Review of Jaguar XF and XF-R
At a time when most manufacturers were shrinking engines in the name of saving fuel, luxury car manufacturer Jaguar decided to take a different path.
Tata-owned Marque has updated its mid-range XF range with a larger, more powerful diesel and V8 engine, which offers better performance.
But, unexpectedly, they save more fuel and produce less toxic carbon emissions than the engines they replace.
All engines are partnered with an enhanced version of the excellent ZF six-speed auto that allows the driver to change gears as a guide.
Many other mechanical changes have been made along with some minor cosmetic touches, most notably new exterior mirrors.
The four-door XF looks like a coupe that seems to have worked with Aussies since its launch last year, as it currently accounts for 65% of the company’s sales.
It will soon be joined by an outstanding new flagship of the XJ limousine which is also set to adopt a more modern look.
With this week’s launch of the new XF, Jag had the opportunity to add a breath-taking XF-R model, complete with a 5.0-liter direct-injection V8 engine.
With a capacity of 375kW and a torque of 625Nm under the feet, the R is able to sprint from 0 – 100km / h in just 4.9 seconds and reaches an electronically limited top speed of 250km / h.
That’s 23% more power and 12% more torque than the previous 4.2-liter V8 engine, with fuel consumption rated at 12.6 vs. 12.5 liters / 100km and gas output. Carbon emissions from the previous 299g / km.
But it’s the exciting new 3.0-liter twin-turbo diesel engine, developed in conjunction with PSA Peugeot-Citroen, that stole the show, with 202kW and 600Nm of torque leading the class down low – up 33/38% power / torque.
There’s no real, clear turbo lag, 500 out of 600Nm of torque accessible within 500 milliseconds when placing your right foot, allowing the car to discard the dash in 6.4 seconds.
And it can achieve this while using only 6.8 liters of fuel per 100km and producing only 179g / km C02 (compared to 7.5 and 199 previously).
Quiet, smooth and responsive, it’s one of the best diesel engines we’ve ever driven.
The V8 engine naturally aspirated while producing 283kW and 515Nm (up 29 and 25%) while the 3.0-liter petrol engine with 175kW and 293Nm was the only engine carried from the previous model.
Prices for the new XF start at $ 109,450 for V6 petrol, $ 116,250 for diesel, $ 147,900 for V8 and $ 208,450 for XF-R supercharged, distinguished by quad exhaust pipes, hoses sucking the bonnet, smashing the front air deeper than the spoiler on the top of the boot.
We had to drive the cars through their races for two days and a few hundred kilometers of country road.
Strong and convincing performance on the scale of Jag’s ambition to build beautiful, fast cars.
Diesel and naturally aspirated models exhibit a bit too much body roll to our liking, but keep in mind this is a tourer rather than a full sports car.
The steering lacks some center feel, a trait not expressed by the XF-R with its faster steering rack.
Overall, the XF-R feels solid, safer than the previous S Type R, thanks to the Bilstein dampers, new variable suspension system and deceptive electronic diffusion system – the previous CATS system. were removed.
Not only do cars look and go well, they are also finished to a high standard.
One of our minor disappointments is Jaguar’s reluctance to include a digital speedo as part of the central computer screen. We told Jag’s Mr XF ‘Kevin Stride that only one other person worldwide requested this facility.