2012 Jaguar XFR | road test

Posted on May 15, 2012 by

Quick Review

GoodGood Performance, styling, price
BadBadSpace, lacks some gizmos
SpecsSpecs5-litre supercharged V8; 510bhp, 625Nm
PricePriceAED 409,000
RatingEditors Rating Five Star

Every once in a while there comes a car that requires a little role-playing on my part. The Jaguar XFR is one of them. It is essential that I fake the character, social status and the style of a potential XFR owner. With my modest pay package and shrewdness for any car bigger than a hatchback, I didn’t possess the right frame of mind to test this petrol gulping 510bhp monster. So, off I went pretending I was a young and successful media mogul with more money in my bank account than the GDP of a small country.

I must admit, I was really looking forward to driving this car since receiving a call from the folks at Jaguar. Being in a profession where big, expensive and fast cars are nothing special; itching to drive a car means something. On paper, the Jaguar XFR is simply the best saloon ever to roll out of Coventry and I was eager to see if it lived up to my expectations.

There is no denying that the standard is a beautiful car. For me, it is the best looking mid-level saloon you can buy today. The XFR take the good looks a step further with additions and tweaks that just make me go weak in the knees. The BMW M5 and the Mercedes E63 AMG are more function than form when compared to the XFR. The E63 AMG looks sharp and angry. It resembles a scythe that can slice through air at 250kmph. The BMW M5 looks too clinical and lacks the oomph. The XFR however is an eye candy.

Along with narrower headlights, tt gets deeper front air dams with two vents on the hood right with supercharged written prominently on each of them. 20-inch low profile tyres with sportier looking wheels and ‘supercharged’ etched on the wheel nuts certainly add to its assertive character. In profile it looks like a cat ready to pounce with its hunkered down stance. At the rear it has a well-sculpted bumper with large twin exhaust pipes and the boot lid sporting a spoiler The taillights are different from those found on the standard XF as well.

The Jaguar XFR gets its power from the same supercharged 5-litre V8 that powers the XKR. This engine belts out 510bhp at 6,000-6,500rpm and a whopping 625Nm of torque at 2,500-5,500rpm. In other words, it’s a nuclear reactor capable of providing more power and more torque than you will ever need. The massive amount of torque dished out low down in the rev range provides excellent drivability. There is no waiting for drama to happen with this engine, it’s all just there waiting for you to unleash it. With so much torque gushing out of this engine, the car wants to smoke the rear wheels at every possible opportunity. I had too many instances where the rear wheels decided to let go the moment I floored the pedal leaving me wondering at the marvel of electronics keeping everything under control. Then there is the noise, which my neighbours will remember for years to come. The long-stroke supercharged engine produces a deep, throaty growl which, when unleashed, resemble 510 angry stallions charging through everything that stands in their path.

The ride is a bit firm but that comes standard when you are buying a performance car. It’s something that you would usually complain about in other cars but in a high performance car you appreciate such firmness. It underlines good handling. It’s not firm to the extent of being uncomfortable but you certainly feel every surface undulation. Handling is spot on and even though I don’t get to try many antics in the city, I made it a point to visit some remote locations where I could put this car through its paces and almost ran the tank dry in the process. Fuel efficiency is claimed to be the best in the performance saloon segment but you will find yourself making frequent trips to the fuel stations. Our test car returned 6kmpl under mixed driving conditions.

Jaguar has done a good job of keeping the interior fuss free and elegant. The minimalistic treatment works really well here. There are no additional buttons on the dash to unlock hidden power and no badges that shove the ‘R’ in your face apart from one logo above the glove box. Layout is similar to the standard XF but acres of carbon fibre replace every plastic bit found on the regular XF. Jaguar has festooned the XFR’s interior with the best possible materials they could find and it comes together really well. The instrumentation cluster has just two dials and one screen in the middle to feed you with all that you need to know. No fancy stuff here. The touch-screen on the dash is the same as any JLR vehicle.

Comfort is not an issue but space is. The XFR doesn’t have the roomiest cabin in the segment and that’s where it loses out. Space in the front is acceptable but the rear legroom and headroom is a cause for concern.

What the XFR is then is a more subdued candidate among the super saloons of today. It’s classier and way more elegant than its competitors. Even though it doesn’t boast of a long and successful history like the BMW M5 and the Mercedes E63 AMG, it’s certainly capable of challenging them on every front. It lacks some modern gizmos and features that it’s rivals boast of but it’s not something you cant live without. Also, the XFR is the cheapest amont its competitors. If you like driving and want to do it in style, the Jaguar XFR is the super saloon you need. Since I’m pretending to be the pseudo-millionaire, I have already placed an imaginary order for one. Now I just need to win a lottery in the real world…

Specifications

Price: AED 409,000

Drivetrain

Engine: 5-litre Supercharged V8
Layout: Front engine rear wheel drive
Max. power: 510bhp @ 6000-6500rpm
Max torque: 625Nm @ 2500-5000rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Dimensions (mm)

Length: 4961
Width: 1920
Height: 1460
Wheelbase: 2909
Curb Weight: 1891kg
Fuel tank capacity: NA
Seating capacity: 5

Competitors

BMW M5, Mercedes-Ben E63 AMG, Porsche Panamera

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