By contributing editor David Colman
- Prodigious acceleration
- Effectiveness of Dynamic Mode system
- Low 57.5 inch roof height
- Non-adjustable rear seats
The Jaguar XF series marks an epochal advance in appearance, performance and engineering over the fusty sedans formerly produced by this legacy British car maker. Now in its third year of production, the XF is available in 4 distinctive models: 385 hp Base and Premium versions, 470 hp Supercharged offering, and line-topping XFR, with 510 hp. If you’re in the market for a Mercedes AMG 6.3, BMW M5 or Porsche Panamera, you’ll definitely want to cross-shop the XFR because this sports sedan is better looking than the Porsche, more nimble than the BMW and much cheaper than the Benz.
The XFR is the antidote to a line of Jaguar XJ6 and 12 sedans that were designed in the Sixties, vibrant in the Seventies, and calcified by the Eighties. If you’re looking for veddy British chops and ale appeal, you’ll have to look elsewhere, to Bentley or Rolls Royce, for rainforest decimation interior paneling. This R type Jag is all business inside, aluminum-trimmed, driver grade business that is, with nothing woodsy to distract the operator from the art of driving rapidly. After all, when you’re trying to concentrate on harnessing 510 horsepower to do your bidding, you need to make instant decisions about steering wheel position, throttle angle, and gear choice. This 6-speed, paddle-shifted Jaguar will ably assist you in that pursuit. You can select “S” on the shift knob to make upshifts at redline and rev-match downshifts.
If you depress the handily accessible checkered flag button on the center console, you’ll trigger “Dynamic Mode” for your driving experience. This simple step optimizes steering acumen, throttle response and traction control to meld harmoniously into a state of red alert that maximizes driver involvement. Specifically, the Dynamic Mode automatically selects a special traction setting called TracDSC for optimum traction in difficult conditions. When you’re spinning the big cat’s 9.5 x 20 inch Nevis alloys, and igniting its beefy Dunlop 285/30ZR20 SP Sport Maxx tires, you’ll definitely need as much TracDSC assist as you can get.
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