants: the 250kW F-Type coupe and the 280kW F-Type S coupe.

The Jaguar F-Type R is equipped with the highest tune of the British sports car maker’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8, familiar from the XKR-S, XFR-S and XJR. The engine produces 404kW of power at 6500rpm and 680Nm of torque between 2500-5500rpm, motivating the hardtop from 0-100km/h in a claimed 4.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 300km/h.

Those figures make it 40kW and 55Nm more powerful than the flagship F-Type V8 S convertible, and 0.1sec quicker to 100km/h from rest. Combined cycle fuel consumption matches the V8 convertible at 11.1 litres per 100km.

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The supercharged 3.0-litre V6 duo mirrors the outputs of the convertible V6s: the entry-level model producing 250kW at 6500rpm and 450Nm between 3500-5500rpm, and the S model squeezing out 280kW at 6500rpm and 460Nm between 3500-5000rpm.

Sprint times match those of the convertible at 5.3sec and 4.9sec respectively, while combined cycle fuel consumption is rated at 8.8L/100km (down 0.2L/100km) and 9.1L/100km (equal to the convertible).

All three engines drive the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual sequential control available via steering wheel-mounted paddleshifters or the central gearlever.

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At 4470mm long, 1923mm wide, 1309mm tall (1321mm F-Type R) and riding on a 2622mm wheelbase, the Jaguar F-Type coupe shares almost identical proportions with the convertible on which it’s based. The F-Type (1577kg) and F-Type S (1594kg) coupes are 20kg lighter than their convertible counterparts, while the 1650kg F-Type R saves 15kg compared with the V8 S convertible.

The F-Type coupe trades the convertible’s folding fabric roof for a fixed roof and a tailgate (available optionally with electric operation), while boot capacity increases from 196 litres to 407L.

A hidden rear spoiler sits within the tailgate and automatically rises at 110km/h – reducing lift by up to 120kg – and lowers when the vehicle’s speed drops below 80km/h.

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The F-Type coupe’s extensive use of aluminium delivers the highest torsional rigidity of any Jaguar production model, providing the basis for unprecedented dynamic performance. The body side is made from a single-piece aluminium pressing, while the roof is available either in aluminium or panoramic glass form.

The Jaguar F-Type R coupe benefits from a bespoke suspension set-up and new dynamic technologies, including a second-generation electronic active differential and a brand-first torque vectoring system. Sports suspension with revised spring rates, Adaptive Dynamics damping and configurable dynamic mode is designed to enhance the F-Type R’s immediacy of response.

The F-Type R and F-Type S are also available with the option of carbon ceramic matrix brakes that claim to offer improved consistency and fade resistance and a 21kg weigh saving. The R comes standard with 380mm front and 376mm rear discs, available with either red or black calipers, and 20-inch alloy wheels. The V6 models get smaller 354mm fronts and 325mm rears with silver calipers behind 18s (F-Type) and 19s (F-Type S).

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The F-Type R coupe’s cabin is finished with ‘Jet’ black leather and trim and can be contrasted with three dual-tone insert and stitching options. ‘R’ emblems adorn the headrests and flat-bottom steering wheel.

The F-Type’s standard eight-inch central touchscreen controls two available Meridian audio systems: a 380-watt 10-speaker unit and a high-performance 770-watt 12-speaker system.

Full Australian specification and pricing details will be released closer to the Jaguar F-Type coupe’s local launch in the third quarter of 2014.

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