The forthcoming Jaguar F-Type coupe will be lighter and faster than the current roadster and will score hardcore R, R-S and R-S GT flagships.
“A coupe is always a more purist proposition, a more driver’s proposition” begins Jaguar product planning manager Steven De Ploey.
“Even from a physics point of view it is a far more stiffer proposition, so in terms of its handling capabilities, in terms of its driver focus … clearly we could stretch the edges with such a car [F-Type coupe] more than we could do with a convertible car.
“If we were to do such a car,” De Ploey says cheekily. “That’s where we could really drive the differentiation between what your convertible could be, and what your coupe could be.”
Where the F-Type roadster uses heavy mechanics for its soft-top roof and requires extra body reinforcement, De Ploey says the coupe would “definitely” continue with the use of aluminium for the roof, further aiding body strength and keeping weight down.
“Especially if you think of an aluminium frame and things like that, obviously it has the potential [to be lighter, stiffer].
“I don’t know if there is any convertibles that weigh less than there coupe equivalents [so] by default … you’re ending up with a lighter car than almost any convertible.
“[But] the weight difference [saving] is potentially not as large as with a steel bodied kind of convertible.
“[It’s] part of the new innovative technologies and intelligent performance … light weight is something we own as a brand and we’ve probably been the most active … in rolling that out across various car lines.”
The Porsche Cayman is just 20kg lighter than its Boxster roadster sibling, but a 911 coupe is a full 145kg lighter than its cabriolet cousin.
The fastest Jaguar F-Type roadster claims a 4.3 second 0-100km/h, meanwhile, so a coupe would almost certainly cut that figure down further.
Yet the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine used in the F-Type produces ‘only’ 364kW of power and 625Nm of torque, yet produces near-sub-four second performance. It leaves space for the 404kW/680Nm tune of the same engine found in the XFR-S sedan to deliver an F-Type that can duck under four seconds to 100km/h.
Although De Ploey says “at this stage we have not” tried the tuned up engine, he adds “the car [F-Type] because of … its structural rigidity and so on, is probably capable of handling more [power] if you wanted to.”
Together with De Ploey’s assertion that the F-Type is “the most obvious” candidate for all three R, R-S and R-S GT high performance model tiers (read more here) and the prospect of a lighter, stiffer F-Type joining both the ‘400 kilowatt club’ and the ‘sub four second 0-100km/h group’ is very high.