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The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - LUXURY CARS -

HE Jaguar XF S is send­ing me mixed mes­sages. From the out­side, it’s like its name­sake, all black, lithe and mus­cu­lar and ready to pounce. To say it looks like a four-door Monaro is no in­sult.

And un­der the bon­net is a new snarling twin-turbo V8 diesel en­gine that wants me to put the boot in hard, urg­ing me to be naughty.

How­ever, when I get in­side, the plush leather up­hol­stery and gor­geous trim want me to re­lax and take my time.

With the smart key in my pocket, ev­ery­thing is ready and will­ing to fire into action.

All I have to do is hit the ‘‘start’’ but­ton next to the trans­mis­sion dial.

And this is where I get the mixed mes­sages.

The start-up se­quence in­volves an im­pres­sive floor­show of air vents that slowly ro­tate into po­si­tion with the trans­mis­sion knob ris­ing ma­jes­ti­cally out of the cen­tre con­sole into your await­ing hand.

Not un­til it gets all the way to the top can you ro­tate the trans­mis­sion se­lec­tor to D for drive, or S for sports driv­ing, which is where you re­ally want to turn it.

All this takes just a few sec­onds but it’s pre­cious sec­onds when the blood is up and you are champ­ing at the bit to get mov­ing.

The Jaguar is ask­ing you to first ap­pre­ci­ate its en­gi­neer­ing and per­for­mance be­fore you set off and re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate its en­gi­neer­ing and per­for­mance.

While the first few times are an in­ter­est­ing floor­show and a great source of en­ter­tain­ment for friends and fam­ily, af­ter a while it be­comes a lit­tle an­noy­ing.

I have a friend with whom who I ride mo­tor­cy­cles. We call him In­spec­tor Gad­get be­cause he al­ways has new gad­gets and loves to play with them.

So while we’re all ready to roll, he’s turn­ing on his bike and check­ing the on-board com­puter di­ag­nos­tics, then set­ting his nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, be­fore putting on his hel­met and gloves. He loves the pro­ce­dures and the ma­chin­ery prob­a­bly more than the ac­tual rid­ing, while I am the re­verse. I’m al­ways itch­ing to get go­ing. Thank­fully, once you fire up the big Jag and plant your size 11 foot, there is no lag in the per­for­mance here.

Nor­mally turbo diesels have an an­noy­ing lag at slow speeds but Jaguar’s new AJ-V6D Gen III S 3.0-litre diesel de­liv­ers 500Nm of torque in only 500 mil­lisec­onds from idle.

Jaguar’s most pow­er­ful diesel yet has 202kW of power and a max­i­mum of 600Nm of torque pro­pel­ling it to 100km/h in just 6.4 sec­onds.

That’s 33 per cent more pow­er­ful than the 2.7-litre V6 diesel with 61 per cent more torque from 1500rpm.

At the same time, Jaguar has man­aged to avoid pump­ing losses in the en­gine by iso­lat­ing one of the par­al­lel se­quen­tial tur­bos un­til needed.

In nor­mal town driv­ing, you use one turbo but when you kick it in the guts, the sec­ond fires up in 300 mil­lisec­onds and blurs the scenery without any dis­cernible lag in the de­liv­ery of power. Use of just one turbo most of the time re­sults in 12 per cent bet­ter fuel econ­omy than the V6 and a 10 per cent re­duc­tion in CO2 emis­sions to about the level of a Toy­ota Corolla. But, de­spite all the com­forts cod­dling the driver, there is al­ways that temp­ta­tion to release the snarling beast within and throw those great emis­sions and econ­omy fig­ures right out the win­dow.

Af­ter all, you don’t pay an ex­tra $30,000 for a car to save a few pen­nies on fuel.

If you do de­cide to cruise around on one turbo, you will not only be re­warded with a clear con­science by re­duc­ing emis­sions and fuel us­age but you’ll also en­joy a quiet and re­fined driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Jaguar has tamed the cus­tom­ary diesel en­gine clat­ter with a CGI cylin­der block and new piezo in­jec­tors to re­duce com­bus­tion noise.

Sound damp­en­ing is also used in the camshaft cov­ers, front cov­ers and sump, the lat­ter fea­tur­ing a poly­mer layer sand­wiched be­tween two lay­ers of steel.

It is so quiet and smooth you could eas­ily for­get you are driv­ing a car with a diesel en­gine. That gives you more time to sit back and en­joy the won­der­ful high fi­delity of the Bow­ers & Wilkins sound sys­tem.

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