by James Tate
Source: MSN Autos Editorial
February 27, 2009

Jaguar’s big news this year came in the form of the inevitable XFR, a high performance version of the swoopy XF sedan that was originally unveiled at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show.
 
The XFR takes the place of the XF Supercharged in the Jag lineup. Power is upped from 420 ponies to a more than reasonable 510 (with 461 lb-ft of torque), thanks to a new 5.0-liter V8. The new car is said to reach 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, and while it’s electronically limited to 155 mph, Jaguar has managed to achieve 225.675 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Yes, you read that right – the XFR is faster than the fabled XJ 220.
 
More than an engine differentiates the new car from old, as quite a bit of effort has been put into making this one a dedicated performance model. The XFR features two new systems, dubbed Active Dynamics and Active Differential Control, which both work to counter wheel slip, whether from a lead foot and giant torque or simple driver misjudgment. While the differential control is essentially a British take on BMW’s M differential, Active Dynamics monitors road conditions and driver inputs 100 times a second, adjusting the suspension constantly and almost immediately to compensate for any foibles. The system is able to predict body roll and increase suspension stiffness, and react as needed. Both new XF offerings benefit from bigger brakes and an updated 6-speed automatic transmission, but only the XFR sports a quicker steering ratio.
 
A host of tasteful styling cues differentiate your four-door muscle car from its more plebeian sibling, including more aggressive chrome air intakes in the front bumper and a staggered quad exhaust. In addition, you’ll get a functional rear spoiler and lower side skirts, as well as unique 20-inch wheels and "R" badging both inside and out.
 
Not much has been changed inside. But as soon as you come up with a list of things that need changing in the futuristic cockpit let Jaguar know; I am sure they will accommodate you. Let’s face it; if you’re shelling out the dough for an XFR, dealers will let you have it any darn way you please.
 
That said, while the standard XF can be had in "Portfolio" trim, which includes contrast stitching, a suede headliner, thicker carpets, more color choices, and heated and cooled seats, this package, is said to be unavailable in the XFR.
 
In other Jaguar news, the standard XF sedan will also get a 5.0 liter V8 engine option that will develop 385 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. It should provide the oomph that some were left wanting in its 300-horse predecessor. Despite making 85 additional ponies, both fuel economy and emissions are impressively unchanged.
 
Jaguar also introduced its new XKR in both convertible and coupe trim, which will benefit from the same 510-horse supercharged V8, while offering the slick transmission interface of the XF. As a last-minute teaser, Mike O’Driscoll, managing director of Jaguar Cars, announced that the company would introduce an all-new car in two months. Details are a mystery.
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