2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: The Secret of Power
July 10, 2012
When you're driving a 470-hp car, you can't help wonder where horsepower comes from.
This Jaguar has a lot of clues. Displacement? Forced induction (supercharging)? High-pressure direct fuel injection? Multi-valve cylinder head with variable valve timing? High compression? Rpm? Exhaust tuning?
It's gasoline, actually. And lots of it. If you want to make lots of power, you need lots of fuel.
After all, consider that a 7,000-hp engine for a Top Fuel dragster consumes 1.5 gallons of nitromethane per second. The fuel is almost in solid form when it enters the combustion chambers, and there are two 2.5-inch fuel lines running from the fuel tank to sustain fuel pressure during the four-second run.
So maybe there's no mystery about the Jaguar XF Supercharged's inability to pass a gas station. While running down CA Highway 33, the car practically turned off the road itself so it could nuzzle up against all the oil wells in the dusty flats east of Bakersfield.
Even your correspondent's notoriously balloon-footed driving style proved unable to coax more than 21.1 mpg from a tank of gas during the long trip to San Luis Obispo and back, and I also saw a tank of just 16.0 mpg. It's quite something to fill up this car's 18.4-gallon fuel tank and see the trip computer register less than 300 miles of cruising range.
Even so, this Jaguar makes me pretty darned pleased when I'm driving. As it swept down the Lerdo cutoff between the almond orchards and lemon groves, I felt like this was a pretty special car. Plus, it's not German, as I'm plenty tired of driving German cars altogether.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 1,950 miles