Anyone who thinks Jaguar is limiting the sporting appeal of the brand to the F-Type can think again. The XJ sedan debuting at the New York motor show is the latest model to bring back the R to its name.
Utilising the outputs of a 404kW/680Nm five-litre supercharged V8 -- also seen in the F-Type (in a lower level of tune) and the XFR-S -- the XJR is being described by the brand as the "the most focused, agile and responsive Jaguar XJ ever."
The performance flagship of the breed will be easily distinguished from the mainstream XJ range by a subtle aerodynamic package when it first appears in Australia late this year. Jaguar global brand director Adrian Hallmark says it delivers supercar performance and assertive looks with the highest levels of luxury.
"The new XJR epitomises the three pillars of technology, performance and contemporary design which the Jaguar brand stands for in the twenty-first century, while delivering new levels of dynamic ability in a luxury saloon," he says.
Jaguar Australia brand manager Mark Eedle says the new sports models will remind car buyers of the performance side of the marque.
"We've got the F-Type on its way, the XFR-S with the increase in power and the XJR with the same engine, some big performance credentials being staked at the moment which is wonderful to see because it's a core pillar of the Jaguar brand," he says.
While the F-Type shares the same supercharged V8 as the two new super-sedans, there's no official word on an F-Type R with 404kW on offer. The brand also let its XFR-S - which claims a 4.4 second sprint to 100km/h - loose in front of the public in its homeland at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed, demonstrating just what 404kW and 680Nm can do to a set of rear tyres.
Painted in what the British brand calls Italian racing red and driven by 1988 Le Mans 24hr race winner Andy Wallace, the XFR-S showed its performance potential on the famous hillclimb. Eedle says the company has been through its product-led recovery phase and it was revisiting the performance side of its heritage.
"We are known for dynamics, so you get an amazing amount of power and the dynamics and the technology to harness, so you get a proper dynamic drive instead of just blasting in a straight line, we're good on corners," he says.
The XFR-S will precede the August arrival of the F-Type and it's expected to go close to the pre-price-cut $210,000 asking price of the XFR.
"We just repositioned the pricing, what that's done is allow the XFR-S at pricing not too far off where we were before," Eedle says without elaboration. Interest in the F-Type sportscar has been strong and Jaguar already has 16 orders, evenly split between the supercharged V6 and V8 pair.