I can’t say I ever thought our Four Seasons Jaguar XF Supercharged needed more power, but the XFR’s extra 90 hp is an absolute hoot. The XF’s superb chassis easily handles the extra power, and subtle differences in the interior and exterior details let enthusiasts know your XFR is something special.
The interior is blessed with a pair of bucket seats that strike a good balance between comfort and support, a lovely Alcantara headliner, and a nice R decal on the dashboard. Everything looks smart and classy. Jaguar’s signature touch-screen infotainment unit is present and as maddening as ever. It works rather well, but the transitions from one screen to another can be incredibly slow.
Unfortunately, we’ve had a lot of problems with our Four Seasons Jaguar XF, which makes me worry about the XFR. When everything works, the XF is sublime, but when things go wrong, the car is maddening. If I were to opt for the XFR, I’d hope the moments of driving bliss it provides would far outweigh any days it might spend in the shop.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor
Despite having a rather tame exterior, the XFR gets a ton of double takes. Although, admittedly, this R model does have a bit more flash – hood vents, trunk spoiler, and more chrome – than our unassuming Four Seasons XF. The 5.0L V-8 gets this car moving with a bit more urgency but, as many have noted, the base XF isn’t exactly power deprived. Dynamically, it was difficult to differentiate the XFR from the standard XF on my mostly highway commute, which is no bad thing.
I’m still not a fan of the dial shifter, and the rotating vents that move when the car is turned on seem especially gimmicky on this sportier, more focused XF. Regardless, the cabin is really beautifully done. The mostly dark interior contrasts beautifully with the brushed metal accents and gives the cabin a warm and sumptuous yet modern ambience. The charcoal gray Alcantara headliner is especially gorgeous. Too bad Jaguar still hasn’t reworked its infotainment system. The screen is far too small, the system is irritatingly slow, and functions such a radio presets and seat heaters should also have traditional buttons.
Jennifer Misaros, Production Editor
Having just driven our Four Seasons Jaguar XF Supercharged the night before, I thought it would be a good idea to drive the XFR back-to-back. I honestly didn’t think the 90 extra hp the XFR makes would be as noticeable as it is. A blip of the throttle sends the car down the road in a scurry; even at highway speeds, you can hammer the gas and the car just takes off like a rocket ship. But contrary to the intentions of my right foot, the car is not just an on/off switch and is still very capable of cruising around town like a luxury car should. It’s good to know that, if you need the power, it’s definitely there for you.
Approaching the XFR, you can see that it sits lower than the regular XF and has more aggressive body styling with larger front and rear fascias, plus side skirts. I also noted the two chrome hood scoops and, as Phil mentioned, the “R” badge on the dashboard, among other places. The infotainment system is frustrating to use. It took me way too long to figure out how to change even the most basic settings. And even after a night in the car I still didn’t feel comfortable using it. The Alcantara headliner is gorgeous and really gives the car a luxurious feel that matches its reputation and price.
I would really have liked Jaguar to let the engine breathe a little more and reward the driver for pressing the gas pedal. I was disappointed by the sound of the XFR. No grunt, no growl. To me it sounds the same as the XF. I’m not saying Jaguar had to cut off the exhaust pipes at the header, but something more is needed to remind the driver and people around the car what, in fact, it is.
Mike Ofiara, Road Test Coordinator
Like Mike, I wanted to drive the XFR back-to-back with the XF Supercharged to see how noticeable the extra horsepower and other “R” add-ons make to the driving experience. I used both cars only on my commute to work and while running various around-town errands, and quite honestly, in those conditions, the differences between the two vehicles weren’t that great. The interiors look much the same – same round gear selector, same dash vent openings, same nav/audio/climate control screen. The XFR does boast sport seats and an Alcantara headliner, which are nice additions to the cabin environment.
That extra dose of power (510 hp vs. 420 in the XF) was nice to have while merging onto the freeway ahead of a large semi, but I can’t say that the XF couldn’t have handled the job as well. Like the regular XF, the chassis tuning of this vehicle is exemplary, with a nice balance between comfort and handling. Is it worth the extra $15K? If you live somewhere where you can find some nice stretches of road to open it up, it likely is. If you’re stuck in an urban setting most of the time, the regular XF would be just as satisfying to drive.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
As you’d expect from a Jaguar, the XFR rides surprisingly well for such a powerful supersedan. Fortunately, it’s not too high-strung to be comfortably drivable in everyday situations, which can’t necessarily be said of competitors such as the BMW M5, the Cadillac CTS-V, and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. But when those everyday situations require some passing power, holy heck, does the XFR deliver. The aural drama isn’t overpowering, as Mike noted, but this thing definitely MOVES.
Honestly, I think our Four Seasons Jaguar XF Supercharged has plenty of power and handles extremely well. But the XFR takes it to a new, even more enjoyable level without sacrificing usability. XFR buyers will sacrifice some fuel economy, of course, but people in the market for an $80,000, 500-hp Jaguar aren’t typically very concerned with such matters.
Like our Four Seasons XF, the XFR’s cabin is a wonderful place to pass the miles. The sport seats with adjustable side bolsters are very supportive yet perfectly comfortable. I prefer the rich reddish-brown leather in our long-term car, but the XFR’s black hides convey a sportier attitude. The subtle cosmetic tweaks on the exterior (love those hood vents!) also do a good job of conveying the XFR’s mission without being too over-the-top.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor
If you’re going to have an automatic shifter, it doesn’t matter if it’s a stick or a dial. Once you dial in the sucker, it’s over. The dial offered a lot of space benefits in the console, so it’s a non-issue to me. The crosshatch metal replacing wood trim is a nice high-tech reminder of your choice of R. My most glorious time behind the wheel was spent well over 100 mph. The acceleration is so big and the car so lithe at high speed, I truly worried for my driver’s license.
Jean Jennings, President & Editor-in-Chief
The XFR is composed and comfortable over all types of road surfaces. That’s a wonderful and somewhat rare attribute for any car wearing a high-performance badge. For that reason, I feel this Jaguar should have wider appeal to the commuting enthusiast who needs a comfortable daily driver than some of the alternatives. It maintains the sporting looks and go-fast power without the tiring harshness of a super-stiff suspension.
I found the seats to be excellent, but they’re positioned so that entry and exit can be tough, especially for older adults. Additionally, the narrow seat bottom makes the seat unrealistic for larger adults. I’m completely comfortable with the rotating gear selector and think it’s pretty slick. It’s a much better change than the alternatives that Mercedes-Benz and BMW have been putting forward. Jaguar has maintained the common order of park, reverse, neutral, and drive as you twist the dial. So while it’s a different motion to select gears, it’s still the same basic concept that most automatic drivers have used for their entire motoring careers.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor
2010 Jaguar XFR
Base price (with destination): $80,000
Price as tested: $80,000
Ebony headliner N/C
15 / 21 / 17 mpg
Size: 5.0L supercharged V-8
Horsepower: 510 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 461 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm
Weight: 4306 lb
20″ Nevis wheels
Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tires