Jaguar’s engineers must be good. Real good. Last we heard, building an XFR Sportbrake wagon would be “tricky,” but our spy photographers just caught a sinister-looking Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake testing on the Nurburgring.
Shortly after the stylish XF Sportbrake station wagon launched in Europe last year, gearheads started speculating on the possibility of Jaguar building a XFR Sportbrake to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Station Wagon and the Audi RS6 Avant. According to Jaguar global brand director Adrian Hallmark, such a beast was possible, but it would be “tricky” to reconfigure the Sportbrake’s self-leveling rear suspension to both cope with the added power and match the XFR sedan’s chassis tuning.
Luckily, Jaguar seems to have realized that tricky isn’t synonymous with impossible. What you see before you is more than a Jaguar XFR Sportbrake: it’s a Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake. Instead of the XFR’s 510-hp, 5.0-liter supercharged V-8, this all-black test car uses the XFR-S-spec version of that engine, which produces 550 hp. In sedan form, the Jaguar XFR-S can sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 186 mph. The added weight of an elongated roof and an extra pair of pillars may render the XFR-S wagon slightly slower, but who cares? Even if it did that same run in 4.6 seconds and hit 180 mph, the XFR-S Sportbrake would still be a veritable hot-rod wagon.
Jaguar engineers may have wrapped the front fascia with a bit of swirled vinyl, but there’s no disguising this as being anything but a Jaguar XFR-S wagon. The bulged hood, massive front air intakes, and blistered fenders are ripped from the XFR-S sedan, as are the flared side sills, unique 20-inch six-spoke aluminum wheels, wild rear diffuser panel, and gloss black exterior trim. If all that isn’t damning enough, Jaguar engineers forgot to tape over the green and red “-S” emblem on the tailgate. Oops.
Mechanically, expect the Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake to largely mirror its notchback sibling, down to the returned eight-speed automatic transmission, upgraded vented disc brakes, and front suspension knuckles cribbed from the XKR-S parts bin. Although XFR-S sedans gain a uniquely-tuned rear subframe design, we’ve yet to hear if it’s compatible with the Sportbrake’s load-leveling arrangement. We hope Jaguar opted in favor of the XFR-S’ roll stiffness, even if it means sacrificing some payload capacity.
Hallmark previously suggested a Jaguar XFR Sportbrake would be a decidedly limited production affair, with only a couple hundred being built for global consumption. We'd expect production of the the Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake to be the same, if not even more restricted. Of course, like the base Jaguar XF Sportbrake itself, that global market doesn’t include North America.