L.A. Auto Show: Jaguar Introduces F-Type Coupe

 Michael Walker for THR

Jaguar's F-Type convertible, introduced earlier this year, was a conscious effort by the British carmaker to evoke the design DNA of its beloved E-Type, a favorite of Steve McQueen and other finger-snapping Hollywood cats in the 1960s

At the L.A. Auto Show Nov. 20, Jaguar unveiled the coupe version of the F-Type, and on first impression the new hardtop does an even better job of conjuring the spirit of the E-Type in the context of Jaguar's current design vocabulary.

"We did the convertible first because in my heart that was really the center of the sports car brand," Jaguar design director Ian Callum told The Hollywood Reporter at the show. "And I always say if you do a really good-looking convertible you'll get a great coupe out of that."

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The top-of-the-line F-Type R coupe, priced at $99,000, is powered by a 550 horsepower supercharged V8; having taken a spin with Callum in an early production model of the F-Type convertible powered by a slightly less powerful V8, I can personally attest to the car's neck-snapping performance.

The F-Type coupe is also available with a less-exalted 340 horsepower supercharged V6 and is priced staring at $65,000 -- $4,000 less than the convertible. Given the vagaries of cost versus benefit when it comes to high-performance sports cars with marquee branding, this constitutes something approaching a bargain.

But would McQueen -- were he still tearing down Sunset Blvd. past Dead Man's Curve in his Jaguar XKSS race car -- approve of the F-Type?

"I think Steve McQueen would drive this car," Callum said. "Although probably in British racing green."

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