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2018 Jaguar XJR Overview

Jaguar’s flagship XJR series historically runs in the same league as the Audi S8, Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, and whatever the fastest BMW 7 Series happens to be at that moment. For 2018, the latest XJR has been given a nice performance bump. Now called the XJR575, this model is the most powerful big-bodied Jaguar to date.

The XJR575 nameplate derives from an improved supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 575 horsepower and 517 pound-feet of torque - an increase of 25 and 15, respectively, over last year’s XJR. A rapid-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission continues to transmit power to the ground, and unlike its all-wheel-drive competitors, the XJR575 comes standard with rear wheel drive (RWD). However, according to critics, the RWD adds a fun factor not seen in the German sedans; Jaguar’s rocket likes to inject more drama, noise, and tail-spin during spirited driving. That said, the lack of AWD comes at a cost. The run to 60 comes up in 4.2 seconds, which is markedly slower than the M760Li (3.4 s), S63 AMG (3.4 s), and the S8 (3.3 s).

Other than that, Jaguar has made another important change by removing the short-wheelbase XJR model. The XJR575 only comes in a single long-wheelbase configuration, which is probably due to a low take rate of the former. Every XJR575 also gets the bad-boy look with standard gloss black trim in place of chrome; 575 badging on the fender vents, dashboard and seats; and red brake calipers peeking out between the spokes of unique 20-inch wheels. If you spec its black interior, which Jaguar seems to encourage, you’ll also be treated to contrasting red stitching. Unlike other XJ variants, there’s no wood trim on the inside - but rather gloss black or carbon fiber veneers.

As the brand’s flagship car, the XJR575 gets the full benefit of Jaguar’s feature list: adaptive LED lights, a massive 12-inch LCD instrument cluster, quad-zone climate controls, soft-closing doors, a panoramic sunroof, and a 825-watt Meridian sound system comprised of 20 speakers and 2 subwoofers. It also has a full suite of safety technology, including a reversing camera, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, and lane departure warning. From there, the only real options are adaptive cruise control, a heated windshield, and a surround-view camera system.

Although the XJR575 falls at the back end of the big sedan performance race, it offers a more visceral, organic feeling than its competitors. And with the future of the XJ line as a whole up in the air, this may be the last such car from Jaguar. If so, it’s a strong finish.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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