The XFR is a wolf in a sheep’s clothing. To the untrained eye it would look quite similar to a regular XF. Please do not be fooled by the appearance alone. The large air intake openings on the front bumper are not for show. It breathes life into the 5.0L V8 supercharged behemoth.
The XFR’s domain lies straight alongside that of the BMW’s incredible M5 and Mercedes’ AMG massaged E63. The XFR does fall short in power and handling to its German counterparts, however at AED 409k it’s cheaper as well. But then again, are we really comparing apples to apples? The three cars are quite different and actually cater to different requirements. The XFR is for those who want a plush driving experience with great handling and the occasional ballistic mode. It produces a click over 500HP and 0-100kmph is around the 4.7sec range.
What’s great about having this car then? The regular XF with 380HP is a fast car in itself, why do we really need or want the XFR? What’s so special about the “R” badge? The “R” badge is what livens up the XF and I want the “R” badge on each of Jaguar’s lineup.
Once inside the car, you would see that Jaguar has paid a lot of attention in covering every nook and cranny with leather. The white contrast stitching and the carbon fiber elements in the interior just hint at the car’s performance capabilities. The steering is thick and fits right into your hand, but these elements are in most fast cars. What Jaguar has done is that they have given what we expect out of a performance sport saloon and added a glimpse of what we are about to experience on the Start/Stop button. The red glow actually flickers on and off like a heartbeat. This is some serious visual treat.
The XFR just pulls in any gear it’s on. There is an endless amount of torque and it manages to convert most of the power into thrust. Well most of the time. The car humiliated quite a few big block V8s and some flat 6s from traffic light to traffic light sprints. The confused look on the other driver’s face was worth it, as they tried to figure out how an ordinary XF could thrash them. I guess they did not realize the “R” badge and that the quad exhaust was not just for show. I was, however, wondering how well the XFR hides speed. You just don’t feel the speed at all, and that requires a lot of attention and self-control to keep it within the legal speed limits. I would however like to point out that there is almost no feedback from the steering wheel. This may be a good thing for some but for me I would have preferred a bit more steering feel. There were times when I felt that the car was not communicating with me over a sharp bend and it was then that I wished the XFR would tell me to push harder or to back off. It does however provide an ample amount of grip so that’s not a major concern to the majority of its drivers.
Audiophiles would appreciate the Bowers & Wilkins sound system pumping out 1200W of power. The nifty iPod integration is great and is provided throughout Jaguar’s lineup.
The XFR would be an ideal car for those who are looking for comfort as well as the occasional power. Imagine after a long hard day at work, taking the XFR home, being comfy and chilled until the next Mustang passes by. Then it’s time to wake up the beast and have some fun.
Photos By Brian Donegan