Jaguar XFR-S revealed

28 Nov, 2012 7:30pm Tom Phillips

The 542bhp Jaguar XFR-S has debuted at the LA Motor Show, ahead of its arrival in the UK in May

Meet the mighty Jaguar XFR-S – the fastest, most powerful sports saloon in Jaguar’s history.

Launched at the LA Motor Show and on sale in the UK in May, the supersaloon is the second R-S model, after the XKR-S. It takes the already potent XFR as its base, and uses the same 5.0-litre supercharged V8. Power rises from 503bhp to 542bhp, while torque increases by 55Nm to 680Nm.

Revisions to the intakes allow more air into the engine, and the newcomer also gets a revised exhaust, which Jaguar promises features an enhanced exhaust note, with a “motorsport-style crackle on the overrun”.

The XFR-S sprints from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds – three-tenths quicker than the standard XFR. The speed limiter has been raised from 155mph to 186mph, too.

To cope with the extra power, engineers have strengthened the driveshafts, propshaft bearing and torque converter for the eight-speed auto gearbox. The transmission also benefits from lessons learned in developing the forthcoming F-Type roadster.

The XFR-S comes with that car’s Quickshift technology, which speeds up gearchanges made using the steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, and automatically blips the throttle on downchanges.

As a result of testing at Germany’s Nurburgring, on the banked bowl at Nardo, in Italy, and on roads in the UK, Jaguar’s specialist Engineered to Order (ETO) division has increased the stiffness of the suspension and dampers by 30 per cent over the XFR, and recalibrated the electronic controls for the suspension and rear differential.

The brakes benefit from improved underbody cooling, while the XFR-S wears a dramatic bodykit. A deep front bumper incorporates huge air intakes and a front splitter made from carbon fibre.

The car also gets deeper side sills and an extended rear bumper, and there are two choices of rear wing. The larger one, fitted as standard to UK cars like the one in our pictures, can be swapped for a smaller one for a more subtle look. Overall, lift has been reduced by 68 per cent.

Completing the new look is a set of 20-inch rims, wrapped in specially designed Pirelli tyres that are 10mm wider than those on the XFR. There are five exterior colours to choose from: French Racing Blue, Ultimate Black, Stratus Grey, Polaris White and Italian Racing Red.

Inside, there is charcoal grey upholstery with contrasting piping, carbon fibre trim and R-S badging. A 380W two-speaker Meridian stereo is standard, with an 825W 18-speaker system available on the options list.

Prices for the XFR-S will start at £79,995 – that’s £14,615 more than the standard XFR.

Disqus - noscript

Quote: 'There are five exterior colours to choose from: French Racing Blue, Ultimate Black, Stratus Grey, Polaris White and Italian Racing Red.' ...

Personally I don't like the 'bling' LED lights which look as if they belong on Dame Edna Everidge's glasses, nor do I like that blue colour of the car in the photo, the same used for XKR-S photos, but each to his own. And why no red option, or British Racing Green, or even Jaguar Racing Green? Very odd for a British sports car/saloon manufacturer.

That said though I'm glad Jag have responded to Merc's AMG model and BMW's M5 in such a positive and serious manner. Even if I could afford it (which I can't) I'm not sure I would want to spend an extra £15k over a standard XFR for a top speed I could not use and a 0.3 seconds quicker time from 0-60mph but many of the changes will have to do with the way the car feels and drives, much more hard core by the sound of it. That of course is the point.

Long live Jaguar, my favourite car maker. It's wonderful to see the company's renaissance but it's sad there were no Brits left capable of or even willing to do what Ratan Tata has for the company. He got the company on the cheap for £1 billion from Ford just as our own people could have done and has done exactly what was required: invested heavily for the long-term and pretty much left his hand-picked managers to get on with what they do best. Result - success!

A shining example for our own navel-gazing, avaricious, self-serving individuals and companies, but I doubt they're capable of changing for the better now, it's like a sickness here in Britain. Same with our banks. All they do is take and give nothing back and on that basis Britain's future is not rosey I'm afraid. Great shame,

Thank you Mr Tata for giving Jaguar exactly what it needed and setting it free!

I'll skip the rear-spoiler, looks like it's been pinched from a Skoda Octavia VRS.