get more purr and snarl
Zero to 100km/h in the naturally-aspirated V8 is achieved in 5.7 seconds. The XKR does the same sprint in 4.9 seconds. The big surprise is the turbodiesel, which hits 100km/h in a respectable 6.4 seconds.
In keeping with the XFR’s extra grunt, Jaguar has specified a new active differential control system and adaptive dynamics, another term for computer-controlled suspension, as well as a faster steering ratio and larger brakes.
The active differential is essentially a sophisticated electronic limited-slip differential. When not needed the system is switched off so, unlike a mechanical version, there is no risk of undesirable understeer at low speeds.
Another feature of the Jag active diff is that it creates no noise, vibration or harshness problems at low speeds.
The XKR’s adaptive suspension monitors and adjusts damping to suit road conditions in a similar way to the CATS systems on previous Jaguars.
The new system is configured to rapidly assess body motion and steering wheel input to modulate the damping forces and reduce roll and pitch.
Visually the XFR gets a tricked-up exterior package to prove to neighbours you’ve got the top-of-the-range version.
It has revised bumpers, lower front air intakes, discreet body kit, bonnet louvres and grilles, quad exhausts and a small bootlid spoiler.
The other XFs get a choice of new alloys and cosmetic interior updates.
Jaguar also has given the range stiffer bodies, stiffer rear sub-frames, stronger differentials, upgraded brakes, an improved navigation system, an acoustic laminated windscreen and an upgraded ZF six-speed automatic.
As expected of this level of luxury, all models get a comprehensive list of safety gear, leather and cocooning cabins.
The safety gear consists of six airbags, antiskid brakes, traction control, dynamic stability control and the immensely strong body.
This is supplemented by cruise control, LED taillights, leather trim, rain-sensing wipers, rear parking sensors, automatic climate control and 7-inch colour touch-screen. THE engineering of the XF is proven and typically Jaguar. There’s an all-encompassing ride and a level of quality that befits the brand. In fact, the quality and equipment are helping to lift Jaguar’s reputation to new levels.
With the new V6 turbodiesel and naturallyaspirated V8s, the XF enters a new league.
The diesel is showing torque output that was once the preserve of high-performance V8 petrol engines and the supercharged XFR will keep the Germans honest.
With 600Nm, the diesel is only 25Nm shy of the supercharged petrol V8, yet delivers its peak torque lower in the rev range.
According to Jaguar, the diesel’s primary turbo has 61 per cent more torque at 1500 revs than the 2.7 while the secondary turbo has 32 per cent more power at 4000 revs.
What does this mean for drivers? Well, don’t dismiss the S badge on the XF’s boot. It will launch itself from standstill without the hefty shove of the XKR, but with a very firm seat-of-the-pants push that delivers loads of torque way beyond the point where most diesels are gasping for breath.
The diesel shows the right stuff at overtaking speeds. From 80km/h it provides the surge needed to stay out of harm’s way.
The S is refreshingly petrol-like too. At idle we had to open the door to confirm that it was, in fact, a diesel.
There is little rattle at idle and it sounds like a robust petrol V6.
In more than 300km of often spirited driving the S returned 8.3 litres/100km. And if the diesel is not your cup of tea, then there’s the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 in the XFR.
What can we say, except that this engine is truly a delight. Pedalled reasonably quickly it returned 12.9 litres/100km, within a whisker of Jaguar’s own figures.
What is amazing is the effortless power delivery, the crisp, linear steering and surprisingly compliant, yet firm ride. Even with the 20-inch wheels and alloys the XFR rides incredibly well. In most situations you hear the patter of road bumps rather than feel them.
Look out Mercedes-Benz and BMW, there’s a new kid from Jaguar to tickle your AMG and M performance sedans.