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Jaguar XFR-S 2014 Review

EXPERT RATING
8
Chris Riley road tests and reviews the 2014 Jaguar XFR-S with specs, fuel economy and verdict.

It might just be a typo but the F Type-R with 405kW scores the crown as the most powerful production Jag in the world. The XFR-S finishes a whisker behind, with 404kW according to the spec sheets - one killer wasp less although it's the same engine.

It's neither here nor there really because the XFR-S goes like stink whichever way you look at it, with a throaty roar that is guaranteed to turn heads from one end of the street to the other. What a rush...

DESIGN

The XFR-S looks the biz, there's no doubt about it. And it would want to, at a price of $222,545 plus extras plus options like the $3700 rear wing.

But, here's a thought, if you squint the lines look just like those of a Falcon GT, especially in profile and especially with the large rear wing fitted. Try it. Am I right or what?

In many ways the XF marked the arrival of the modern Jag in 2007 and while it still looks fresh, the design is starting to fray around the edges - particularly the cabin which looks a little dated with its relatively compact computer screen.

The predatory look and stance is enhanced in the XFR-S through the use of gloss black trim, including the wheels and radiator grille. A deeper front bumper incorporates larger air intakes, the centre one framed in carbon fibre. 

The lightweight composite material is used liberally, with carbon fibre used for the front splitter, finned rear air diffuser and the rear wing. Longer side sills and mouldings behind the front wheels are designed to keep the airflow close to the car's sides as long as possible.

Deeper side mouldings behind the rear wheels have been added for the same reason. The combined result of the aerodynamic improvements is a 68 per cent reduction in overall lift.

The wider, six-spoke, 20 inch lightweight Varuna forged alloys come standard with a dual finish. A ceramic polish is applied to the outer surfaces, in contrast with inner gloss black areas. The wheels can be supplied in either full gloss black or technical grey finishes.

TECHNOLOGY

The supercharged 5.0-litre V8 delivers an astonishing 404kW of power and 680Nm of torque, the latter between 2500 and 550 revs. It's enough to propel the 1875kg car from rest to 100km/h in a rapidfire 4.6 seconds and on to a top speed that is electronically limited to 300km/h - as if that matters hoot here in 110 La La land.

Because it's up to 225kg heavier than a XK for F-Type, it's a fraction slower out of the blocks.

The engine is paired with an eight-speed ZF Quickshift automatic with drive to the rear wheels. Steering wheel mounted change paddles are also supplied and the engine is even fitted with auto stop-start to minimise fuel use.

Front and rear suspension upgrades maximise response, with lateral stiffness up by 30 per cent.

The active electronic differential and Dynamic Stability Control settings have been recalibrated to allow the enthusiastic driver to make the most of the huge potential.

Fuel consumption by the way is rated at 11.6 litres/100km, not that the buyers of this car are likely to care. As a matter of interest we were getting 14.6 litres/100km after 400km.

AUDIO MAGIC

The XFR-S is fitted as standard with a 380 watt, 12-speaker surround-sound system from British audio experts Meridian. An optional 825W and 18-speaker system features Meridian's proprietary Trifield System which places every occupant at the centre of their own perfectly focused surround-sound arena.

LET ‘ER RIP

The XF-RS is a big, powerful GT style car, designed for touring. Throttle response is rapid and instant, with huge reserves of torque to pick the car up and catapult it down the road.

When you know who is not looking, cutting loose in this beast is a rare treat.

The thing about driving cars like this is simply to totally ignore the jibes of others. Just pretend they're not there, because they just don't rate and they just don't get it.

But when you know who is not looking, cutting loose in this beast is a rare treat. Wooshda. Long straights disappear in the blink of an eye and the paddles make change downs for approaching corners a snap.

Sport and performance modes sharpen the response. The steering is direct and the slightest movement turns the wheels. We just wish the thing made more noise, for more of the time.

It's got those silly baffles that keep it quiet around town but open up the exhaust as the revs climb, which makes it a difficult chore to keep it on song.

Verdict

Jaguar describes the car as the fastest, most powerful and agile sports saloon ever. It's the not the quickest or most powerful car that we have ever driven, but it's right up there with the best of them. Jaguar seems to have earned a place in motoring royalty and a top drawer Jag like this one has a certain je ne sais quoi - or should that be rule Britannia?

Pricing Guides

$36,990
Based on 27 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$27,777
Highest Price
$43,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
2.0 Luxury 2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $31,868 – 36,990 2014 Jaguar XF 2014 2.0 Luxury Pricing and Specs
2.0 Premium Luxury 2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $27,777 – 39,990 2014 Jaguar XF 2014 2.0 Premium Luxury Pricing and Specs
2.2D Luxury 2.2L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $31,490 – 31,888 2014 Jaguar XF 2014 2.2D Luxury Pricing and Specs
2.2D Premium Luxury 2.2L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $32,800 – 40,900 2014 Jaguar XF 2014 2.2D Premium Luxury Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8