The XF Supercharged represents the top-line high-performance trim of Jaguar's new luxury sport sedan. Jaguar starts off with standard features that include a sunroof, keyless ignition, leather upholstery, 10-way power front seats, a split/folding rear seat, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, auto-dimming mirrors, a premium sound system, and rear parking assist.
Then, in addition to leather upholstery upgrades, 16-way powered and heated front seats, keyless ignition/entry, and a voice-activated navigation system, the Supercharged adds cooled front seats, a power rear sunshade, bi-xenon headlights, a rearview camera, front park assist, a better audio system, and a number of high-performance upgrades.
The ZF six-speed automatic transmission is mated to a 4.2-liter V8 that's topped off with a Roots-style supercharger and intercooler combination that's good for 420 hp. The 0-60 blast takes 5.1 seconds, and the car has an electronically governed top end of 155 mph. The Supercharged V8 receives an EPA estimate of 17/23 mpg.
The XF utilizes the basic suspension package found on the XK sport coupe. And the Supercharged version adds Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS), an adaptive-dampening system that balances body control with suspension comfort that modulates rough-road jolts. This high-performance Jag rolls on 20-inch wheels and stops with larger brakes than the other trims.
Adding to its impressive ride characteristics, reviewers found the variable-ratio power steering "magnificent; rich with feedback." According to Jaguar, this is greatly aided by the stiffest body structure in its class. The use of 25 grades of steel plus aluminum and magnesium greatly facilitates this stiffness. In addition, a composite undertray and double bulkhead add to cabin quiet.
Reviewers found the overall driving experience had a lot in common with the XK, with the car providing a direct sense of the pavement and firm grip even in the tightest corners. An excursion on drenched pavement convinced one reviewer that only a serious driver error or icy roads could cause the big cat to falter. The handling is actually a return to traditional Jaguar light-footed suppleness, with more body control than has been the norm for Jaguar.
In the cabin, Alister Whelan, Jaguar's interior designer, opted for a sumptuous leather, aluminum, and wood environment rather than following traditional sport sedan conventions. As a matter of fact, this Jaguar has more polished wood (your choice of American Walnut, Burl Walnut, or Rich Oak) than any previous model. Reviewers compare the driver's and front passenger seats to fine armchairs.
The dashboard is low, providing a sense of spaciousness and expansive down-the-road visibility. The ergonomics and styling are spot on. Adding to the style and beauty that abounds here is an ambient phosphor blue lighting for the instrumentation.
The only qualm is with the back seat, in which tall reviewers feel cramped. The trunk is spacious, with 18 cubic feet of cargo space and more with the back seats folded down. Reviewers enthuse that Audi's legendarily elegant interiors have finally found their match in the XF cabin and believe that the XF has all the elements of a great sports sedan.