The F-Type coupé walks a slightly different path between dynamism and ease of use than a lot of fast Jaguars with which we’ve become familiar, but it still meets both requirements effectively.

It delivers poise, thrill and interactivity above and beyond the ability of many rivals, but casts them over a backdrop of refinement, touring comfort and high-speed stability that fewer still can match.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
The clever gearbox software allows you to select second gear for an upcoming corner before you've actually slowed enough for the transmission to engage it

This is a multi-talented car, in other words, but it isn’t the leggy, laid-back coupé that XK owners might prefer it to be. Instead, it has a much sharper sporting edge. Too much edge for some, probably.

Three driving programs are available: a normal one, one for slippery conditions and a Dynamic mode. We were surprised to find the ride in normal mode to be as firm as it is, particularly for a mid-range model.

Higher spring rates give the coupé a slightly reactive, jostling gait over a testing surface, rather than the more compliant low-frequency ‘breathing’ you might expect.

But you’ll only notice it over the worst back roads and, if you’re like us, consider it a price worth paying, given how immediate and effortless the F’s body control is, how dexterously it keeps its wheels on the ground over lumps and bumps, how planted it feels through fast corners and how much feel comes through the steering wheel. But make no mistake: this is a sports car first and a GT second.

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It exhibits a tangible improvement on grip, directional response and handling precision relative to the F-Type roadster and has the advantage over all but a handful of the best driver’s cars on the planet on all three.

One thing the V6 and V6S don’t do quite as consummately as its bigger brother, the V8, is mix grip with rear axle slip on demand.

The F-Type V6 S coupé lapped MIRA’s handling circuit with a slight bias for stabilising understeer. Having figured the equivalent roadster in similar conditions, we expected an identical sense of balance and throttle-on adjustability, delivered atop higher cornering speeds. But that wasn’t quite what the coupé provided.

The car stopped hard and consistently well, turned in keenly, controlled its body perfectly and carried lots of speed. But it communicates the limits of grip by beginning to nudge wide of the apex — more so than we found with the roadster — and it doesn’t allow you to dial out that gentle understeer with power on the exit as readily as it might. In the latter regard, the torque vectoring set-up is of limited use.

In the wet, the combination of mass, front-biased weight, rear-drive power and wide tyres make it struggle a little for grip. The DSC system, though intrusive at times, works effectively, but TRAC mode seems a poor middle ground between on and off.

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