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Jaguar XFR-S. This Is It.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Jaguar XFR-S

Jaguar XFR-S. This Is It.

Geoff Maxted
September 18, 2013

Jaguar XFR-S Jaguar XFR-S Jaguar XFR-S
A couple of years ago I had the chance to drive both a Porsche GT3 and a Ferrari at speed around a circuit on an ‘experience’ day. It was, as you’d expect, fabulous. However, with cars of that ilk, although they are desperately desirable, for purely practical reasons most folk wouldn’t want one. It’s not so much the cost as the inconvenience.

This review is not going to be quite the same as the usual. If you’re interested, the technical specifications are at the bottom of this piece. What I want to write about is personal experience and the effect - for enthusiasts - that some cars can have. The Jaguar XFR-S is a case in point. I love this car so much you might want to have a bucket handy.

As can be seen from the images, the test car was Italian Racing Red. It’s an understated colour that suits this Jaguar well. For safety’s sake the Jaguar is fitted with an Electronic Active Diff and Dynamic Stability Control. As far as these and other important features are concerned the only person who should turn them off is called Tiff Needell. The 20” inch wheels are shod with bespoke tyres for a very good reason.

So we’ve established that the XFR-S is very good looking, loaded with safety and aero and in general is fit for the purpose of power. What isn’t so expected is the sheer driveability that this car affords. Driver’s set-up is comprehensive, the howl at speed is deeply satisfying for a petrol head (sadly no tunnels available) yet there’s room for the family.

But what really stuns you is the sheer force of the car. One minute it can be tickling along at the correct speed limit without any sense of what is to come. It can amble with the best of them yet the instant the throttle is engaged with any enthusiasm the whole attitude changes as the car heads for the hills with comprehensive ease.

The sensation is staggering. Suddenly, you are the greatest driver in the world. The sensitive paddle-shifts fall ideally under the fingers, the wheel seems to be of just the right diameter and thickness and, when turned, the steering was for me perfectly weighted. The brakes are super-powerful and pull the speed back without any unseemly squirming.

The temptation now is to continue writing superlatives but I expect you are getting the idea by now. This is, quite frankly, the best car I have driven at any price and I have driven some very special cars including others from this very manufacturer; but none has had quite the profound effect as this one.

It is probably because it is a saloon and not a sports car. Properly funded (rich, in other words) this car could be used as a daily driver. It will carry a proper amount of luggage; it will transport the family safely. There is no need to try and scorch the roadside vegetation all the time, it is perfectly possible to just drive it. For me, as a driver, it was the perfect environment as far as I can judge from a half hour of mixed motoring. Apart from the fact that it is expensive to buy and obviously run I can’t find fault. No doubt others won’t be as enthused as I and may well come up with complaints that are perfectly valid, hidden from rose-tinted glasses. But I’m done. This is the car for me. Everything else has lost its lustre.

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