Track Tested: 2009 BMW 550i vs. 2010 Jaguar XF


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Last May, the newly introduced Jaguar XF surprised us. It went head to head with the best midsize luxury sedans from Germany and came out on top. It was fast, comfortable and surprisingly competent through turns, but of course, that was the top-of-the-line supercharged model.

For 2010, the Jaguar XF gets a pair of all-new 5.0-liter V8s: one normally aspirated in the XF Premium, the other supercharged in the new XFR. We'll test an XFR soon, but today Inside Line is the first to take the new non-supercharged 5.0-liter-powered 2010 Jaguar XF Premium to the test track. Rated at 385 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque it's not quite as powerful as the former 4.2-liter supercharged V8, but it's close.

To see just how close, we brought back a 2009 BMW 550i to see how the new Jag stacks up when it's not getting help from a supercharger. Given that the BMW is giving up 25 hp and 20 lb-ft of torque, we expected a close contest - and got one. 

Vehicle: 2010 Jaguar XF Premium
Odometer: 1,345
Date: 05/05/09
Driver: Chris Walton

Price: $65,075

Specifications:
Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type:   6-speed automatic
Engine Type: V8
Displacement (cc / cu-in): 5,000cc (305 cu-in)
Redline (rpm): 6,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 385 @ 6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 380 @ 3,500
Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc
Brake Type (rear): Ventilated disc
Steering System: Speed-proportional power steering
Suspension Type (front): Independent, unequal-length forged double wishbone with electronically controlled, two-stage adaptive dampers, 31mm stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear):  Independent, multilink with electronically controlled, two-stage adaptive dampers, 16mm stabilizer bar 

Tire Size (front): 255/35R20
Tire Size (rear): 255/35R20
Tire Brand: Dunlop
Tire Model: SP Sport Maxx J
Tire Type: Performance
Wheel Size: 20 X 8.5 front and rear
Wheel Material (front/rear): Alloy
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,185

Test Results:
0 - 30 (sec): 2.3
0 - 45 (sec): 3.9
0 - 60 (sec): 5.7
0 - 75 (sec): 8.2
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 13.9 @ 102.5
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.4
30 - 0 (ft): 28
60 - 0 (ft): 106
Braking Rating: Excellent
Slalom (mph): 63.8
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): .82
Handling Rating: Very good
Db @ Idle: 47.1
Db @ Full Throttle: 73.5
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 71.1

Acceleration Comments: I tried everything possible to get some wheelspin to no avail: Drive, Sport, the little flag that indicates dynamic mode with manual shifts, TRAC DSC, etc...  Crispest upshifts in  Sport mode, but not manual. Nice upshift indicator, but it's too conservative. Great V8 sounds.

Braking Comments:    Tremendously powerful brakes that are virtually fade-free. Hard pedal from start to finish. Little dive and no squirm.

Handling Comments:    (Skidpad) Cannot shut off DSC -- which begins with breathing the throttle, then gentle braking. Steering gets a little heavier and tracks well. Eventually held my foot to the floor w/DSC on. (Slalom) Hard to predict DSC. Grip feels trustworthy, then a brake clamps down to mitigate understeer. Good steering response, but doesn't care much for transitions.

Vehicle: 2009 BMW 550i
Odometer: 1,207
Date: 05/05/09
Driver: Chris Walton

Price: $72,345

Specifications:
Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 6-speed automatic
Engine Type: V8
Displacement (cc / cu-in): 4,799cc (292 cu-in)
Redline (rpm): 7,000
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 360 @ 6,300
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 360 @ 3,400
Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc
Brake Type (rear): Ventilated disc
Steering System: Speed-proportional power steering
Suspension Type (front): Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, lower control arms and adjustable stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent, multilink, coil springs and adjustable stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 235/35ZR19 Z
Tire Size (rear): 275/30ZR19 Z
Tire Brand: Continental
Tire Model: Sport Contact 2
Tire Type: Performance
Wheel Size: 19 X 8.0 front -- 19 X 11.0 rear
Wheel Material (front/rear): Alloy
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,998

Test Results:
0 - 30 (sec): 2.1
0 - 45 (sec): 3.7
0 - 60 (sec): 5.5
0 - 75 (sec): 8.2
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 13.7 @ 102.7
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.2
30 - 0 (ft): 28
60 - 0 (ft): 111
Braking Rating: Very Good
Slalom (mph): 64.9
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): .87
Handling Rating: Very good
Db @ Idle: 47.9
Db @ Full Throttle: 70.8
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 66.3

Acceleration Comments:    Could muster only a little tire scratch, and this engine doesn't have much down low. Upshifts are very smooth and not especially quick.

Braking Comments: Reliable feel and distances. No fade or squirm. Little dive.

Handling Comments: (Slalom) Steering feel unnecessarily heavy, but responds well. This car likes to be chucked around. The active antiroll bars are obvious but not intrusive or awkward. (Skidpad) Excellent balance between understeer and oversteer, easy to find limit and keep it there with throttle input. Steering feel was so-so -- a little heavy.

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