Jaguar XJ Supersport

Newly named flagship aims to show it can live up to the legend of past XJRs

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Based on this Supersport, Jaguar’s decision not to replace the old XJR with a new model is probably the right one. This car gives customers all the power they could ever need, thanks to its mighty supercharged V8 engine, yet the chassis offers a fine ride and handling balance. There’s no denying Jaguar has put a hefty premium on the Supersport, but it still comes in at less than its rivals.

The big cat has unleashed its inner beast! With no plans for an R-badged flagship version, this is as hot as the Jaguar XJ is going to get – the 510bhp V8-engined Supersport.

On the outside, the differences between the newcomer and lesser versions are subtle. It gets special 20-inch alloys and Supersport badging, but that’s the extent of the changes.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Jaguar XJ

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And that’s no bad thing on such a stylish car – the Jag already cuts an imposing figure, with its distinctive, sporty looks.

On the inside, the differences are again understated – there are upgrades to the leather seats, Supersport steel treadplates and logos on the driving mats. Our test car also featured a TV tuner and eight-inch LCD screens in the rear of the front headrests.

The cabin is still the classy leather, wood and chrome interior of the Portfolio version, but with the luxury turned up to 11. And the interior is not the only aspect of the XJ to have the volume increased, either...

The supercharged 5.0-litre V8 produces 510bhp and 625Nm of torque – that’s 130bhp more and another 110Nm over the naturally aspirated V8. As a result, the Supersport leaps from 0-62mph in only 4.9 seconds, shaving eight-tenths of a second offthe benchmark sprint time.

For all the extra power, the Jag is still whisper-quiet when cruising. Even at motorway speeds, the V8 is very refined. It’s a different story when you really press down on the accelerator, though; the car is thrust forward with a supercharger roar. It is blisteringly quick and the six-speed auto is incredibly smooth.

The Supersport is carrying a little extra weight over the Portfolio version, but with its aluminium body, it’s still very light. Available in both standard and long wheelbase, even the shorter car has put on 137kg, weighing in at 1,892kg.

But it feels poised and agile through corners, with sharp steering, and retains the entertaining enthusiasm of a much smaller vehicle.

You’ll pay £87,455 for the standard wheelbase model, which is almost £20,000 more than the naturally aspirated V8 Portfolio, but £5,000 less than a Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT – and £10,000 cheaper than a Porsche Panamera Turbo.

Rival: Quattroporte Spt GT Fashion-house looks, a powerful 434bhp 4.7-litre V8 and an unparalleled soundtrack; the Maserati four-door is a thrilling hard-edged drive that also cuts it as a refined luxury saloon.

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