The Jaguar experience has really taken a step forward this year. First, I drove the all new XKR, a gorgeous coupe with new supercharge powers. And now, I have the XFR, a Sedan bestowed with those same 500 plus horses and ready to take on the heads of the class. I drove the new Cadillac CTSV a few months earlier and now it’s immediately where my comparison started.
But, before delving into a comparing, the XFR is a mighty car when analyzed by itself. Driving dynamic sharpened with a new version of Jag’s computer controlled suspension, a new active differential control and the new 510 horse, 5-liter super charged V8 make the XFR a highly seductive ride never leaving out Jaguars ever preset heritage of beauty.
If there’s a car that could deliver that easy going Jaguar style, blended with that punching your gut forced air rush, I don’t know what it is. The XFR is about class leading performance and an uncomplicated package delivering superior ride quality and thought body emotions. The XFR advances Jaguar’s modernization with a classic yet techno led design. Press the pulsating red start button and unleash a visual show of pop up shift knobs and unfurling vents. R touches and blaze in several trim bits while the two-tone leather seating is a work of art. Despite the requisite beauty and richness, the XFR could use a much faster and more up-to-date navi and infotainment system as this one is pretty bad. It’s too bad for it didn’t still have their hands in this because their linked in electronics would wonders here. And, while touch point operation works well for the overhead interior lighting, you’ve got about a 20% chance of the glove box opening on the first try. The Bowers and Wilkins’ 440-watt surround sound system leaves me largely unmoved as well.
But, as it pertains to the mechanicals, the XFR is right in the sweet spot. The engine is to die for producing a supercharged thrust that will take you from 0-60 in 4.7 seconds. Passing or merging is done with laughable ease. The six-speed auto with paddle shifters serves dutifully and incorporates an S performance mode. Click this racing flag and you’ll activate dynamic mode modifying the throttle, stability and transmission parameters as well as the adaptive dynamics responses. This brings the XFR into full competition mode. And, with the DSC turned off, allows for a playfully controllable rear end.
It’s a magnificent machine with sophisticated engineering but at the same time it’s not the pure performance hero that the CTSV is. The caddy is harder edge and skews towards raciness while the XFR shows better balance. It’s a ton of fun to drive and launching it produces that patented Jaguar sound while pinning you deep into cowhides. At $80,000.00 with everything high standard, the XFR is a pricey but highly desirable super fast sedan, one just as comfortable running errands around town as it is tearing up the asphalt.