The Jaguar of today is no bespoke joke. Now under Tata ownership, Jag’s turned into a luxury automaker that cares about its drivers. The Italian Racing red paint, imposing rear wing and juggernaut 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque of the 2014 Jaguar XFR-S ($99,000) are evidence of that fact. Stomping on the gas of this limited-edition (100 for America) rocket ship brings a guttural bark and a 0-60 time barely over four seconds with a top speed of 186 mph. It’s not a car for the British dandy. Instead, it’s the business end of Jaguar’s quest to make a beastlier brawler out of already imposing XFR.
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A little tweaking of the exhaust and ECU tack on 40 more horses and 41 more lb-ft, but that doesn’t make the XFR-S solely brutal. Jaguar’s signature smoothness still resides within, kind of like Beast from X-Men: scholarly with the ability to rip you limb from limb. It’s fast, fierce and a bit twitchy if you don’t play nice. But who wants to do that when there’s an empty parking lot begging to be covered in black rubber or a car on the freeway that simply must be overtaken?
Jaguar’s taken an otherwise boring XF and made it a car worth wanting, though it does seem as if the new F-Type’s creators were asked to “at least help with the engine” on the XFR-S but weren’t allowed to tweak the interior until a full model refresh. Once that happens, however, the XFR-S will jump high onto our list of cars we need in our garage…maybe without the spoiler, though.
Additional Contribution by Bradley Hasemeyer.