• Review: 2014 Jaguar XJR – Potent, High Performance, British Luxury



    Jaguar-XJR-LS-Front

    The Jaguar Series 4 XJR supercharged model first appeared in 2011 as a 2012 model, with the total  offering now at eight different models featuring two powertrains, two wheelbases – a standard and long wheelbase, as well as two drive configurations – rear-wheel drive and Jaguar’s instinctive all wheel drive system, which was introduced in 2013. Available models include the base XJ, a 3.0-liter powered 340 horsepower V6 in both a rear wheel and all-wheel drive configuration; an XJL Portfolio in both drive configurations with the same engine, but more features; an XJ Supercharged with a 5.0-liter 470 horsepower V8 in both a SWB and LWB rear-wheel drive model; and the new flagship of the line the 2014 Jaguar XJR.

    The XJR will replace the XJ Supersport models in the stable, providing greater performance in both wheelbase versions, along with functional improvements that include a new front air splitter, aerodynamic rocker sills, an added rear spoiler and hood vents. XJ pricing ranges from $74,200 for the base XJ to $119,000 for the XJRL AWD.

    STATS Starting Retail Price As Tested Price HP / Lb-Ft
    2014 Jaguar XJR $116,000 $120,170 550 / 502
    EPA Rating As Tested MPG
    Rating: BUY IT! 15 / 23 N/A

    Powering the new 2014 Jaguar XJR is a 5.0-liter, DOHC, 32-valve supercharged V8 engine with an Eaton twin vortex supercharger, dual intercoolers and direct fuel injection. The engine is mounted up front in a longitudinal orientation and produces 550 horsepower at 6,500 rpm while generating 502 pound-feet of torque in a range from 2,500-5,500 rpm. Motive force reaches the rear wheels through Jaguar’s Sequential Shift eight-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and Sport Mode.

    This XJR powertrain represents a move up from the XJ and XJL, 5.0-liter 470 horsepower supercharged V8 models, and it is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and of reaching an electronically limited track speed of 174 mph.

    Jaguar-XJR-Engine

    Specially calibrated Electronic Active Differential and Dynamic Stability Control systems match the XJR’s handling characteristics, allowing the driver to explore and realize the performance envelope. Functioning in conjunction with the differential, the ‘Trac DSC’ setting of the Dynamic Stability Control system now offers the dyed-in-the-wool driving enthusiast a better opportunity to explore the extremities of the car’s handling capability. The hydraulics and calibration of the steering have also been reengineered for enhanced steering feel, response and feedback under all scenarios.

    When in automatic mode, the eight-speed automatic transmission is able to detect how the car is being driven by monitoring acceleration, braking, cornering forces, throttle application, brake pedal activity, road load, and kick-down requests. Sensing a more enthusiastic driving style, the transmission automatically shifts gears more aggressively, moving the upshift point to a higher RPM. Steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles allow manual gear selection.

    A Corner Recognition feature senses when the XJR is negotiating a curve and the transmission holds the correct gear for the exit. The transmission also recognizes when the car is performing a series of overtaking maneuvers requiring rapid changes in throttle position and rather than upshift, will remain in a lower gear ready for repeated acceleration.

    The suspension system has been extensively tuned for both road and track using legendary racing circuits in Germany and England, as well as the challenging, winding roads of England and Wales. Jaguar Adaptive Dynamics automatically controls vertical body movement, roll, and pitch rates through the use of continuously variable dampers.

    Jaguar-XJR-Wheel

    The 2014 Jaguar XJR rolls on lightweight, forged 20-inch ‘Farallon’ alloy wheels, finished in either Sparkle Silver or Technical Grey and shod with Pirelli P Zero 265/35-20 tires up front and 295/30-20 rubber in the rear, specifically developed for Jaguar. Both the front and rear discs of the Jaguar High Performance Braking System are internally ventilated.

    Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Design Director, stated “This XJR is the flagship XJ and I’m delighted we’ve got it back into the range. This is a premium luxury supercar that also has an extremely purposeful look to it. This car will surprise, there’s no doubt about it.” And surprise it does in admirable fashion.

    Jaguar-XJR-Nose

    The new 2014 Jaguar XJR flagship sports saloon mixes supercar performance attributes and elegantly assertive looks with the high levels of luxury already associated with the XJ model line. The new front splitter and aerodynamic sill section, combined along with the additional rear spoiler and unique ‘R’ hood louvers, provide the car with optimum levels of high speed stability and an athletic road appearance, which is further enhanced by the gloss black front grille and lower intake mesh featuring chrome surrounds. Quad tailpipes also add to the car’s stealthy yet purposeful sporting aura.

    Jaguar-XJR-Tail

    Moving to the inside, the 2014 Jaguar XJR cabin is equipped with Sport Seats trimmed in Jet Black leather available with an exclusive choice of either Ivory, London Tan or Red Zone inserts on the seat facings or simply Red Zone or London Tan contrast stitching. The seats are embossed with the ‘R’ logo, and a Jet Black suede cloth headliner is standard. Interior veneers are available in either Carbon Fiber or Piano Black, and the Meridian 825W, 18-speaker surround-sound system is standard fare as well.

    Other standard features and equipment include: JaguarDrive with Winter and Dynamic Modes, Intelligent Stop-Start, Xenon Front and LED Rear Lights, Driver and Front Passenger Front and Side Airbags, Side Curtain Airbags, Active Front Head Restraints, Alarm and Engine Immobilizer, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, LATCH Restraint Anchor Points, Panoramic Roof with Opening Panel, Soft Door Close, 18-Way Front seats, Heated and Cooled Front and Rear Seats, Virtual Instruments, an 8″ Touch Screen, Bluetooth, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear View Camera, Navigation and Keyless Entry and Start.

    Jaguar-XJR-Interior

    A full secondary bulkhead, laminated windshield and door glass, optimized body structure and the efficient aerodynamics grace the 2014 Jaguar XJR with a tranquil cabin. Luxurious leather adorns the main interior surfaces. Twin-needle stitching highlights seams on the seats, and each door panel integrates a storage compartment inspired by high-quality, hand-stitched designer briefcases.

    Jaguar-XJR-Dash

    My test 2014 Jaguar XJR sports saloon wore an exterior finished in Italian Racing Red, with the interior executed in Black and London Tan, with Carbon Fiber trim accents and the Technical Gray wheels. The base price was set at $116,000, while the final tally came to $120,170 after adding the Carbon Fiber veneer, the Illumination Package and the Destination and Delivery charge.

    Jaguar-XJR-RR-Seat

    SUMMARY: The 2014 Jaguar XJR is the first ‘R’ model in the latest generation of the XJ stable, as well as being the latest in a long line of high-performance luxurious sports saloons. It incorporates bespoke chassis and aerodynamic developments in creating the most focused, agile and responsive member of the XJ family, as perhaps best described by Chief Program Engineer for the Jaguar XJR, Andrew Dobson – “The XJR is the sporting pinnacle of the XJ range. This car has been dynamically set-up from the outset to deliver stunning performance, while still retaining the luxury and comfort common to the entire XJ range. The XJR has all the breadth of capability you could wish for in a high-performance luxury saloon car.”

    Jaguar-XJR-Trunk

    The supercharged 5.0-liter V8 is indeed a mighty force to be reckoned with, delivering stellar acceleration accompanied by a combination snarl and roaring rumble from the exhaust that is music to the ears of any gearhead. Press the start button, select a gear and choose the Dynamic mode and the tightening of the seat belts serves notice that a spirited romp is imminent. I took an occasion to pass in a safe but limited window, nailed the throttle and hit triple digit speed in what seemed like no time at all, and the car seemed like it was barely breathing.

    Gear changes come smoothly in the fully automatic mode and without hesitation in the manual mode in either direction. The ride quality, though on the firm side, is compliant and quite comfortable. Handling characteristics are precise and confidence inspiring, with the car remaining flat and stable through even the most challenging twists and turns.

    The 2014 Jaguar XJR Sport Saloon (sedan) serves up a harmonious blend of elegance, gorgeous contemporary Jaguar styling, luxurious comfort and state-of-the-art technologies with stellar performance and capability in an unquestionably desirable package, which is sure to take its place in the collectible marketplace as an iconic classic.

    On the TFLcar scale of:

    • Buy it!
    • Lease it!
    • Rent it!
    • … or Forget it!

    We say Buy it! for an expensive, gorgeous, potent high performance British luxury saloon.

    Base Price $116,000. Price as Tested: $120,170.

    SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Jaguar XJR
    Base Price: $116,000 Price as Tested: $120,170

    Engine Type and Size: 5.0-liter, DOHC, 32-valve supercharged V8 with Direct Fuel Injection, Eaton twin vortex supercharger and dual intercoolers

    Horsepower (bhp): 550 @ 6,500 rpm

    Torque (ft./ lbs.): 502 @ 2,500-5,500 rpm

    Transmission: Jaguar Sequential Shift Eight-speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and Sport Mode

    Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine/rear–wheel drive.

    Suspension: Four-wheel independent with Adaptive Dynamics active damping
    Front – Double wishbone aluminum components mounted to subframe; coil springs, stabilizer bar
    Rear – Multi-link mounted to subframe; air springs, stabilizer bar

    Brakes: Power-assisted 4-wheel ventilated disc; ABS, EBD, BFD, EBA, DSC, CBC, Understeer control, ETC, Engine Drag Torque Control and ADC

    Tires: Pirelli P Zero265/35 R20 front / 295/30 R20 rear mounted on 5-split-spoke lightweight forged ‘Farallon’ alloy wheels

    Wheelbase: 124.3 inches

    Length Overall: 201.9 inches

    Width: 82.9 inches – with mirrors

    Height: 57.3 inches – with antenna

    Curb Weight: 4,129 lbs

    Turning Circle: 40.4 ft

    Fuel Capacity: 21.7 gallons

    EPA Mileage Estimates: 15 mpg city / 23 mpg highway Drag Coefficient: 0.29

    0 – 60 mph: 4.7 seconds – Top speed 174 mph electronically limited

    Review by Arv Voss, Auto Impressions

    Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.

    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring journalist and member and past officer of several noted automotive journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.

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