Inside Line tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "IL Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.
Forced induction is the name of the game in 2012. Bemoan the lack of responsiveness all you'd like, but the big-power numbers we're seeing today are only possible — when weighed against EPA regulations and consumers' desire for decent fuel economy — if there's something shoving air into the engine at an unnaturally high pressure.
While most carmakers are sticking to more efficient turbocharging, Jaguar still strapped a supercharger to the XF. The result is that our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged produces 470 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque from its 5.0-liter V8.
The direct competitor to the Jag also uses a V8, but BMW is force-feeding the 4.4-liter in the 2011 BMW 550i via turbochargers. The end result is 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque.
Both cost just about $70,000. Which one takes it at the track?
|2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged||2011 BMW 550i|
|0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec.):||4.2||4.9|
|1/4-mile (sec @ mph):||12.6 @ 112.8||13.2 @ 108.3|
|Skid Pad Lateral Accel (g):||0.82||0.84|
Vehicle: 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Price: $72,440 (price as tested)
Drive Type: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic
Engine Type: Supercharged V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 5,000/305
Redline (rpm): 6,750
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 470 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 424 @ 2,500
Brake Type (front): Ventilated discs with two-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): Ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type(front): Independent double-wishbones, two-mode variable dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, two-mode variable dampers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 255/35R20 (97Y)
Tire Size (rear): 285/30R20 (99Y)
Tire Brand: Dunlop
Tire Model: SP Sport Maxx
Tire Type: Summer Performance
As Tested Curb Weight (lb.): 4,344
0-30 (sec): 1.9 (2.2 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 3.1 (3.3 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 4.5 (4.8 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.2 (4.4 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 6.3 (6.6 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.6 @ 112.8 (12.8 @ 112.8 w/ TC on)
30-0 (ft): 29
60-0 (ft): 113
Slalom (mph): 65.3 (62.7 w/TC off)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.82 (0.78 w/TC on)
Db @ Idle: 42.7
Db @ Full Throttle: 71.2
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 63.0
RPM @ 70: 2,000
Acceleration: Quickest run in Drive. Manual shifting only makes it harder to keep up, as the tach is easily outrun by the engine in lower gears. Hooked up well even with minimal power braking. No need to modulate throttle. This is one of those rare cars where you can get in, mash the gas and run a 12-second quarter-mile with no effort. Awesome.
Braking: Solid, consistent pedal. No significant pedal fade. Short distances. Stops straight and confident, with minimal pitch.
Skid pad: Not as stiff or as adjustable as its German competition, but still predictable and easy to drive. Limits are likely lower, too. ESC can't be fully disabled so lurid powerslides aren't really in the cards in this otherwise reasonably communicative sedan. ESC On is so conservative the XF will barely squeak a tire around the skid pad so even marginally serious driving will require "Trac" mode.
Slalom: Softer reactions through quick transitions than some German competitors, but still capable and predictable. Not upset by mid-corner bumps. Easy to control, but not the quickest sport sedan in this test.
Vehicle: 2011 BMW 550i
Driver: Mike Monticello
Price: $70,450 (price as tested)
Drive Type: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Eight-speed automatic
Engine Type: Twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 4,395/268
Redline (rpm): 6,750
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 400 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 450 @ 1,700
Brake Type (front): 14.7-inch ventilated steel discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 14.6-inch ventilated steel discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent multilink, coil springs, self-adjusting variable dampers, lower control arms, self-adjusting, active, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, self-adjusting variable dampers, self-adjusting, active, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): P245/40R19 (94Y)
Tire Size (rear): P275/35R19 (96Y)
Tire Brand: Goodyear
Tire Model: Excellence
Tire Type: All-season
As Tested Curb Weight (lb.): 4,380
0-30 (sec): 2.1 (2.3 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 3.5 (3.7 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 5.2 (5.5 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.9 (5.0 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 7.1 (7.5 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 13.2 @ 108.3 (13.4 @ 106.5 w/ TC on)
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 114
Slalom (mph): 65.5 (62.6 w/TC off)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.84 (0.84 w/TC on)
Db @ Idle: 35.8
Db @ Full Throttle: 74.3
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 64.5
RPM @ 70: 2,200
Acceleration: Considering that the BMW 550i weighs almost 4,400 pounds, it gets off the line well. But it really came alive when power braking with stability and traction control turned off, allowing for a near-perfect amount of wheelspin. The third run overall (first with power braking) was quickest, but the final (sixth) run was barely any slower, showing good aversion to heat soak.
Braking: Although braking distances varied by several feet with each run, randomly longer and shorter over the first five stops, the BMW's pedal travel barely changed and its feel remained very solid, while control under panic braking was always stable.
Skid pad: The BMW's all-season run-flat tires did the best they could around the skid pad, hampered by the car's soft suspension and hefty curb weight. Attitude is steady-state understeer. It was possible to circle at nearly full throttle with the stability system turned on, the computer cutting power to keep the car from straying off line.
Slalom: Not easy due to slow-reacting, lackluster-feeling electric steering, but the chassis offers decent feedback. The stability system wasn't overly intrusive when it came on, but you can go faster without it.
The manufacturers provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.