Looking to take on hyper-sedans like the BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and Cadillac CTS-V, Jaguar has created its quickest and most powerful four-door ever: the XFR-S. Essentially an XFR with the volume turned up to eleven, the XFR-S boasts a 550-horsepower V8, a Nurburgring-tuned suspension and a collection of eye-catching aerodynamic modifications.
Just 100 examples of the XFR-S will be sold in the United States.
Plucked from the engine bay of the XKR-S high-performance grand-tourer, the XFR-S' 5.0-liter V8 employs a supercharger to produce 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft - up from the standard XFR's 510 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of twist. Helping to put all the power to the ground is an Active Differntial system that detects slippage and apportions power between the rear wheels to optimize traction.
With an eight-speed automatic transmission sending power to the rear wheels, the super sedan is capable of performing the zero-to-60 mph run in a claimed 4.4 seconds on the way to an electronically-limited top speed of 186 mph. Fuel economy is rated at 15 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
To ensure that the extra power doesn't turn the driveline into an expensive pile of dust, Jaguar added beefier half-shafts, a larger driveshaft bearing and a strengthened torque converter.
Extensive testing was performed at the famed Nurburgring track in Germany to hone the XFR-S' suspension into a worthy compliment to the potent powertrain. Overall lateral stiffness is up 30 percent compared to the XKR, with the springs stiffened an equal amount. A new rear subframe, in conjunction with stiffer bushings and new rear knuckles, facilitates increased stability and responsiveness.
A continuously variable damping system helps provide an ideal blend between ride comfort and agility by electronically adjusting the damper rates up to 500 times each second as road conditions require.
Outside, the XFR-S features a wild body kit with oversized central and side air intakes, extended side sills and a rear diffuser constructed from carbon fiber. Sitting on the rear decklid is the buyer's choice of two rear wings: a smaller, more restrained unit, and a huge, rice-rocket-like contraption that's slightly lacking in grace.
Step inside, and dark aluminum trim, carbon leather and XFR-S badges signal that this is Jaguar's range-topping sedan. In most other respects, the interior is similar to that of the XFR - high-quality materials, supple hides and several surprising touches. So-called "surprise and delight" air-conditioning vents present a flush dashboard surface until the ignition is switched on, at which point they rotate to the open position. Also lying dormant until the car is switched on is the unusual rotary shifter, which motors up and can be rotated to select from park, reverse, neutral, drive, and sequential modes.
Standard kit includes heated and ventilated sports seats trimmed in soft, perforated leather, a heated steering wheel deep pile carpet mats, leather trim with twin needle contrast stitching on the instrument panel and door roll tops, dual zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, a smart key system with keyless start, a driver information center, 20-inch alloy wheels and ambient interior lighting.
An 825-watt, 18-speaker sound system from British audio specialist Meridian is fitted as standard.
Technology items include a blind-spot monitoring system, a touchscreen navigation system with 30 GB of music storage space, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity with wireless audio streaming, adaptive headlights with an intelligent high-beam system and front and rear parking aid systems.
Every XFR-S model comes with dual front, side and side curtain airbags, ABS, traction and stability control systems, an emergency brake assist system and a valet mode that limits the car to low speeds.
With just 100 XFR-S sedans coming to the United States, the time to place your order is now. If you miss out on Jaguar's fastest four-door ever or decide that it isn't the car for you, alternatives include the BMW M5, Audi S6, Cadillac CTS-V and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.