Review: Jaguar XJR

By Winding Road Staff

March 26, 2013

This is the Master Landing Page for the Jaguar XJR. From now on, as we further review this car, we will be updating this page with whatever fresh content we create. Future drive reviews, updated specifications, videos, and other relevant information will all be found right here, in one convenient spot.
First Look: 2014 Jaguar XJR
If you want a fast, super luxurious, four-door sedan, you can spend $140,000 and get a very tidy Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, complete with a 536-horsepower, 590 pound-foot, biturbocharged V-8. If you want a fast, super luxurious, four-door sedan that is also drop-dead gorgeous and cheaper than the Mercedes, we humbly suggest you pick up the freshly unveiled Jaguar XJR.
The $116,000 XJR is also available with a longer wheelbase, which pushes the price up $3000. That’s a big discount over the AMG, and with 550 horsepower from Jaguar’s beloved 5.0-liter, supercharged V-8, you won’t be hurting in terms of speed. Sure, the Jag is down 88 pound-feet of torque, but both the XJR and S63 will hurtle to 60 in 4.4 seconds, which up until a few years ago, was supercar territory.
The XJR’s supercharged mill is aided and abetted by ZF’s 8HP eight-speed, automatic gearbox. This is the same gearbox fitted to the Range Rover, BMW 7-Series, and pretty much any high-end car worth mentioning.
Along with the traditional set of wheel-mounted paddles, the 8HP, while in automatic mode, will adjust itself depending on the way the car is being driven, increasing the speed and aggression of upshifts, and anticipating the correct gear for upcoming corners. We aren’t sure if this is the same system used by the Rolls-Royce Wraith, which utilizes satellite data to select the correct gear for corners, but it certainly sounds like it. The Wraith uses the same ZF 8HP automatic, so draw what conclusions you will.
Keeping the XJR pinned to the road is a set of 20-inch alloys, with staggered offset Pirelli tires. Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics system promises improved handling that’s been honed on Germany’s Nürburgring. The adaptive dampers make up to 500 adjustments every second, while a “Trac” setting for the dynamic stability control allows drivers a bit more give before the nannies kick in.
The XJR’s suite of aerodynamic enhancements is tasteful, while lacking the full-bodied enthusiasm found on the XFR-S. There’s a subtle decklid spoiler, while the front fascia has been modified for better control of airflow.
A set of sport seats, embossed with Jaguar’s “R” logo are the primary interior change, and promise the XJR driver more support during aggressive driving.
The 2014 Jaguar XJR will arrive in dealers, with a starting price of $116,000.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Jaguar.
2014 Jaguar XJR Unveiled At The New York Auto Show
2014 MSRP Pricing1
XJR Standard Wheelbase                     $116,000
XJR Long Wheelbase                           $119,000
At a Glance
The 2014 Jaguar XJR is a 550 horsepower sports sedan which combines supercar performance with the opulence and comfort of British luxury
Every XJ is constructed on an all-aluminum body structure, and assembled using aerospace derived aluminum bonding and riveting techniques
With a 5-liter supercharged V8 engine delivering 550hp and 502 lb/ft of torque, the XJR is capable of sprinting from zero to 60mph in 4.4 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds) and accelerate on to an electronically limited top speed of 174mph (280km/h)2
An eight-speed ZF automatic transmission features bespoke performance tuning for the XJR and enables forceful acceleration while maintaining a composed character when driving conditions are more reserved
Functional aerodynamic improvements are provided by a new front air splitter, aerodynamic rocker sills, an additional rear spoiler, and hood vents
Development testing was done at many challenging locations, including the Nurburgring circuit in Germany, where Jaguar maintains a Test Center
Performance tuned springs and continuously variable dampers
Electronic Active Differential and Dynamic Stability Control systems have been calibrated to match the handling characteristics of the XJR, allowing the driver to fully explore the performance envelope
20-inch forged alloy wheels, shod with low-profile performance tires, enhance grip and lend the car a dynamic, muscular stance
Exclusive Sport Seats
Available in Standard and Long Wheelbase versions
"The new XJR epitomizes the three pillars of technology, performance and seductive design which the Jaguar brand stands for in the twenty-first century, while delivering new levels of dynamic ability in a luxury sedan."
Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar
(MAHWAH, N.J.) - March 26, 2013- The XJR returns to the Jaguar model line as the quintessential Jaguar flagship sports sedan, offering British luxury with extraordinary sporting performance. The XJR incorporates bespoke chassis and aerodynamic developments to create the most sporting member of the XJ sedan family.
"This XJR is the flagship XJ and I'm delighted we've got it back into the range. This is a premium luxury supercar that also has an extremely purposeful look to it. This car will surprise, there's no doubt about it."
Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar
Spirited performance is provided by a 5-liter supercharged V8 engine that provides 550hp and 502 lb/ft of torque.  Functional aerodynamic components including a front air splitter, functional hood vents, and quad tailpipes also add to the car's purposeful demeanor.  Combined with an eight-speed transmission that extends the performance characteristics of the car, the XJR is capable of accelerating from zero to 60mph in 4.4 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds) and on to an electronically limited top speed of 174mph (280km/h).2
This all-aluminum V8 engine delivers exhilarating performance and efficiency thanks to technologies such as spray-guided direct injection (SGDI) and dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT). The high-pressure die-cast lightweight aluminum block is stiffened with cast-iron liners and cross-bolted main bearing caps, providing refinement to match its power. The engine breathes through aluminum four-valve cylinder heads, and the intake is pressurized by a Roots-type twin vortex supercharger. Two air to liquid intercoolers, which feature their own water-cooling circuit, reduce the temperature of the intake charge to optimize power and efficiency.
Maximizing the benefit of the engine calibration is the eight-speed automatic transmission. This transmission system brings out the sporting nature of the XJR while still maintaining the car's composure in town and in low-speed driving environments.
When operating in automatic mode, the transmission can detect the manner in which the car is being driven by monitoring acceleration, braking, cornering forces, throttle application, brake pedal activity, road load, and kick down request. On detecting a more enthusiastic driving style, the transmission will automatically make the gearshifts more aggressively and move the upshift point to a higher RPM. Steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles allow manual gear selection.
Corner Recognition senses when the car is negotiating a curve, and the transmission will hold the correct gear for the exit. The transmission will also recognize when the car is performing a series of overtaking maneuvers requiring rapid changes in throttle position and, rather than change up, remain in a lower gear ready for the next demand for acceleration.
The Jaguar Intelligent Stop/Start system is standard. This system automatically reduces idling by stopping the engine when the car comes to a stop with brake pedal depressed. When the brake pedal is released, the system will restart the engine in less time than it takes for the driver's foot to move from the brake pedal to the accelerator. A twin solenoid system which features separate actuation of starter gear engagement and drive motor actuation, it allows for 'change of mind' functionality, bringing the engine back up to speed even during its run-down phase if, for instance, the car is coming to a halt at an intersection and the driver sees an opportunity to join the traffic flow.
"The XJR offers greater steering precision, higher levels of control and enhanced high speed stability, with the trade-off in refinement being very small. The increase in power and torque give this car truly effortless, seamless performance."
Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity, Jaguar
The suspension system has been extensively tuned on both road and track, using the legendary Nürburgring circuit in Germany, the high-speed Rockingham circuit in England, and the winding roads of England and Wales.
Tuned dampers and spring rates maximize the sporting handling capabilities of the car while providing the signature ride comfort expected of a Jaguar. Jaguar Adaptive Dynamics actively controls vertical body movement, roll, and pitch rates through the use of continuously variable dampers. The system monitors driver inputs and the road conditions, adjusting damper rates in response up to 500 times a second. The driver's selection of Dynamic Mode calibrates the damping rates to the firmer end of the available range.
The Jaguar active electronically controlled differential can apply full locking torque almost instantaneously when necessary, and has been calibrated to utilize the high levels of grip and power. Working in parallel with the differential, the 'Trac DSC' setting of the Dynamic Stability Control system now offers the enthusiastic driver more opportunity to explore the outer edges of the handling envelope. The steering hydraulics and calibration have also been engineered to enhance steering feel, response and feedback under all driving conditions.
In order to achieve the maximum benefit from the suspension, the XJR has new lightweight, forged 20-inch alloy wheels. The tires were specifically developed for Jaguar in conjunction with Pirelli. They are 265/35-20 and 295/30-20 front/rear and have been specified to deliver optimal cornering grip, traction and stability over a wide range of speed and performance parameters.
The Jaguar High Performance Braking System offers an unmatched combination of power, stability and fine modulation. The 15" (380mm) front and 14.8" (376mm) rear discs are internally ventilated.
"The Design Team wanted to create a graphic link to the performance credentials of this car, as well as delivering the optimal balance of aerodynamic down force front and rear. Hence the chrome-rimmed intakes on the front bumper have become an 'R' model 'signature element', acting as a visual reference to the car's twin superchargers, while the front aero splitters are complemented by the rear spoiler. We really dialed up the visual content on the XJR, compared to its predecessors; it's where our customers now expect it to be."
Wayne Burgess, Studio Director, Jaguar Design
The appearance of the XJR has been modified with functional aerodynamic enhancements. The side rocker sills, unique to the XJR, serve to create a sharp break-off point between the bodywork and the road surface in order to keep the airflow attached to the car's sides for as long as possible. Rear lift is also reduced through the fitment of a trunk lid-mounted lip spoiler to manage the airflow off the top rear surface of the car, while hood vents aid in aerodynamics and engine cooling.
XJR customers can choose from an extensive exterior color palette including: Polaris White, Ebony, Ultimate Black, Stratus Grey, Lunar Grey, Rhodium Silver, Cashmere, Caviar, Carnelian Red, British Racing Green and Italian Racing Red.
The car's dynamic intent is underlined by the palette of materials used on the interior. Jet Black leather trim is available with a choice of either Ivory, London Tan or Red Zone inserts on the seat facings or simply Red Zone or London Tan contrast stitching. The seats themselves are embossed with the 'R' logo. Jet Black suede cloth headlining is standard. Interior veneers are available in either Carbon Fiber or Piano Black.
The five-spoke, lightweight forged alloy wheels provide the XJR with a purposeful, broad shouldered stance and come as standard in either Sparkle silver or Technical grey finishes. The assertive appearance of the XJR is further enhanced with a gloss black front grille and lower intake mesh, with chrome surrounds.
"The XJR is the sporting pinnacle of the XJ range. This car has been dynamically set-up from the outset to deliver stunning performance, while still retaining the luxury and comfort common to the entire XJ range."
Andrew Dobson, Chief Program Engineer, Jaguar XJR
An 825 watt, 18-speaker surround-sound system from British audio experts Meridian™ is standard. Recognized by audiophiles as a leader in audio reproduction, Meridian has developed a proprietary Trifield™ System that places every occupant at the center of their own perfectly focused surround-sound arena.
XJR Technical Specification*
5.0-liter V8 supercharged
Capacity (cc)
Bore/Stroke (mm)
Peak Power (HP@rpm)
Peak Torque
(lb/ft @rpm)
Eight-speed ZF automatic
0-60mph (secs)2
0-100km/h (secs)2
Top Speed (mph | km/h)2
174 | 280 (electronically limited)
Fuel Economy (US EPA)3
15 City, 23 Hwy, 18 Combined
*Manufacturer's estimates
1 Price shown is MSRP. Excludes $895 destination/handling fee, tax, title, license, retailer fees and optional equipment. Retailer price, terms and vehicle availability may vary. See your local Jaguar Retailer for details.
2Always follow local speed limits.
3 All figures are EPA estimates. Actual mileage may vary.
2014 Jaguar XJR
Engine: Supercharged V-8, 5.0 liters, 32v
Output: 550 hp/502 lb-ft
0-60 MPH: 4.4 sec
Top Speed: 174 mph
Fuel Economy, City/Hwy: 15/23 mpg
Base Price: $116,000