This fe­line bites

Jaguar’s XFR has the might and power to match and bet­ter its ri­vals

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

Audi S7 when it ar­rives Down Un­der later this year.

As you’d imag­ine, the in­te­rior is swathed in beau­ti­ful leather, there’s soft blue pud­dle light­ing in the footwells, and you merely have to brush your fin­ger past the glove­box but­ton and it opens as if by magic.

In terms of nut and bolts value, you get Blue­tooth and iPod con­nec­tiv­ity with au­dio stream­ing, sat-nav, dual zone cli­mate con­trol, heated and cooled front seats, power win­dows, front park­ing sen­sors and re­vers­ing cam­era, Bow­ers and Wilkins 1200-watt sound sys­tem, grippy, but not too grippy, sports seats for driver and front-seat pas­sen­ger, and much more.


Nes­tled be­neath the shapely bon­net is a whop­ping big 5.0-litre su­per­charged V8 which sledge­ham­mers out 375kW and 625Nm from 2500rpm, which is enough to get you to 100km/h in an eye­wa­ter­ing 4.9 sec­onds. All of this oomph is twisted through a sen­sa­tional, and con­ven­tional six-speed au­to­matic (al­beit with up-rated torque con­verter and ad­di­tional clutch plates).

Fuel con­sump­tion is 12.5L/100km.

Other aces are the XFR’s Ac­tive Dif­fer­en­tial Con­trol, which can vary its lock­ing torque and thus how much drive each of the rear wheels gets, based on the road surface and the grip, and Adap­tive Dy­nam­ics, which au­to­mat­i­cally adapts sus­pen­sion damper set­tings to suit the road surface and driv­ing style. And it works bril­liantly, of­fer­ing up a beau­ti­fully com­pli­ant, yet, at the same time sport­ing, ride that not a sin­gle one of this car’s ri­vals can match.


While a lot of per­for­mance strains of gar­den va­ri­ety ve­hi­cles have bits and pieces added to them for looks, the XFR’s de­sign is more about func­tion than form.

The big 20-inch al­loys, for in­stance, al­low for big­ger brakes and bet­ter rub­ber, im­prov­ing brak­ing and grip. The rear lip at the back might be pretty small, but it’s func­tional, in­creas­ing down­force at high speed. And so on, and so on. All of this stuff, luck­ily, gives the XFR a look of pur­pose (think Matt Da­mon as Ja­son Bourne). Slip in be­hind the steer­ing wheel, and the XFR, like the rest of the XF and XJ range, is an event rather than an in­te­rior. The dash wraps around the front of the car, the ma­te­ri­als are sump­tu­ous to look at and beau­ti­ful to touch; and the gear se­lec­tor ris­ing up from the trans­mis­sion tun­nel, and the air vents rolling open give this thing an in­te­rior ex­pe­ri­ence that no com­peti­tors can match.


The Jaguar XFR, like the rest of the XF range, gets a four-star ANCAP crash safety rat­ing.

It’s lit­er­ally loaded down with ac­tive and pas­sive safety aids. For in­stance, it gets, as stan­dard, eight airbags, trac­tion and sta­bil­ity con­trols, adap­tive dy­nam­ics, and ac­tive dif­fer­en­tial con­trol, ABS with elec­tronic brake­force dis­tri­bu­tion, adap­tive cruise con­trol with emer­gency brake op­tions, and much more.

The su­per­struc­ture is also in­cred­i­bly light and strong, made from new-gen­er­a­tion met­als. The XFR also fea­tures the Pedes­trian Con­tact Sens­ing Sys­tem, which in­stan­ta­neously raises the bon­net a short dis­tance to avoid a pedes­trian mak­ing con­tact with the hard sur­faces be­neath it.


Plenty of th­ese high­per­for­mance sedans are oth­er­worldly when blast­ing along an au­to­bahn, or around a race track, but they in­vari­ably end up feel­ing dull and life­less at around-town speeds.

Not so, the XFR. It truly, feels spe­cial at just about any speed, and how the engi­neers have man­aged to make a car that sticks to the road as if it’s been stuck down with Go­rilla Glue, yet ride across bro­ken sur­faces as if it’s driv­ing over pil­lows, is stag­ger­ing. The adap­tive dy­nam­ics, which in most cars ei­ther feel too hard or too spongy, are spot-on. There’s good steer­ing feel, although a lit­tle more weight wouldn’t hurt, and the all­sur­face qual­ity of the ride is eas­ily the best in class.

Throw it into a cor­ner and the bal­ance and body con­trol are breath­tak­ing; it re­ally does make an M5 feel clumsy and life­less. And, all the while, you can hear that 5.0-litre su­per­charged V8 bark­ing out through the quad tailpipes.


While many of th­ese pre­mium per­for­mance cars only re­ally re­veal them­selves when go­ing well over 200km/h, this Jaguar re­veals it­self the mo­ment you thumb the starter but­ton and revel in the growl of the su­per­charged V8.

This is a per­for­mance car that’s com­fort­able in its skin, if you catch my drift . . . a truly epic drive at any speed, and that puts it ab­so­lutely into a league of its own.

Great go­ing: The­new Jaguar XFR looks ter­rific inside and out

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