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Jaguar F-Type Coupe is here

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This is the F-Type Coupe, the car Jaguar is heralding as the “most dynamically capable, performance focused” road car in its history.

It'll have to be: this is the two-door that Jag hopes will dish out a kicking to both the Porsche Cayman and 911.

With very British resolve, Jag has taken the fight to Porsche by giving the Coupe not only a fixed roof (novel, eh?) but yet more power. This is faintly concerning. We have never felt the F-Type cabrio to be exactly lacking in power.

True, the outputs of the two supercharged V6 F-Types remain unchanged from the convertible's 335bhp and 375bhp. But Jag has ditched the cabrio's 488bhp V8 “S”, replacing it with the 542bhp V8 “R”, which features the firm's 5-litre supercharged eight-cylinder in its most potent form.

The V8R will get from zero to 60mph in four seconds dead and do 186mph flat-out. That's if you can keep it pointing forwards: the less powerful V8 “S” convertible is as drift-happy a hot rod as we've driven in years, and we'd suspect the V8R coupe will have a similar penchant for sideways. Handle with care.

The V8R Coupe will cost £85,000, just a fraction more than the 400bhp Porsche 911 Carrera S... and some £53,000 less than the almost identically powered Aston Martin V12 Vantage S. Whatever way you look at it, the F-Type's offering a good chunk of sports car power for your cash.

The 335bhp V6 starts at £51,235,with the 375bhp V6S costing £9,000 more. All three F Coupe's use ZF's eight-speed transmission, one of the best in the two-pedal business. What we'd give for the option of a manual, though.

Even so, the F-Type Coupe should be a yet more focused drive than the cabrio, which is hardly a wobbling fatty. The hardware remains largely unchanged – beyond a slight increase in spring rates front and rear – but the fixed roof (which you can have in aluminium, carbon or glass) adds stiffness: Jag says the F-Type coupe is the most torsionally rigid car it has ever built.

Due to the roof reinforcement required to squeeze past US crash test regulations, the Coupe is only 20kg (44lbs) lighter than the F-Type convertible, but can be lightened another 21kg by optioning the bright yellow carbon ceramic “CCM” brakes.

With no folding roof to take up valuable bootspace, the F-Type Coupe even has a usable trunk: 407 litres of it (14.4cu-ft), in fact. Jag says there's enough space for two sets of golf clubs. If you opt for a spare wheel, you'd be lucky to squeeze a single putter in the F-Type convertible.

Even so, who cares about bootspace when there's a 542bhp V8 to discuss?

A version of this story originally appeared on TopGear.com.

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