Jaguar F-Type Long-Term Update 6: 2015 F-Type R Coupe
Naked in the Rain
A miracle happened. It rained in Los Angeles. After the king-hell drought we’ve had -- the worst in who knows how long -- water falling from the heavens is cause for celebration. Unless you happen to be driving south on the 110 through downtown Los Angeles in a 550-horsepower supercharged Jaguar F-Type. Friends, Angelenos, countrymen: There are a great many things to love about the sexy, sensual, curvaceous, uproarious R Coupe. Wet conditions, however, are not on the list.
Collectively, we Motor Trenders have lovingly complained about the F-Type’s tail-happy nature simply because those moments are controllable. And fun. And in dry conditions. But almost wiping out while cruising in a straight line over an inch of water is simply not cool. Some might say unacceptable. Perhaps it was just a bad spot on the freeway? Nope. The tank-slappy, fail tailonics happened all over town. Even moderate pedal-pushing led to the rear end sliding around. The last time I experienced this sort of new-car wet-weather poor behavior was driving ye olde Corvette ZR1 on essentially slicks (fine, ZR1-specific Michelin Pilot Sport Cups) down from Laguna Seca raceway during a storm. Bad company.
I don’t get it. In my mind it rains 300 days a year in England, the land where the F-Type hails from. One would think that wet-weather handling would be a front-of-mind priority. Apparently not. The easy cop-out would be to say, “But, Jonny, it’s a sports car. You’re not supposed to drive it in the rain.” To which I say, “Porsche 911.” And not the AWD porkers either. The regular-flavor rear-wheel-drive 911s -- the very car the F-Type is supposed to compete with -- handles near flawlessly in wet conditions. Are the F-Type’s summer tires, Pirelli P Zeros, to blame? No, because P Zeros are standard on 911s. Frustrating and ultimately disappointing. But, hey, there’s no more rain scheduled in the City of Angels until 2016…
More on our long-term Jaguar F-Type:
- Update 1: F-Type S Convertible - Birmingham, We Have a (Tire) Problem
- Update 2: F-Type S Convertible - British Car, American Issues
- Update 3: F-Type S Convertible - Does Fashion Come at a Performance Price?
- Update 4: F-Type R Coupe - Learning to Say Yes
- Update 5: F-Type R Coupe - Frightening Children and Small Animals, and Setting off Car Alarms