Jaguar’s Latest XJR – As Fast And Furious As Ever!
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
Jaguar’s XJR saloons are the pinnacle of high speed luxury travel and with each new XJ incarnation, the ‘R’ models get faster and more focused.
I was lucky enough to briefly own a 1997 V8 XJR and it was an awesome beast in its day. It could sprint from 0-60mph in around 5.5 seconds and had a top speed in excess of 150mph. This sport car performance was combined with the ability to carry four people in opulent comfort.
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It was therefore with great pleasure that I took the opportunity to grab a couple of hours behind the wheel of the latest speedy ‘R’ saloon, badged 575 to denote a recent power hike.
The concept remains essentially the same, but the build quality is now exemplary and the performance figures amazing. 0-60 mph is now accomplished in 4.4 seconds (it feels faster) and the top speed is a heady 186mph.
The all-aluminium 5.0 litre V8 engine features a twin vortex supercharger and now churns out an impressive 575PS. The upshot of all this power is the real world ability to pass slow moving traffic with the lightest touch of the right foot (50-75mph is covered in just 2.5 seconds).
The eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox plays its part too, delivering lightening fast down changes when required.
However, the latest XJR is not just a straight line charger, it is rather deft at handling the twisty stuff too. Enormous Pirelli P Zero tyres and bespoke spring and damper tuning see to this and when you do overstep the mark (and you will), the stability control reins in the power and brings order to the proceedings.
The exterior is tastefully adorned with front and rear spoilers which have been computer-designed to aid airflow over the svelte body. 20-inch gloss black alloy wheels add a touch of menace and fill the wheel arches nicely. As well as helping the car perform at its best, they look absolutely stunning.
On the road, you are always aware that the XJR is a big car, but it is exceptionally easy to drive and as such it is all too easy to get carried away and find yourself travelling way in excess of the permitted speed limit. A lot of restraint is required, well at least from yours truly!
Settle back to a gentle cruise and the ‘R’ is as relaxing as all the Jaguar XJ saloons on sale, with only a slightly firmer ride hinting at the more focused nature of the car.
So what are the downsides?
Well, the list price is £93,710 and running costs and depreciation will no doubt be high. Fuel economy will be heavy; the combined figure is stated to be 25.5mpg. Expect late teens in every day driving.
I knew I would love the latest XJR, for it possesses all the attributes that attracted me to its predecessor back in the 90s. However, it is now quicker, better handling, sharper looking and beautifully built.
Is it the ultimate fast four door saloon car? In my (probably slightly biased) opinion it most certainly is.
My only reservation about recommending it is the performance. Not the lack of it, but the opposite!
It is so sensationally fast that I feel sure that keeping a clean driving licence would be a challenge too far, so maybe the V6 3.0 Diesel would be a better bet.
No, wait a minute, what am I saying?
Buy the XJR 575, rejoice in its performance but be careful where you use it!
Jaguar XJR 575
5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine
Power 575PS, Torque 700Nm
8-speed automatic transmission
Combined economy 25.5mpg
Emissions – 264g/km CO2
List price £93,710
Velocity Blue paint – add £3,570
Jaguar’s Latest XJR – As Fast And Furious As Ever!, 18th December 2017, 15:14 PM