Road Testing the 2014 Jaguar XJR

By Michael Lockhart

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Road Testing the 2014 Jaguar XJR:

The past few years have heralded Jaguar’s new golden era, from the F-Type Coupe and Convertible‎ to the all-wheel drive sedans, a Playboy Car of the Year and now the pinnacle flagship: the 2014 XJR.

When we first saw the 2014 XJR at Pebble Beach this year, we were struck by the performance variant Jaguar added to their luxurious XJ line, the vehicle of choice for MI6 in the Bond world and the Playboy Mansion house car this year.

While the base XJ presents itself as a modern limousine of sorts, the ‎R performance package takes this car to a completely new level with the ultimate combination of features, engineering and elegance. Anchored by the classic 5.0-liter supercharged V8 in the XKR-S and XFR-S, this super sports sedan pumps out an incredible 550 horses of power and a respectable 520 pound-feet of torque.

Once on the freeway, the throttle is pre-primed and it doesn’t take much to engage that torque lying in wait. Accelerating through the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with the paddles mounted in the steering wheel, the XJF catapults to 60 mph from a near stop in just over 4.4 seconds. It’s a wickedly fast sprint.

From its all-aluminum body structure to its 20-inch forged alloy wheels wrapped in stellar performance tires, the XJR has an immediately eye-catching presence. Muscular in style, the car’s aerodynamics have been heavily enhanced from its predecessor and base models. Our favorite modifications here are the addition of front aero splitters that signpost the twin superchargers that lie underneath the hood and the side rocker sills that serve both an aesthetic and functional purpose, keeping the air flow attached to the car’s sides as long as possible. Finally, the addition of a lip spoiler to the rear trunk is a welcome throwback to the brand’s racing days and a nice visual cue for how powerful this car really is.

One can’t help but notice the gorgeous leather and wood trim within the cabin, especially the Redzone inserts on the seat facings with contrast stitching. The infotainment system is essentially the same as the current lineup, and while we feel it could use a tech update to add more user-friendly options (sorry, Jag; GM’s CUE system is still our top pick), we do love watching the circular drive and mode shifter rise out of the flat center divider.

All in all, this is one smooth vehicle that looks, performs and drives as well as you would expect from an epic flagship, with a sticker price well worth the quality you’re getting. Drive on, XJR!

Available now starting at $116,000 (Standard Wheelbase) or $119,000 (Long Wheelbase). For more information visit jaguarusa.com or jaguar.ca


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