Jaguar XFR car review
- We like... Blistering pace, civilised grace
- We don't...Nothing worth a mention
It comes down to this. D’you, if you’re rich enough, want one of these, BMW’s M5 or Mercedes-Benz’s E63 AMG? Each is a super-saloon at the top of its game: stealthy, upscale and blisteringly quick.
In the XFR’s case, power comes from a new 5.0-litre supercharged petrol. The first time you tread the throttle through its arc or travel it’ll make you catch your breath: yes, it is that quick. But only when you want it to be, and that really matters. While this is a car that signals its ability from the first turn of a wheel through the crispness of its steering and the tautness of its springs, it is also a pussy-cat in traffic. Easy to drive slowly and blessed with the same lovely cabin that comes with all XFs. It’s enlivened by silver brushed metal across the fascia and instruments that glow a striking cobalt blue.
And, yes, it plays the same party trick as all XFs. Lower yourself into that fatly padded driver’s chair and you’ll see the start button heartbeat-pulse with red light. Thumb it and the engine fires. As it does, the chrome dial controlling the auto gearbox (which is standard) rises from the centre console. As the same time, four air vents across the fascia swivel open. It’s a piece of theatre you’ll not tire of.
And the difference between the ‘R’ and its key rivals is all about its light touch. Where the M5 and AMG are about brute speed and performance, this XF can also do smooth and gentle. Superbly. Thank adaptive dynamics, the marque’s system for monitoring the suspension and adjusting it as you drive.
Its suspension is firm enough to keep the car controlled as it gobbles up the road. But it keeps occupants composed and comfy even if you’re pressing on. And if you’re not, it is as cosseting as you’d want from any Jaguar.
To set the car up for the most, you twiddle the transmission knob to ‘S’ and you bless the button marked with a chequered flag that sits just to its rear. This switches to what Jaguar calls ‘dynamic mode’, which weights the steering, sharpens throttle response and increases the change-points for the six speed auto transmission. The button’s there, too, on ‘lesser’ XFs and it does a similar job. Here, however, you barely need it because it standard trim the R’s just so up-for-it capable.
And, given what it can do, its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are within bounds. Plus it has all the usefulness that comes with the car: space for five (though headroom in the back can be tight) and decent luggage room. It wears a deeper front bib a small rear spoiler and bonnet slats to allow the big motor more air.
Should you buy one? If you want an XFR, you’re a full-points fan and nothing else will do. Anything less and you’ll buy the 3.0 diesel S which is the best all-rounder and, heck, now even has the XFR’s big-cushion seats as standard. But if this one’s for you, we’d give it extra points of the M5 and E63 for its finesse. It can go hard but you’ll come to appreciate its softer side, too.
- Engines5.0 V8 petrol supercharged
- 0-60 mph4.7secs
- Insurance groups49
Motors.co.uk value verdict: