Jaguar introduces its fastest, most powerful sedan ever
By C.C. Weiss
December 3, 2012
After pulling the cloth off the Jaguar F-Type for the first time on North American turf, Jaguar turned stage left and rolled the second member of its R-S ultra high-performance model line out of a makeshift garage door at the 2012 LA Auto Show. The "S" version of the XFR borrows features from the XKR-S and F-TYPE in Jaguar's attempt to take the sporty sedan to the next level.
As any "ultra high-performance" model should be, the XFR-S is based around serious mechanical enhancements. Jaguar tuned the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine up to 550 hp – 40 ponies above and beyond the XFR. That bump is enough to give the XFR-S the designation of fastest, most powerful Jag sports sedan ever. The car hits 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 4.4 seconds and 62 mph (100 km/h) two ticks later. The XFR-S joins the XKR-S in the 300 km/h (186 mph) top speed (electronically limited) club.
Jaguar claims the increased performance doesn't have any impact on fuel consumption or emissions. The V8 engine is mated to an eight-speed Quickshift transmission.
In addition to being faster and more powerful than any other Jaguar sedan, Jaguar claims that the XFR-S is also more agile. It paved the way for a tighter connection between driver and asphalt by tuning the spring rates and adaptive damper settings. Lateral suspension stiffness increases by 30 percent, creating more responsive steering. To ensure the suspension settings meet discerning customers' demands, Jaguar spent time testing them on some of the world's most demanding pavement – from the Nürburgring, to the high-speed bowl at Nardo in Italy, to the roads surrounding Jaguar's Gaydon Research and Development center.
The wide Pirelli tires that wrap the 20-inch forged alloy Varuna wheels are designed to provide enhanced grip and stability. Jaguar re-calibrated the active electronic differential to work more smoothly with the uprated engine, stiffened suspension and wider tires. Jaguar also modified the Dynamic Stability Control settings for further driving enhancement, while exhaust system tuning results in a more powerful exhaust note.
In terms of the XFR-S body, Jaguar attacked the air ahead with aerodynamic enhancements that simultaneously increase performance and add an aggressive, no-nonsense demeanor. Jaguar claims that lift has been decreased by 68 percent thanks to the changes, which include a carbon fiber front splitter and rear diffuser, larger front bumper intakes, a trunk lid spoiler, and "aero-blades" on the sides.
The XFR-S will be available in five colors: French Racing Blue, Ultimate Black, Stratus Grey, Polaris White and Italian Racing Red. Subtle exterior cosmetic touches include the gloss black grille and trim.
Inside, "carbon fiber effect" leather and Warm Charcoal leather highlighted with contrast micro-piping and stitching mold a sporty cabin. R-S badging can be found on the seats and dashboard. Internal audio comes courtesy of a 380-watt 12-speaker Meridian surround sound system, and an 825-watt 18-speaker system is available as an option.
Only 100 will be available in the U.S., with prices starting at US$99,000, not including destination and delivery costs. The car will be available from early in the 2013 Northern Hemisphere summer.