In a test drive of the new Jaguar Xf-R we discovered that around the streets of Monza, it really is a head turner. With a rumbling V8 and the traction control light blinking, we set off for a spin with Ferdinando Cazzaniga, owner of Jaguar J.B Cars in Monza.
While he suggests that we should hear this engine on the XK, he’s only teasing. The new Jaguar R range is being distributed in Europe, and it should prove to be a lovely, and much improved, car. But how does one actually drive the new XF-R? A brief test drive certainly helps to understand it.
The XF-R is more nifty than it once was, with suspension improvements and large 20-inch wheels enough to keep the 1,890 kg steady in fast gear shifts, and rapid changes of direction. The V8 is a smooth engine, constant and vigorous, it also helps in the weighty vehicle.
While 625 Nm of torque is a lot, it seems the 5.0 litre Supercharged may not be able to keep its rear wheels on the ground. But with a well designed electronics system, the Jaguar XF-R torque is always under control.
We were utterly impressed, however, by the transmission. While a couple of faults could be found, the automatic six speed transmission is impeccable at low revs and when increasing speed.
The shift time is such that the XF-R seems to run on automatic, without always touching on the paddles. It feels like slow motion in the new Jaguar, where you can sit back and enjoy the soft leather seats while still experiencing a sports drive, that is not overly ambitious. It’s an impressive effort from Jaguar, looking to give its XF-R a luxury feel, with enough grunt if the customer so wishes.