By Dejan Jovanovic
Jaguar’s new supercharged saloon sharpens its claws for M5, RS6 and E63 assault
BMW’s M5 possesses an F1-derived V10, Audi’s RS6 boasts an AWD Quattro system and Mercedes-Benz supercharges 6.2 litres of V8 power, tearing up tarmac through a seven-speed transmission. Jaguar struts its XF signifying style and old-school British class, but packaged in a stunningly modern take on traditional big cat saloons.
It’s not just looks the XF has going for it because now there is an XFR. And it enters the fray growling and clawing at the German trio with no less than 510bhp. That’s more than Munich’s best get from its fancy F1-inspired engine block planted into the M5.
The Brits, however, believe in supercharged V8s and, thanks to the force-fed five litres, the amount of torque the XFR musters is also impressive: 625Nm.
Only a Jag can behave like hooligan and pull it off with class: The XFR is distinguished by an exterior which includes new bumpers and lower front intakes, sill extensions, bonnet louvres and grilles, four tailpipes, a boot-lid spoiler and 20in wheels. It’s Vinny Jones in an Anderson & Sheppard suit.
Driving dynamics are fortified with an electronically-controlled rear differential and continuously variable damping to ensure the Teutons don’t catch up in the bends.
You’ll need the techy gizmos to keep things under check since the XFR goes all the way to a limited 250kph and gets to 100kph from a standstill in 4.7 seconds. The sprint time might be a split second slower than the RS6 and E63’s, but keep in mind that the Audi has two extra wheels putting its power down, and the Merc makes use of 1.2-litres of extra capacity.
“The new XFR has superb proportions, better than any of its rivals, with a wide track and confident stance,” said Jaguar’s design director Ian Callum,. Well, he would, wouldn’t he? It was Callum who designed it, after all.