This is one special kitty. The moment you take a seat behind the wheel, it is obvious that the old-world charm and attention to detail of classic Jaguars is still alive and well in 2011. The starter button glows red, pulsating like a heartbeat, and the interior comes to life in tandem with the growl of the 5.0-liter V-8 -- vents rotating, gauge needles sweeping, and rotary shift knob rising in a perfectly choreographed ballet. Twist the knob to "D" and pull away reveling in the delicious burble that the four-pipe exhaust emits. Hit the turn signal, and the blinker sounds similar to a finely-crafted English clock, ticking the time until you can make the turn and listen again to the sonorous V-8. All of the lighting coordinates together: the crisp blue-white of the xenon headlamps complements the ice-blue interior LEDs, the same blue used as an accent color on the multifunction touch screen. The XFR bathes its passengers in luxury and in the finesse found only in something very special; it is a precious item you never want to let go.
Donny Nordlicht, Associate Web Editor
As soon as you walk up to the Jaguar XFR you know this isn't a run-of-the-mill (if there is such a thing) XF. The air intake scoops in the hood and the red brake calipers, along with the twenty-inch wheels and various "R" badges, all signify that this is a car with serious performance potential.
The inside is absolutely sumptuous, with two-tone brown and black leather seats with French stitching, a dark mesh aluminum dash with dark wood veneer, a lovely soft-touch suede headliner, and a roomy rear seat. As with all modern Jaguars, the round gear selector dial pops up when you hit the start button, and the air vents open automatically. Suffice it to say that the interior of this car caters to the sybarites among us.
The real story with the XFR, though, is its supercharged 5.0-liter V-8. I'll take Jaguar's word for it that it'll reach 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph, because I didn't have the chance to explore its limits. However, the XFR is also a great car to drive on the highway or even around town. The engine responds immediately to the driver's right foot, with peak torque available from 2500 rpm. This car has what Jaguar calls an "adaptive dynamic system," which continually adjusts the suspension to respond to the roads you're traveling on and the way that you drive, and I must say it appears to work beautifully as the ride never feels too harsh or too floaty.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
Compliant and docile, yet spirited and nimble, the Jaguar XFR is the best of both worlds. It is comfortable luxury and capable performance and it's the perfect work-week commuter for the perpetual ladder-climber. I love the quick, light, and connected steering. I love the unrelenting 510-hp V-8. I love the svelte, stately looks. But what really makes the XFR so unique is the chassis tuning. Equally at home on the highway and the racetrack, this XFR plays both sides of the luxury sport-sedan game better than anything else on the market. As fabulous as the 2011 XFR is, things get even better for 2012 when the entire XF lineup receives a facelift. Along with simpler, sleeker headlights, there's a cleaner fascia, but really that's just icing on the cake for a car that's already this good.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor
Damn, this is one hot car. The XF is a two-time Automobile Magazine All-Star award winner (2009 and 2010), and I never bore of driving one of these lovely mid-size Jags. And when we're discussing the 510-hp XFR? Please. Get the heck out of my way, I have a gas pedal to stomp on.
I don't actually like the XFR very much in this white paint; the super-dark wheels and two-tone leather interior nicely ease the impact of the white exterior, though. Love the sounds. Love the feel. Love the presence.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor