2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe
Just when we thought Jaguar had knocked it out of the park with the F-Type Roadster, comes this F-Type Coupe. Swinging deeper into the baseball analogies, Jaguar is driving this 2-seat fastback deep into the gap of their lineup making it a perfect 2-for-2, and upping their batting average with another high performance hit. In the process, going from wild card hopeful to a division leader. So let’s look at the highlights.
You might think the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is the more practical version of the wonderful F-type V8 S Roadster. Wrong! We think it’s really more like its evil twin.
If there’s such a thing as a go-against-the-grain British muscle car, this is it.
Now, engine choices are the same as the Roadster, with one slight difference. The supercharged V6 offerings carry over at 340 and 380-horsepower.
As for the V8, the supercharged 5.0-liter in the F-type V8 S was by no means underpowered, but Jag felt the Coupe could use more ponies, so it now rates 550-horsepower and 502 lb-ft. of torque. That’s a very healthy increase of 55-horsepower and 42 lb-ft.
Jag claims that’s enough to be the fastest Jaguar ever. And, with its all-aluminum structure, it is also the stiffest “cat” yet.
As for that practicality we mentioned, the cargo area is good for 11 cubic-ft., almost half again the roadster’s.
The aluminum body that hides the cargo space is beautifully executed. The front end is virtually the same as the Roadster, but the sweeping lines at the rear are as dynamic as anything on the road. A fixed-panel glass roof is an option.
That stiffer structure called for a stiffer suspension to be bolted to it. Add in Adaptive Dynamics, an active rear differential, and brake Torque Vectoring, and you’ve got a sweet handling 2-seater that’s a joy to behold and drive.
Even in relaxed cruising the Coupe feels tossable; ready to be a willing companion for any length adventure. All of our crew had high praise for its effortless performance, sharp handling, and the wonderful sounds that it makes; though some found the loud and aggressive exhaust note to have a fake aura to it, like it was trying a bit too hard.
The 8-speed Quickshift automatic transmission is the same as in the Roadster, but has updated software, helping it feel a whole lot more direct.
At our test track, it’s hard to say which experience we enjoyed more, listening to this cat growl at the line, or feeling it pounce off of it.
If all of the stars align just right and you find decent traction, you can hit 60 in 4.0-seconds, or perhaps less. And you can clear the quarter mile in 12.0 at 122 miles-per-hour.
Steering is very quick and the chassis super nimble, but with this many ponies punching the rears into action, oversteer is always in the wings; though the electronic differential tries its best to keep it hidden.
Push harder and it begs for more. You needle together corners like a bead stringer hopped up on Red Bull. Like any true performance car, higher speeds is where this F-Type Coupe feels most at home. Electronic intervention seeps in fairly quickly, but it does so almost seamlessly, helping more than holding you back.
The Coupe R’s standard Super Performance Braking System brought our car to a halt in just 110-feet from 60. You can upgrade to carbon ceramics, but we doubt they’ll provide the extra 12-grand’s worth of results.
Whether on track or road, the Coupe just feels better than the Roadster, but not so much so that it feels like an entirely different car; just a better version, even if it’s not the quietest car on the street. We knew the coupe was coming from the F-type’s beginnings, but it was hard for us to imagine that it would turn out this great.
Praises were not quite as high for the interior; beautiful to look at, but not the most intuitive to use, and things get cramped if you’re gifted with much height over 6-feet. Oh, well, nothing is perfect.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 16-City, 23-Highway, and 18-Combined. Our average of 22.8 miles-per-gallon of Premium exceeded expectations.
The base Coupe is actually $4,000 less than the Convertible at $65,925. However our R Coupe is at the top of the heap starting at $99,925.
So, if the F-type Roadster was a home run, than the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is truly a grand slam! We can easily see the Coupe quickly outselling the Roadster. It’s amazing what a small company can do with a bunch of cash for development, designers with a true sense of history, and engineers with an open mind. Jaguar is certainly aiming to please, and this one is way outta the park!
- Engine: 5.0 liter
- Horsepower: 550
- Torque: 502 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 4.0 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 12.0 seconds @ 122 mph
- EPA: 16 mpg city/ 23 mpg highway
Still The Same Mazda3, Just A Bit Better
When the fourth-gen Mazda3 arrived for 2019, it grew a little more stylish, a lot more upscale; and loads more practical too, adding all-wheel drive into the mix for the first time. How does it get better than that? Well, for ’23 the 3 adds an engine update that promises to deliver more power and better efficiency. Time to speak truth to this power.
The Mazda3 has always been a great compact car, big on both fun and value, and has earned numerous MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Awards over the years. This current-gen has been on the road for 4-years now, and it gets even better for 2023.
Starting with the powertrain, the base 2.0-liter I4 has been eliminated leaving just 2 versions of the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, turbo and non-turbo. Base versions get a 5-horsepower bump to 191-horsepower, along with updates for its cylinder deactivation system. The 2.5 Turbo fits standard all-wheel drive and outputs the same 250-horsepower and 320 lb-ft. of torque as last year; provided you use Premium gas. Max ratings drop to 227-horsepower and 310 lb-ft. with Regular.
A 6-speed manual transmission remains available in front-wheel drive 3s, but AWDs come exclusively with a sport-tuned 6-speed automatic. We found it well-sorted and seemingly always on the same page as us whether we were shuffling through back roads or sitting in traffic. There is a softer overall feel compared to Mazda3s of old, which you’ll appreciate when encountering harsh pavement, but it still feels plenty agile when called upon.
That softer feel certainly carries over inside, where it has gotten much quieter, and quite nicely finished, consistent with Mazda’s Audi-like premium intentions. All 3s get an 8.8-inch center display, and all of the fingerprints on our test car’s screen signifies most people assume it’s a touchscreen. It’s not, however, as inputs are made with a rotary controller on the console. It’s not the most intuitive system, but once you’re past the learning curve, it’s tolerable.
The rear seat room doesn’t have the roomy feel of the Subaru Impreza, but space is certainly more than adequate compared to the rest of the compact set. Rear cargo space for this hatchback rates a good 20.1 cubic-ft. with trunk space in the sedan coming in at 13.2 cubic-ft. So yes, the Mazda3 remains available in both sedan and hatchback, but we still prefer the 5-door hatch both for its practicality and for its sporty looks. Top Turbo Premium Plus gets gloss black aero treatments including a roof spoiler and front air dam.
At the test track, power from the 2.5-turbo felt more than adequate off the line, using all-wheel-drive grip to bite into the pavement and get up and go to 60 in 6.0-seconds flat. There was virtually no turbo lag, and the engine felt nicely refined with its power delivery. Transmission operation was equally as smooth and kept the power flowing quite effectively throughout the ¼-mile, which ended in 14.5-seconds at 95 miles-per-hour. We really appreciate a well-tuned 6-speed in this world of overactive 8 and 10 speed automatics.
While there was definitely some understeer to manage in our handling course, the 3 turned in quickly and provided real, sporting feedback through our cone course. I-Activ AWD features G-Vectoring Control Plus, which uses both engine torque vectoring as well as selective braking to minimize body roll, and preserve the lively feel we’ve come to expect from Mazda. In panic braking runs, the pedal was soft, but that kept ABS pulsing to a minimum; and the results were great, as we averaged a very short 106-feet from 60, with minimal nose dive and stable, straight stops.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for an all-wheel drive Turbo are 23-City, 31-Highway, and 26-Combined; we averaged a good 28.4 miles-per-gallon of Regular.
Obviously by eliminating the previous base engine, prices have taken a jump for ’23, but so has everything else. Still they remain more than reasonable. The base S now starts at $26,855, with the top Turbo Premium Plus at $37,815, with many options in between. And sedan prices are even more sensible, starting at $23,715.
Like most brands, Mazda seems to be going all-in on SUVs; as the 3 is the last family sedan and hatchback in their lineup. And it would be a real shame if that were to change. As the 2023 Mazda3, the hatchback in particular, is just about the perfect car, offering utility vehicles levels of practicality along with better than average luxury, plus handling performance that few crossovers can match. So, long live the Mazda3!
- Engine: 2.5-liter Turbo-4
- Horsepower: 227 | 250
- 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 106 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 28.4 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: 6-speed auto
- Torque: 310 lb-ft. | 320 lb-ft
- 1/4 Mile: 14.5-seconds at 95 mph
- EPA: 23-City / 31-Highway / 26-Combined