While many of us remember the stately Jaguars of the 1960s and '70s, regally named and favourites amongst the British upper class and nouveau riche, today’s incarnation of the pouncing panther could never have been truer to its emblem.
Today’s Jaguar has evolved, and is reaping the rewards. The latest generation is more Prince Harry than Queen Elizabeth, not least the unapologetically masculine and sporty Jaguar XFR. And while it may not be aesthetically pleasing to the automotive luddite, the innovative technology and shamelessly powerful performance blow those old notions away.
Never have four doors been so appealing. The XFR follows in the footsteps of a litany of successful sports saloons, so it has been primed to survive the competition. The supercharged V8 produces 510 bhp, which means you can sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. Not only does it go fast, but it looks fast too. The redesigned front-end with chrome air intakes, ‘supercharged’ bonnet louvres, four shiny exhaust pipes, aggressive spoiler and sills, as well as the 20-inch Nevis alloy wheels, all combine to create an irresistible mating call for the trust-fund boy racer.
With all this feistiness on tap, you need a very responsible control system to ensure that the driver is as protected as possible. Cue the groundbreaking technology. Debuting in the XFR is Active Differential Control and what the clever people at Jag are calling Adaptive Dynamics. Roughly de-jargoned, that translates as optimized traction when accelerating or tackling corners at speed. When navigating through the usual fog of dangerous drivers on UAE roads, you really feel this technology working. In the inevitable situation of having to break to avoid a white van reversing on the outside line of the highway, you can be assured that your large, ventilated brake discs will save the day.
It’s when you are behind the wheel that you feel the weight of the brand’s heritage. The interior is undeniably elegant, with perfectly integrated intelligent gadgetry. There are no banks of switches or complicated programming requirements. Instead, touch sensitive controls and a keyless ignition give you a seamless glide from street to seat. The interior leather is soft and aerated – a must in the UAE – and panels are clean and simple to navigate. So comfortable and confident will you feel while being royally pampered in the driving seat of your brand new XFR, that until you hear that engine roar you will have forgotten you’re behind the wheel of Jaguar’s boldest and most brutish automobile.
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