12 January 2009

Detroit: Jaguar XFR and XKR

All-new five-litre V8 drops into Jag’s big saloon and coupe

Jaguar XFR

Doing the Brits proud out in Detroit, Jaguar has unveiled a new XKR and a performance version of its saloon, the XFR. And both are powered by a most excellent-sounding supercharged five-litre V8.

It isn’t an expanded version of the existing 4.8-litre V8, but an all-new unit developed entirely in-house by Jaguar. Featuring direct injection and clever new variable cam timing, it puts out 510bhp and will propel the XKR to 60mph in just 4.6 seconds, with the XFR just 0.1 seconds slower.

Impressive stuff, and – better still – the V8 is clean… by V8 standards, at least. Though we’re yet to get the exact figures, it puts out under 300g/km of CO2, whereas the V8s in the BMW M5 and M6, and Merc’s E63 and SL63, all produce about 50g/km more.

Perhaps the only disappointment is that Jag says it has managed to eliminate the noise of the supercharger whine. Good for comfort, but we always rather liked that noise.

As well as the new V8, the XKR and XFR get a bunch of visual tweaks: the XFR has new bumpers and air intakes, a boot-lid spoiler, quad tailpipes and 20-inch wheels, while the XKR has a new, more aggressive front end, LED rear lights and some clever underbody aero stuff.

The bit that’s really got us excited, though, is a new Ferrari F430-type switchable electronic diff, which Jaguar promises can be set up for ‘easy drifting’ when the traction control is switched off. Oh yes.

Both models will be available from late March, with prices starting at just under 60 grand for the XFR, and £72,400 for the XKR.

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