With its supercharged V8 engine, ‘Go-Fast’ looks and abundant luxury/technology, in many ways the XFR makes a perfect statement regarding what Jaguar has always been about. Luxury and refinement no doubt, but this time add rip-snorting performance and driving dynamics to match the best in the business.
Jaguar XFR Overview
Acclaimed for its looks and driving dynamics, the XF is the car which signaled Jaguar was back in the game. The financial security which new owners Tata delivered freed Jaguar’s styling team under the direction of Ian Callum as well as the company’s engineers to deliver what they always wanted – a true British premium sedan.
The XFR is the high-performance Jaguar XF and without doubt the supercharged V8-powered XFR contends impressively with acclaimed German rivals like the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and BMW 5 Series. Priced at $207,904, the Jaguar XFR steals an edge over the pricier Germans.
For that you get the sizzling supercharged V8, some superbly-styled exterior kit, including beautiful 20-inch alloy wheels, a glorious leather-trimmed sports interior and upgraded suspension.
Jaguar XFR Engine
Jaguar labels the XFR’s version of its 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine the AJ-V8 Gen III R. Of course for this car that means a supercharged V8.
By any measure this is a stunning, high performance powerplant delivering 375kW of power at 6000rpm and peak torque of 526Nm from as low as 2500rpm. That performance is supported by a superb exhaust note as the Jaguar XFR gets down to business.
Drive is to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel consumption is rated at 12.5l/100kms and exhaust C02 emissions score 292g/km.
Jaguar XFR The Interior
Jaguar has the interior of the XF (and the larger XJ for that matter) spot-on. We love the balance between modern technology and style with the craftsman-like character you only get with Jaguars.
New design seats for 2012 provide enhanced lateral support plus there’s a new-design three-spoke steering wheel, new air-vents (which again open automatically on engine start-up) and new instruments. The XFR runs Jaguar’s R-specification performance interior.
Of course a feature with current Jaguars is the gear selector dial which rises automatically.
With electronic adjustment for the seat and steering wheel (rake and reach) a first-class driving position is quickly achieved.
To the left is the touch-screen for the magnificent Bowers & Wilkins audio system with Bluetooth, USB and iPod connectivity. The same seven-inch colour screen is used for the satellite navigation and reversing camera.
Rear seat legroom is on par with the German rivals although lanky passengers may be a bit tight in the headroom department.
Jaguar XFR Exterior & Styling
In case you’re in any doubt about the performance potential of the Jaguar XFR, the word ‘supercharged’ is forged in the beautiful 20-inch alloy wheels and in the bonnet cool air ducts.
At the front, the glorious styling of the XF Jaguar gets a boost for the XFR with a trio of gorgeously crafted air dams mounted low under the bumper.
At the rear, an under-bumper diffuser and bootlid spoiler also point to this being the performance model of the Jaguar XF range.
For 2012 Jaguar updated the styling of the XF and actually included changes to all panels plus new front fender air-vents, headlights, tail-lights and bumpers.
Jaguar XFR On The Road
‘Astonishing’ is the word that springs to mind with the Jaguar XFR – the racy ‘Cat’ delivering the best European sports sedan drive since our test earlier this year of the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG. A major similarity between the German and British duo was their menacing V8 growl every time you stomped on the throttle.
In the case of the Jaguar XFR, that supercharged 5.0-litre sizzles all the way to just shy of 7000rpm – without doubt one of the world’s best V8s.
Over our high-speed mountain roads test loop we naturally selected ‘S’ and used the nicely-styled paddle shifters to manually swap cogs in the six-speeder. Slowing into hairpins we loved the sound as the transmission automatically blipped the throttle during down-changes.
In the twisty stuff the Jaguar XFR delivered the precision, grip and balance performance drivers love. Throttle response was instantaneous for mid-turn adjustments and rapid acceleration (although more subtle intervention of the traction control would be appreciated).
That handy driving dynamic achieved courtesy of Jaguar XFR’s adaptive dynamic suspension.
Back in town the XFR was as refined as you’d expect a Jaguar to be although naturally the sportier suspension set-up was noticeably firmer than regular Jaguar XFs.
Jaguar XFR Challenges
You can get carried away with technology in this league and really we’re splitting hairs here, but direct rivals the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and BMW M5 run seven-speed and eight-speed automatic transmissions. Jaguar has an eight-speeder in the entry-level XFR 2.2D so in that context, the XFR could benefit from an extra cog or two.
The Jaguar XFR also lacks some of the standrad modern driver aides like blind-spot monitors (option only) and lane-keeping assistance.
Jaguar XFR Verdict
Brilliant! One of the drives of the last couple of years!!
Yes we love the Jaguar XFR and we reckon it challenges the current German superstars in this segment teh new BMW M5 and the new model from ‘Benzdue later in 2012 . The Jaguar XFR shows the E63 AMG and M5 they don’t have exclusive rights in this league any more.
Against those acclaimed rivals, the Jaguar XFR’s $207,904 price looks sharp too.
Jaguar XFR The Competition
The latest versions of the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG (now with the 386kW/700Nm bi-turbo V8) and the BMW M5 (412kW/680Nm twin-turbo V8).
Supercars no doubt, but sure to top the Jaguar XFR’s $207,904 sticker (the current naturally aspirated E63 AMG is priced at $234,900).