2010 Jaguar XFR Road Test Review

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Regular followers of my musings know I've made no secret of my passion for Jaguar cars. They also know I've felt the cars were underpowered for the segment they're crafted to compete in. I mean come on, how can you be proud of the fact that your Jaguar makes 300 horsepower, when a Nissan Z makes 330?

Fortunately, the powers that be in Coventry are good listeners, because for 2010 they've done something about it – in a major way. Witness the 2010 Jaguar XFR, proudly cradled beneath that vented bonnet (hood to those who don't speak English) is a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 delivering 510 horsepower and 460 foot-pounds of torque.

The engine features direct fuel injection, lightweight pistons, and the aforementioned supercharger. Output is routed to the street via a six-speed automatic transmission that employs a sport mode. This gives you the ability to allow the transmission to do what's best in terms of selecting the right gear for a given situation, or use the paddles on the wheel to do so yourself.

Zero to 100km/h happens in just over four seconds. And, according to independent reports it will stop from 100km/h in around 110 feet. For a car that weighs in excess of 1,900 kilos (4,200 pounds), this is absolutely exceptional. Additionally, the Jaguar XFR consumes a quarter of a mile in 12.7 seconds.

This is a car designed to cover large expanses of territory at high speed. If that road just happens to have some twists and turns, the Jaguar will track them completely unperturbed. Road holding is exceptional for a car of its size.

While the styling cues of the XFR are subtle, the Ultimate Black sedan I tested accrued more admiring looks than any previous variant of the XF I've driven. I attribute this primarily to the extra brightwork around the grille and a pair of large vents that feed air to the twin intercoolers.

In the profile and the going away shots, bystanders are treated to 20-inch wheels engraved with the word "supercharged", wearing low profile tires, discreet side skirts, a subtle tail spoiler, a tasteful "R" badge and four tailpipes tucked beneath a black valance. In sum, it all fits the overall shape Ian Callum originally approved for the XF, but adds just enough punctuation to signal this is the extremely potent version of Jaguar's midsize sedan.

And it is indeed extremely potent, switch off the traction control, nail the throttle and you'll leave several pounds (that's pounds as in money) worth of Pirelli's finest blend on the pavement in the form of two long black streaks. But frankly, this really isn't what the Jaguar is about.

One need only look around the interior to see this car has way more class than that. Supple leather in a two-tone color scheme upholsters the seats. Monotone leather with contrasting stitching covers the dash and nearly everything else, including the steering wheel.

On the road, the Jaguar's Active Dynamics computer controlled suspension system delivers a remarkably comfortable ride. Pavement irregularities are readily absorbed without disturbing either the Jaguar's grace or its pace.

Bumps are simply absorbed and the car moves on as smooth as Denzel Washington playing the lead in a romantic story. But again, in typical Jaguar fashion, in the corners the XFR's grip is tenacious like Eddie Murphy holding on to his career.

All in all, the XFR is a multi-dimensional car that will serve you when you feel rambunctious just as well as when you'd rather relax and be catered to. Jaguar's sedans have an uncanny ability to do both, and with the newfound power from the updated engines they're even better at it. Jaguar XFR pricing starts at $86,570, including freight and delivery, and that's a fabulous deal when compared to similarly sport-oriented variants from German rivals and not too far off the XFR's US sticker.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sedan, Jaguar, 2010, XFR, $75,000 - $99,999,

Organizations: Jaguar

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