2014 Jaguar XFR

The XFR is the range-topping, performance-oriented model of Jaguarâ€tms XF sedan lineup. Pitted against worthy adversaries including the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, the XFR comes up slightly short in terms of power but offers balanced handling and a sumptuous interior.

Visual demarcations of the XFRâ€tms sporting intentions include an aggressively styled front fascia with large air intakes and a wire mesh grille, functional hood vents, quad exhaust pipes, a subtle rear spoiler and 20-inch wheels covering large cross-drilled rotors.

Backing up the menacing look is a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that pumps out 510 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, enough to rocket the XFR from zero-to-60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds. The engine is bolted to a six-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly and quickly and can be manually controlled via paddle shifts. Helping to put all the power to the ground is an Active Differntial system that detects any wheel slippage and apportions the power supplied to each wheel to optimize traction.

Fuel economy is rated at 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.

The XFR is fitted with Jaguarâ€tms Adaptive Dynamics system, which analyzes chassis movement, driver input and wheel motions up to 500 times per second and adjusts suspension settings accordingly to maintain a flat and level stance, improving handling without negatively affecting ride comfort.

Inside, the cabin is trimmed with the supple leathers and top-quality materials one would expect of a Jaguar while also featuring modern touches like the so-called "surprise and delight" air-conditioning vents, which 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.

Sports seats and numerous R badges set the XFR apart from the standard-issue XF.

Copious amounts of luxury features
Jaguar equipped the XFR with virtually every luxury, convenience and technology feature offered by the British automaker. Standard kit includes heated and ventilated seats trimmed in soft, perforated leather, 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.

Audiophiles will appreciate the standard 1200-watt (!) audio system from specialty company Bowers & Wilkins that includes an iPod input jack.

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.

New for the latest model year is a Speed Pack that includes suspension and aerodynamic enhancements. The pack also raises the XFR's top speed limiter from 155 mph to 174 mph.

Safety Technology
Every XF 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.

Key Competitors
The XFR squares off against truly potent super sedans like the BMW M5, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and the Cadillac CTS-V.