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Review: Jaguar XJR 575 SWB

Jaguar XJR 575 SWB driven ???? Price:?93,710
Engine: 5000cc, V8, supercharged petrol
Power: 567bhp at 6250-6500rpm
Torque: 517lb ft at 3500-4500rpm
Gearbox: 8-spd automatic
Kerbweight: 1875kg
Top speed: 186mph
0-62mph: 4.4sec
Fuel economy: 25.5mpg
CO2 rating:BIK 264g/km, 37%

When it comes to the Jaguar XJR, well heeled buyers are spoiled for choice.

The Jaguar flagship is available in numerous petrol, diesel and drive guises, and now it’s been given a raft of tweaks to keep it competitive with its Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series rivals. As part of these, there’s a power upgrade for the range-topping 5.0-litre V8 XJR 575. The 567bhp (575PS) model can be had in standard or long-wheelbase guise, as can any of the other variants.

So, what has changed over previous cars? Well, all rear-driven XJs get electric rather than hydraulic power-steering (although the AWD retains a hydraulic rack), while, inside, a new 10.0in touchscreen is complemented by updated software. New safety features include lane-keeping and parking assist, city braking and radar cruise that can take the Jaguar to and from a standstill.

The XJR cabin’s ultimate toy count may not match that of the S-Class, the perceived quality may not feel as high, but somehow the XJ seems more plush than its German rivals. Perhaps it’s to do with its old-school charm, its more involving, engaging, and personal feel. It’s the very epitome of luxury, even if it’s hard to pinpoint why.

Rear passengers are very well catered for, particularly in the long-wheelbase car’s ‘airline-style’ movable individual seats. But it’s the front compartment where our particular interest lays, as the XJ’s drive means it’s still the most endearing luxury-class car of all.

Even with electric assistance the steering remains oily smooth and pleasingly weighted, with perfect self-centring. Nothing else in the class is quite this good. The car’s ride is also remarkably deft, with a superb ability to sooth bumps while retaining control of its 1,875kg body.

With a change to the engine control unit liberating that additional 25bhp, the V8 remains a great-sounding, mellow yet linearly responsive unit. The eight-speed automatic box shifts smoothly, and the rear tyres light up with ease. Official figures are 25.5mpg and 264g/km, although we saw about 18mpg.

The slightly old-school Jaguar XJR may not have the tech count of the S-Class or Audi A8, the crushingly capability of the Porsche Panamera or the sheer muscle of the BMW 760Li, but we’d recommend one in a second.

2018 Jaguar XJR575 review

What’s blue, British and loud? The Jaguar XJR replacement — the XJR575. Paul Maric jetted off to Portugal to see if the Jaguar XJR575 lives up to its name as the toughest Tom in town.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Incredibly potent performance from a supercar-esque supercharged V8
  • Looks the part with a number of SVO-specific colours
  • Features a snarl befitting of a fast Jaguar

Cons

  • Released in 2009, the XJ is starting to show its age
  • While the noise is great, we were hoping for more bark from the big V8

If you always thought the Jaguar XJ was a bit of a pussycat, Jaguar has well and truly fixed that issue.

Jaguar’s engineering team has taken the XJR’s wick, wound it up, and shot the car out of a cannon into a tin of blue paint. And, the end result is this tyre destroying limousine, aptly called the 2018 Jaguar XJR575, which replaces the outgoing XJR. When the XJ was launched in 2009 it was something of an engineering masterpiece, with the entire body finished in aluminium (like its predecessor), the XJ strutted around with a kerb weight of just 1765kg in entry-level form.

That’s despite the fact it measures in at 5130mm long in short wheelbase and 5255mm in long wheelbase form. So, when Jaguar crams a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine under the bonnet, you can imagine how dynamic and impressive the XJ becomes. Producing 575PS — that’s 423kW of power — and 700Nm of torque, the entire package sends torque through the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

It’s irrelevant to anybody who buys this thing, but the official fuel consumption comes in at 11.1L/100km, with an added 0-100km/h sprint time of just 4.4 seconds — not bad for a rear-wheel drive sedan. The striking Velocity Blue colour (an SVO optional hue) makes the XJR575 absolutely stand out in traffic. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon to be lynched by crowds of onlookers as we passed through small villages in Portugal at the vehicle’s international launch.

Sitting on gloss black 20-inch alloy wheels, the stance is one of surety and confidence.

Open the driver’s door and you’re met with lashings of carbon-fibre and a wraparound leather dashboard that reeks of style and substance. Certainly fitting for the £306,475 (plus on-road costs). The supportive leather seats are finished with a diamond stitching pattern with 18 levels of adjustment, plus heating and cooling.

XJR575 buyers also get 575 stitching on the head rests – unique to this model. Jaguar’s recent XJ update has now bumped the specification level up with the inclusion of a big 10.2-inch InControl Touch Pro infotainment system that includes a dual-view screen, which allows your passenger to watch television while the driver’s side of the screen displays navigation. It’s a great infotainment unit that switches quickly between functions and houses everything from climate through to navigation.

Despite the size of the screen, it still has enough processing power to zoom in and out of maps, while flicking through audio menus with no lag. Also standard is a 12.3-inch driver control display that can be configured to include a number of screens and settings, including a full-screen map layout. Safety has been stepped up with XJ, now including autonomous emergency braking, a 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control with traffic queue assistance and semi-automatic parking.

Leg- and headroom in the first row is great, but can be a bit compromised for taller passengers due to the sunroof. It’s a similar story in the second row. Despite its length, it can be a bit tighter than you’d expect with the first row of seats moved backwards.

Cargo capacity remains unchanged at 520 litres with a decent opening aperture to get larger things through – although you’re unlikely to be carting around building supplies in this thing.

Dimensions really are irrelevant when there’s a fire-breathing V8 engine nestled under the bonnet. So, we lined up some awesome Portuguese roads to see whether the XJR575 has dropped its pussycat status. At idle there’s a meaty sound that disturbs the peace with every snap of the throttle.

It has a menacing snarl that only a Jaguar can manage. While the sound at idle is great, the thing that’s going to blow you away the most is how responsive the throttle is. Literally just kick the throttle down a third of its travel and the car leaps into action.

Move the pedal all the way through to the floor and you are pinned back in the seat as the car rows through gears – the way it piles on speed is just insane. The way it hooks up is equally insane with giant 295mm wide rubber at the rear to contain the layers of fury. At full throttle there’s a hint of supercharger whine and despite the interior being fairly insulated from the engine lurking beneath, the quad exhaust pipes emit a dirty bellow as the revs rise and the gearbox shifts gears.

We were hoping to hear an F-Type SVR-esque exhaust note on offer here and while it’s not anywhere near as loud or aggressive, it should be enough for most punters after a quick luxury sedan. While it moves from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds, it’s the dynamic range of the engine that had us most impressed. A dynamic mode offers a firmer ride, heavier steering and sharper gear changes, which teams with a gearbox Sport mode to further enhance the experience.

It feels light on its feet through corners with plenty of communication through the wheel.

It doesn’t take much effort to prompt a squirm from the rear and that’s partly thanks to the kerb weight of the all aluminium body. On the highway the ride is still surprisingly good despite the big 20-inch alloy wheels. It rides over road joines and cobblestones with a great deal of comfort.

It’s certainly firmer than a standard XJ, but nothing that will shake your teeth out. New safety features and inclusion of things like LED headlights and a huge 10.2-inch infotainment system make the revised XJ a strikingly good proposition in a segment filling quickly with option. The XJR575 looks incredibly menacing and takes the proposition of a crazy fast executive sedan to the next level, while keeping the expected level of luxury and style on offer in the ‘regular’ XJ.

We can’t wait to get our hands on it in Australia and see how well it fares against this new crop of super saloons. MORE: Jaguar XJ news, reviews and video
MORE: Everything Jaguar[1][2]

Our Ratings Breakdown

9.0 Performance
& Economy

8.0 Cabin Space
& Comfort

8.5 Technology
& Connectivity

8.0

Price
& Features

8.5

Ride
& Handling

References

  1. ^ Jaguar XJ news, reviews and video (www.caradvice.com.au)
  2. ^ Everything Jaguar (www.caradvice.com.au)

2017 Jaguar XJR 575 review

25 Oct 2017 09:00Last updated: 24 Oct 2017 17:53 Priced from ?93,170 Release date November, 2017 With the launch the new Range Rover Velar[1], the unveiling of the Jaguar E-Pace[2] and the announcement of an innovative new racing series, it’s safe to say that it has been a busy old year for Jaguar Land Rover.

Gone are the days when the company was treading water just to stay afloat; JLR is now in fine health, with a series of cutting-edge, electrically assisted[3] models on the horizon. But don’t go thinking that Jaguar has abandoned what it has always been famous for – namely, creating high-powered, luxurious, rear-wheel-drive saloons. First seen in camouflaged guise going up the hill at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, this new (and we use that world very lightly) XJR 575 is the most powerful version of Jaguar’s flagship[4] saloon to date.

It uses a retuned version of the F-Type SVR’s[5] supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine, which produces a whopping 567bhp and 516lb ft – around 25bhp more than the outgoing XJR. A 0-62mph time of 4.4sec and a top speed of 186mph are some way off the class best (the BMW 760Li xDrive[6] reaches 62mph nearly a whole second faster), but the XJR 575 makes do without the help of launch control or four-wheel drive. To differentiate the 575 (575 denoting the car’s power output in PS) from other XJs, the design team has incorporated a number of tailor-made design details for this low-production model.

These include a more aggressive front bumper, curvaceous side sills and a subtle rear spoiler. Twin bonnet louvres and 20in gloss black alloy wheels complete the understated yet menacing look. The 575 also benefits from a wider series of updates that are being introduced to the entire XJ range as part of a late-life refresh, including full LED headlights, so-called ‘J-blade signature’ daytime running lights and updates to the infotainment system, helping to bring the saloon in line with the broader Jaguar range.

But are these updates enough to keep what is, in effect, an eight-year-old car competitive in an increasingly competitive market?

2017 Jaguar XJR 575 on the road

With BMW[7], Mercedes[8] and Porsche[9] all producing four-wheel-drive, turbocharged (and, in the Panamera’s case, electrically assisted) super-saloons, the XJR 575 represents the end of a wonderful and wild era. ‘Responsible performance’ is now the order of the day – a memo that Jaguar must have missed, because, instead of taking this opportunity to dial out some of the XJR’s wilder characteristics, it’s simply accentuated them. Like handing Liam Gallagher another pint mid-gig, everything about the XJR has been turned up to 11.

Step inside, press the bright red starter button and the supercharged V8 bursts into life with an intensity that is often missing from modern-day turbocharged engines. It’s a real brute of an engine that is absolutely brimming with character; at low speeds, you’re treated to a lovely V8 warble that’s soon joined by a delicious, high-pitched wail from the supercharger as the revs climb. It’s an intoxicating soundtrack that is backed up by prodigious levels of performance.

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With plenty of low-down grunt, it’s all too easy to overwhelm the rear wheels, especially if you have the traction control switched off.

At first, this can feel a little disconcerting, but with time you learn to trust the big Jag – its long wheelbase ensuring that slides happen slowly and controllably. Before you know it, you’ll be playing with the throttle through long corners, the rear happily carving an angle wider than the front. It’s addictive, childish, raw fun.

But as they say, you don’t get something for nothing, and so it is here. To get the 575 to handle like a car half its size, the adaptive suspension is set up to be a little on the firm side. The result is an awkwardly inconsistent ride, with the 575 jittering over cracked road surfaces and the occasional expansion joint.

Both the Mercedes-AMG S63 and BMW M760Li work far better as continent-crushing luxo-barges.

2017 Jaguar XJR 575 interior

The XJ’s interior is looking a bit dated these days next to newer rivals, but it still has a wonderful ambience. Up front, the diamond-quilted seats (embossed with some questionable ‘575’ branding) come with a wide range of adjustment, and those in the rear are treated to plenty of leg room; there’s little reason to opt for the long-wheelbase variant.

The new 10.0in Touch Pro infotainment system is also a vast improvement over the current XJR’s dated touchscreen, with quicker response times and clearer graphics. That said, it still feels a little clumsier and less finessed than Audi’s[10] or BMW’s[11] systems. Quality is also a little lacklustre.

Start prodding around and you’ll be surprised at just how much hard, rather cheap-looking plastic is used for the centre console and the lower parts of the dash. The controls also feel a little low-rent; buttons squeak and the column-mounted stalks feel like parts-bin specials.

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References

  1. ^ Range Rover Velar (www.whatcar.com)
  2. ^ Jaguar E-Pace (www.whatcar.com)
  3. ^ electrically assisted (www.whatcar.com)
  4. ^ Jaguar’s flagship (www.whatcar.com)
  5. ^ F-Type SVR’s (www.whatcar.com)
  6. ^ BMW 760Li xDrive (www.whatcar.com)
  7. ^ BMW (www.whatcar.com)
  8. ^ Mercedes (www.whatcar.com)
  9. ^ Porsche (www.whatcar.com)
  10. ^ Audi’s (www.whatcar.com)
  11. ^ BMW’s (www.whatcar.com)

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