Jaguar XFR Review: On the Drive

The Supercharged, 503bhp Jaguar XFR

The Supercharged, 503bhp Jaguar XFR

We review the 5.0 litre Jaguar XFR Supercharged to see if it’s a match for the BMW M5 and Audi RS6.

All the Jaguar news of late has been on the new Jaguar XJ. But the car that started the real Jaguar Renaissance was the Jaguar XF, and the halo version of that successful car is the 503bhp Jaguar XFR.

So when Jaguar called and asked if we’d like a Jaguar XFR for a few days it would have been churlish to decline! We also found it hard to believe that this Supercharged Jaguar XFR could actually have the measure of such stunning cars as the BMW M5, Audi RS6 and Mercedes E63. So what better way to find out for ourselves than putting a few hundred miles on the car over a long weekend?

John drew the short straw (it was rigged!), and managed to find the time to spend almost 400 miles with the most powerful saloon car Jaguar has yet produced.

John Test Drives the Jaguar XFR

John Test Drives the Jaguar XFR

John Reviews / Test Drives the Jaguar XFR

I must confess, I have a love of Jaguars. Growing up, it was the E-Type that adorned posters on my bedroom wall, and I was stunned to find a saloon car by Jaguar as an object of desire – the original Jaguar XJ. And over the years I’ve driven a fair number of Jaguar cars, but I’ve never owned one.

My love of Jaguars was always tempered by the practical implications of ownership. Although I was hugely enamoured of the E-Type and MK I Jaguar XJ, I was not of an age to drive. And by the time I was – and certainly by the time I could seriously consider buying a Jaguar – Jaguars had become something of a liability. Great looking cars – I particularly loved the XJC – but poorly built and unreliable.

But under Ford’s stewardship Jaguar did become a sensible car to own once again, as well as being iconically stylish. But it was the ‘Iconic’ bit I struggled with. Despite huge advances technically – and a complete about-turn in build quality – Jaguars just seemed ‘Old Man’ cars. And I wasn’t old (are we ever, in our own eyes?). So, fine cars though they became, I never bought.

But the new Jaguar XF has changed perceptions of Jaguars. They no longer boast a ‘Gentleman’s Club’ interior, instead having a great blend of simplicity and contemporary style. And visually they are very much of the time. Pictures of the Jaguar XF looked distinctly Lexus in style when I first saw them, but in the flesh the Jaguar XF is a stylish car with great lines and design detail that conspires to look of its time but still be pure Jaguar.

So a chance to spend some serious time with the beast of the XF range – the Jaguar XFR – was not something I was going to decline.

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