The F-type R’s headline figures are good for a 0-62mph in 3.7sec and a top whack of 186mph. A thunderous exhaust note is once again one of the F-type R’s party tricks, though it’s no longer quite so thunderous when you start it up each morning, thanks to a default quiet start function. This can be overridden by pressing the exhaust button before you start, or setting the car in Dynamic mode – and Jaguar was keen to remind us it’s as rowdy as ever at full throttle.
P450s do the sprint to 62mph in a more leisurely 4.6sec regardless of whether power goes to two or four wheels, while the P300 takes a yawning 5.7sec. Performance from the P450 does reflect its laid back nature, and the torquey power delivery doubles down on this, but it’s the P300’s performance that’s actually more of a disappointment.
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Progress is solid, but the four-cylinder has the same lethargic response familiar to other JLR products that share this engine. Turbo lag can be an issue, but there also seems to be a hesitation to gain or drop revs, making the engine feel like it’s lubricated with golden syrup, rather than engine oil.
This feeling is exacerbated by the short gear ratios that exaggerate the engine’s unresponsiveness, making the gearbox feel almost CVT-like as the engine only barely feels like it engages a gear properly before the next upshift. Flick it into manual mode and there is a more natural feeling to acceleration, but it still lacks the crisp throttle response we expect from four-cylinder engines found in hot hatchbacks, let alone £55k sports cars.