2013 NAIAS: 2013 Jaguar XF-RS

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I’ve reviewed the current and previous model of the Supercharged version of the Jaguar XF over at The Truth About Cars and I think it’s an outstanding luxury sports sedan, though I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if it was, like the XJ and new F-Type, made out of aluminum. The larger XJ actually weighs less than the XF and is a bit more chuckable when it comes to handling, not that the XF handles badly – it’s a joy to power out of curves. Of course the XF Supercharged has a 470 HP 5 liter V8 that doesn’t seem to care about how much the car weighs – it just goes. If that’s the case with 470 HP, imagine what it’d be like with 550, which is what the XF-RS, the fastest road Jaguar ever, has under the hood. Having spent a fair amount of time with the XF Supercharged, I have to believe that the 510 HP XF-R and the 550 HP XF-RS are in the realm of silly power, completely superfluous. That hasn’t stopped me from asking Jaguar’s press fleet manager to put my name on the (very long) list of autojournos begging for a week with the fastest Coventry cat ever.

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Frankly I think the eye searing blue, the boy racer rear wing and the now-so-faddish-everyone-is-copying-the-Aston-Martin-One-77 gills on the front fascia are all a bit extreme. Not exactly the mailed fist in a velvet glove that is my personal sense of the Jaguar brand. It’s definitely not what the Brits call a Q Car, what we colonials call a “sleeper”. I think that if Jaguar offered the XF-RS mechanicals in the XF-Supercharged’s body and trim, they’d find that some folks who like to go fast prefer a more understated look.

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