2012 Jaguar XF Long-Term Road Test - Performance

2012 Jaguar XF Long-Term Road Test

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Functional Louvers

June 10, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

When I was a kid, my father once referred to his Impala SS by saying, "Real hot rods have louvers, flames and five spokes."

If you follow our updates on the 2012 Jaguar XF, you've probably seen a dozen pictures of the Supercharged logo on its hood louvers. Many modern cars have bodywork masquerading as performance-enhancing improvements, but this small touch on the Jag appears to be functional.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Dead Front Tires

June 7, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

We made another discovery at last week's brake pad replacement: That the inside of the Jag's front Dunlops were worn to the cords.

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2012 Jaguar XF: 10 Reasons I'll Miss It

May 20, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

Some long-term cars leave our garage and I won't even notice. I'm pretty sure it was a month and a half before I realized the Honda Crosstour was gone. There are others, however, where I'll wistfully stand at the driveway and wave as it departs for the last time, a wash of fond memories floating through my mind to the dulcet tones of Barbra Streisand and "The Way We Were."

The 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged fits into the latter category, and as its time with us is coming to a close, I thought I'd share those fond recollections in that age-old, time-tested Top 10 format...though sans Babs.

In no particular order...

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: It's Like a Corvette

May 14, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

Our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged has way more personality that most of today's midsize luxury sedans. It's a more interesting car to drive than either our 2011 BMW 528i or 2013 Lexus GS 350.

Of course, the Jag's 470-horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter V8 has a lot to do with this. The way this engine pulls the car along in traffic is always exciting and feels borderline illegal. You don't ease into the throttle in the XF. You grab great big gobs of it.

Granted, there are plenty of torque-rich turbocharged six- and eight-cylinder engines in this class right now, but many of them lack character. In contrast, this blown V8 makes the Jaguar XF feel and sound fast. Every V8 should do that, at least in this class.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Last Man Standing

April 23, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

Our 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged is the only car in our long-term fleet that will still play my first-generation iPod Touch.

It's not just that it's an old device. I also "upgraded" its software and now even my iHome won't play it. So, congratulations to the Jaguar XF. I love you even more now.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: XF or 911?

April 18, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

The other day I was working from home and Tweeting. Yes, Twitter is part of my job. I had our long-term Porsche 911 and I could see on my Twitter feed that Magrath had the Jaguar XF Supercharged. I sometimes hog the Jaguar for a week at a time. I'm sure that makes me real popular around the office. But when the car sign-out board comes around, the 911 is usually spoken for. I rarely get a chance and I jumped on it.

So, here's our Twitter conversation, because an UnTwittered life is not worth living. I think Socrates said that.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Still Great With Half the Cylinders

March 28, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

After so much time spent in our Jaguar XF Supercharged, I was curious to see what it was like when you removed half its cylinders and nearly half the horsepower in the new base 2.0 model.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Packed and Powering to AZ

February 21, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

We're bound for a long weekend in Phoenix. And on a two-lane stretch of Interstate 10, right about the time it begins its climb to Chiriaco Summit and the trucks start clogging the lanes, we really begin to appreciate the Jaguar's power plant.

The difficulty in this car is not getting the boost you need to pass. It's keeping yourself in check once the road opens up again. The Jaguar is content to lope along at about 90 mph, and it's all too easy to find yourself there without realizing it. Cruise control isn't a convenience in this car. It's a necessity, particularly if you want to avoid a speeding ticket. It doesn't ruin the fun. Too much.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Apparently, I'm Getting Old

February 6, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

After four days in our 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged, I might have to back away from my earlier statements. Going into the weekend, I was all enthusiastic about the Jag's livelier feel compared to the current 5 Series and E-Class, and I complimented its suspension calibration, which doesn't try to isolate you from what's happening on the road.

But during the weekend, I took some different freeways and different surface streets than I normally do, and over these particular roads, our XF's Dunlop SP Sport Maxx summer tires, sized 255/35ZR20 in front and 285/30R20 in the back) were tough to take. They crashed over impacts large and small. The ride was so busy, my passenger started to get motion sick.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Drives Like a Smaller Car from an Earlier Time

February 1, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

I just took my first drive in our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged, even though we've had this car for over six months and 17,000 miles. I've driven an XF before, but it has been years, and there have been many A6, 5 Series and E-Class sedans in between and they've shaped my opinion of what a midsize luxury sedan should be in 2013.

Driving the Jaguar takes me back to an earlier time. It feels truly midsize from the driver seat. And I feel like any input I make behind the wheel will elicit a reasonably direct response from the car.

It just has to be smaller and lighter than the latest incarnations of the German sedans. That's what I thought and I was totally wrong.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Drives Like a Dream

January 23, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

This morning as I was leaving for work, I had to jump out of our 2012 Jaguar XF to lock up the driveway gate behind it. Across the street, a neighbor getting out of his work truck waved and said, "I like your car. How does it drive?" But before I could answer, he said, "I bet it drives like a dream, huh?" All I could do was nod while sizing him up. Funny, he didn't look old enough to have been alive during the '50s.

I dunno, something about that description "drives like a dream" struck me as antiquated. I think of big, floaty Caddies. But nowadays, what DO people say to describe how well a car drives? I remember in 1990's Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts described a Lotus Esprit as cornering "like it's on rails." They don't STILL say that either, do they?

I will say that the XF's power is so smooth that it's too easy to get into extra-legal speeds. Woo hoo!

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Sport Mode Done Right

January 4, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

There are many forms of the so-called "sport" button. Some are buried so as not to encourage enthusiastic driving. Others are right there on the steering wheel, but with odd markings that don't necessarily hint at what they do. On our XF, you get this button.

No words, no esoteric symbols, just a waving checkered flag that pretty much sums up its mission. Surprisingly, the XF's "Dynamic" mode isn't as comprehensive as some others in this class as it mostly adjusts the parameters of the XF's traction and stability control systems along the shift points. But it makes a difference and it's easy. Just punch the button and you're done. It even stays on after you turn off the car briefly. Such simplicity seems so obvious and yet so many others get it wrong, or simply make it too complicated. This is not one of them.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 15,950 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: Thoughts On The Transmission's Sport Mode

January 3, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

Like most luxury sport sedans with automatic transmissions, the Jaguar XF has a Sport mode for its six-speed auto. It's easily selected by turning the rotary gear dial clockwise from "D" to "S."

Sport mode does make a noticeable difference. Throttle response is sharper, and individual gears are held longer before upshifts. The transmission will also downshift into a lower gear when slowing, thereby keeping engine rpm higher. This latter attribute is nice during cornering, as it makes the supercharged V8's power delivery all the more immediate. Not that you're exactly lacking with 470 horsepower on tap, of course.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Should You Get All-Wheel Drive?

January 2, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

A recent bout of rain in Southern California (I know, the horror!) plus news of big storms pummeling the Midwest during the holidays had me thinking about our rear-wheel-drive Jaguar XF. Specifically: would I prefer to have all-wheel drive?

From the XF's debut, Jaguar has been making the decision for you — the car has been available with rear drive only. But changes for the 2013 XF as all-wheel drive becomes available for the first time. As a shopper, now you have to decide if all-wheel drive is worth the extra cost, complexity and reduced fuel efficiency.

I think the decision largely rests on the clime of where you live, and how often you drive. In the wet conditions I've been driving the XF in, I can think of only one time where AWD would have been nice — I needed to accelerate quickly on a city street, but our XF's supercharged V8 quickly overwhelmed the rear tires on the wet road. For Southern California, AWD isn't needed or even really wanted.

But the story could be different if I lived somewhere where it snows or freezes frequently. Say, like Denver. Or Perth. Then I think AWD would be worth it to me.

The good thing is that for 2013 XF, you finally get the choice.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 15,912 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: Should You Get The Supercharged V8?

December 20, 2012

2012 Jaguar XF

Captain Obvious here: our Jaguar XF's 470-horsepower V8 is really addicting. The effortless power and crackling exhaust note it produces are probably my favorite qualities about the car. Yet I wonder if I'd actually pay to get the Supercharged XF if I were paying my own money.

I was thinking about this recently when I met up with an acquaintance. He recently bought a new Audi A6. He got the A6's 2.0-liter four-cylinder rather than the supercharged V6, largely because of the $8,200 price increase. It just wasn't worth it to him.

For the 2013 XJ, you're looking at $46,975 for the new base XF, $50,000 for the new 3.0-liter V6 or $68,100 for the V8 Supercharged. Granted, you get a lot of extra standard features with the Supercharged compared to the 3.0 model (about $10,000 worth), but it's still a big increase, with features you may or may not want.

This is a quandary faced by most shoppers of luxury sedans where there are multiple engines. But I think it's even harder for the XF since the supercharged V8 has so much desirable personality to it.

Since I personally don't have the cash reserves to support an XF purchase of any sort, it's all theoretical. But I'll finish by saying if you're looking at an XF as a sport sedan, the Supercharged model is worth the extra cost.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 15,743 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: Dynamic Mode Stays On

November 16, 2012


Our long-term Jaguar XF doesn't exactly have a Sport Mode, like many sedans do these days. Instead the Jaguar offers Dynamic Mode, which doesn't do anything to change the car's suspension, throttle or steering systems, but it does loosen up the Jag's stability and traction control systems to put more control in the hands of its driver.

DSC is still on, it's just not as intrusive when the pace quickens. According to the Jaguar's owner's manual, "Dynamic Mode co-ordinates the vehicle's control systems to deliver a high performance driving experience. This setting enhances key vehicle systems so that the vehicle's full potential can be exploited. The vehicle's responses are aimed at involving the driver more in focused and purposeful driving, helping swift progress."

I like that, swift progress.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: The Whole Story and Mega Gallery

November 12, 2012


You've read about how our 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged did on the way to -- and back from -- Alaska, now read the whole story about what the 7,000+ mile trip was like. Once you're done with that (and the 170 captioned photos that continue the tale) check out the 308 photo Mega Gallery from our trip to get an even better look at what Kurt and I experienced.

These are the stories you've been waiting for.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Restrained Urgency

November 08, 2012


You might have heard about our longterm 2012 Jaguar XF's supercharged V8. I'm here to reaffirm that it's no joke -- this engine punts the Jag around with laughable ease. Doesn't much matter how many revs are showing on the tach, you dip your toe, you better watch for flashing lights. And it's no lumpy, uncouth beast. The blown 5.0-liter does that whole Jekyll/Hyde thing quite well.

This power delivery is definitely the highlight of the car. Every time I drive the XF I end up with a stupid grin on my face because of it.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Feeding an Unhealthy Obsession

November 05, 2012


Somewhere over the last couple of months my passing interest in Jaguar E-Types has grown into a full-blown obsession. I don't know why. I won't question it. But I fear the consequences.

Having our long-term XF Supercharged hasn't helped. Yes, yes, yes, I know, these are not the same car. They're as far away as cars get, but it's still a Jag and even this modern luxury-focused example makes me feel special.

So here I am, sitting in front of my monitor, browsing the classic car classifieds. The prices for a Series I E-Type fluctuate wildly, but it seems like one in the condition I'm seeking is in the $70-grand range. It just so happens that our XF Supercharged is around the same price, too.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Obey Me

October 18, 2012


I love a car that does what you tell it. When you need a quick burst of speed to carve through traffic, the Jaguar XF Supercharged responds immediately with smooth acceleration. It doesn't lag. It doesn't jerk around. It doesn't whine. It just does what you command.

I like that in a man, um, I mean car.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: The Hell of It

October 02, 2012

reined in 1.jpg

There's something perverse about being in a car this powerful and not being able to go. The only fun I really had was on an untrafficked stretch of Olympic Boulevard this morning for about 30 seconds. Other than that, I sat in the stop-and-go of the 405 or noodled along on suburban streets where the speed limit is 35.

If there's a circle of hell for long-term fleet drivers, it must be this: You get a great car. It's yours for all eternity. But it's mired in an infinite traffic jam.

What's your idea of car damnation?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @12,257 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: Winter Temps, Summer Tires

September 21, 2012


We'd read the weather reports and the archives of normal temperatures and figured, at worst, we'd see high 30s at night en route to Alaska.

High 30s, high 20s. What's the difference? To summer tires, a lot.

It was somewhere a south of Beaver Creek, YT where the tires first started to give up. The temperature had dropped to something like 39 and, during a normal braking procedure for a turn, the ABS activated.

"This is going to be fun!" I said to Kurt. As the temperature dropped, the rubber's compound played less and less well with the pavement. Once again, something cool was happening and I was behind the wheel instead of Kurt. He's a faster driver, I've spent more time in winter/wet driving situations.

Things were going well enough until the sun fully set.

You already know from a previous blog that when the sun fully set, we were already going slower than we'd really like due to lack of visibility. Had we not already been doing 5 under, we may have been caught by the car's behavior when the mercury settled in below 35...and then below 30.

From that first whiff of ABS flutter at about 40-degrees until we pulled in for the night, the car got more and more playful as the temp dropped. At 35 degrees the Jag would understeer on fairly sharp corners. At 30 degrees, it was doing sweet four-wheel slides with just a slight poke at the accelerator. Thankfully the roads were dry.

Once again, though, we found ourselves going slower than the speed limit to continue driving safely. Getting all wild in the corners is great fun, having increased braking distances-- especially considering the lack of visibility we had -- is not. It wasn't as bad as driving on ice or on wet leaves, think more of a damp road with crappy tires.

So, we drove slower and pulled off sooner. Far worse things have happened on a road trip. On this trip we'd seen temperatures range from 118 in Death Valley to 29 in the Yukon Territory. This could be the first time I'd ever wanted all-season tires instead of dedicated summer and winter rubber.

Again we had to change our timing. Temps never fell below 45 in the daytime which is still in the normal operating zone for summer tires. We'd have to do all of our driving in the daylight.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: Hottest Place on Earth

September 18, 2012


Quick: What do you think of when you think of Alaska?

Bears? Russia? Seaplanes? Snow? Mountains?

All good options. If you thought "Death Valley!" then, well, sorry to break the news to you, but you may just fit in with us. Death Valley, and Badwater in particular, is the polar opposite of Alaska. Alaska is lush and verdant with abundant springs and glacial lakes. Alaska is the home of Mount McKinley (or Denali if you're into that kind of naming convention) which is the highest mountain the the U.S. Prospect Creek, Alaska is also the home of the lowest-ever temperature in the U.S at -79.8 F.

Death Valley, on the other hand, is home to the highest temperature ever recorded on the planet (take that, Libya!), 134 degrees. Badwater Basin is also, at 282 feet below sea level, the lowest point in the U.S.

This was also our last chance to have some fun with the Jag as the roads getting into/out of Death Valley are a BLAST.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Just a Four-door Camaro, Really

September 14, 2012


I really like Jaguars, but it’s hard for me to get my head around this supercharged Jaguar XF. A 470-hp monster seems kind of pointless when people expect a Jaguar to deliver elegant lines, a dash of chrome, and those cool, ice-blue instrument colors.

And then I remember the first time I saw the Group 44 Jaguar XJ-S at a Trans-Am race in 1977.

Bob Tullius, a Kodak salesman from Virginia, had spent much of the 1960s and early 1970s racing a succession of worthless British sports cars with spectacular success thanks to his own press-on driving, spectacular preparation by a small group of innovative engineers and mechanics, and the sponsorship of Quaker State oil. His success later led Jaguar back to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the 1980s for the first time in about 20 years and helped the company rediscover its racing heritage.

The first time I ever saw the XJ-S, the quality of the presentation made it stand out. Part rubbed-on stock bodywork, part tube-frame chassis, part wide racing tires and part hand-built V12 engine, the XJ-S represented everything American hot rodders had learned while racing during the 1960s. Of course, it also looked about as big as a house compared to the Porsche 911s against which it was racing.

As we used to say, this Jaguar might be just a kind of Camaro under the skin, but it was a really, really good Camaro. At the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year, the Jaguar factory guys ran the 1978 version of Tullius’ XJ-S up the hill just to remind the Brits that a Jag can be capable of more than just an expression of affordable luxury.

Maybe if we painted up this XF in the white-and-green racing colors of Quaker State, I’d get the whole 470 hp thing. After all, Tullius’ 5.3-liter V12 dynoed at 550 hp, so we’re talking about the same power more or less.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com

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2012 Jaguar XF: AWD, New Engines Untap Potential

August 21, 2012

Jaguar XF R34 Neighborhood.jpg

Jaguar recently announced that the 2013 XF will be available with all-wheel drive along with a 340-horsepower supercharged V6 and a 240-hp turbocharged inline-4. Eight-speed automatics and an auto-stop/start system will be applied to all models.

I can't really underscore enough how important this development is for Jaguar. Two weeks ago on the 2013 Lexus LS launch, a Lexus product development rep said that nearly 100 percent of LS models sold in the midwest and northeast come equipped with all-wheel drive. In total, 40 percent of all LS' sold send their power to all four wheels. At the same time, there's a reason BMW has xDrive, Mercedes 4Matic and Audi banks on Quattro -- people in the snow belt don't want rear-wheel drive. The addition of all-wheel drive for both the XF and XJ immediately open it up to a huge number of luxury buyers who previously would've considered Jag a non starter.

As for the new engines, the XF is now in a far better position to compete with the 5 Series, E-Class and A6. As much as we adore our 470-horsepower V8, that's not exactly what I'd consider the powerplant of a volume seller. A new turbo-4 base engine and the supercharged V6 that'll replace the previous 5.0-liter V8 quite simply makes a boat-load of sense and is way overdue. Plus, the XF already feels so lithe and light weight that I suspect less power won't be a problem at all. If the 5 Series can roll with a four-banger, you'd better believe the XF can.

Obviously, you couldn't talk me out of our XF Supercharged and its 470 hp sent to the rear wheels. Yes, even with that fuel economy and range, it's just too lustworthy to pass up. However, Jag is finally now in the position to better compete for those who would prioritize fuel economy and who would worry about fish-tailing into a snow bank. A lower price is bound to help too. I'll be very interested to look at Jaguar sales in one year to see the difference.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 3,803 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Gear Indicator

August 02, 2012

Jaguar XF gear indicator.jpg

Now that, friends, is what's called a properly-sized gear indicator. Move the console shift knob to Sport and engage manual mode with one of the paddles and it gives you this huge display within the instrument panel. Yes. Invigorating throttle blips on downshifts, too.

It always bothers me when manufacturers put tiny little gear displays on their cars, particularly performance machines with which you (hopefully) will use the manual mode at some point.

The one aspect I don't like is that it doesn't automatically downshift to first gear at stoplights. And I sometimes forget (yes, despite that huge indicator staring me in the face). For instance, you could be in third gear or higher as you approach a stop and it will automatically downshift to second. But for some reason no further (fuel mileage?). Kinda bothers me when I find myself inadvertently starting from a stoplight in second gear. Luckily this car has the guts to power through it.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 3,137 miles.

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2012 Jaguar XF: DSC Off

August 01, 2012

DSC off.jpg

Apparently, some folks over at Jaguar read our long-term blogs and informed us that, yes indeed, the electronic stability- and traction-control system can be defeated. After the first test with DSC in Dynamic mode (thus limiting the car's true potential), we decided we should retest our new XF sans Nanny McPhee. We did just that and we'll post the results shortly, but here's a tease from the test driver's note pad...

Acceleration:  After learning to press/hold the ESC disable button for about a half-hour (Ten-Mississippi actually), I got a brief message on the IP. Sure enough, the XF then lit the rears "with extreme prejudice." I found a predictable, sweet spot on the launch at around 1,500 rpm where I could get the rear tires to sing a little without hazing them before I used WOT. It worked well, but I don't think the shifts were especially sporty. I tried to use the chequered-flag Dynamic mode, but then it turned traction control back on. So then I shut off ESC and it seems to engage Dynamic (I saw a flag on the IP) but without the zippy-shift protocol. I'm not sure the car was any quicker/faster with the ESC/Trac off due to the electronic trade offs.

Skid pad: With ESC off, the XF finds a delicate, neutral place with mild understeer on the limit. I could have easily wiggled my big toe and made it oversteer.

Slalom: With ESC off, the XF feels free, frisky and playful. Of course, the temptation is for lurid slides (and it will do that), but the quick way between the cones was to use delicate and precise throttle input to coax a little rotation at each cone and save the uppercut for the exit. I was a little surprised and pleased with how quick, friction-free, and precise the steering remained with this added (or subtracted?) measure of ESC off. There's no need for heavy steering -- even in a car with sporting intentions. Even when going slide-ways through the last gate, I always felt in complete control. Nice predictable behavior which is more than I can say for current BMW sedans when pushed outside their 8/10ths comfort zones with ESC disabled.

Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 3,038 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: Effortless Power

July 20, 2012

Jaguar XF R34 Neighborhood BWlite.jpg

There's no way to describe the Jaguar XF Supercharged's 5.0-liter V8 other than effortless. The audible histrionics of other supremely powerful cars almost imply that the engine is working hard to generate that much thrust. They're big, they're showy, they want to tell the world they're fast rather than demonstrating it. Not the suitably British Jag. It's the epitome of smooth with only a subdued warble serving as a tell-tale sign you're not in something powered by electrons (the rapidly retreating gas gauge being the other). The term sneaky fast most certainly applies. Just twitch your big toe, blink and you'll be going 75.

BMW's new turbocharged V8 is similar in its effortless character, but Jaguar did this smooth operator thing first. The word "character" gets thrown around a lot with the XF, and this is just one of the many reasons it's dripping with the stuff.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 2,474

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Track Tested: 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged vs 2011 BMW 550i

July 13, 2012


Supercharged V8 vs Twin-Turbo V8. How does our 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged keep up against the standard of the ssegment, the 2011 BMW 550i?

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged vs. 2011 BMW 550i Track Test

Mike Magrath, Features Editor, Edmunds.com

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: No Rockfords Allowed

July 13, 2012


You'll be heart broken to know we won't be doing any Rockford turns in the XF. We certainly love us some Rockfords, but it appears that Jaguar has made the XF rather Rockford proof.

I have my doubts that its shifter (Dare I even call it that?) is going to function well for the quick Reverse-Neutral-Drive transition required as the car rotates from traveling backward to traveling forward. As you can see in the above-linked video, this needs to happen rather quickly and a traditional column, console or stick shifter gets the job done pretty well.

In case you've never seen a Rockford turn, here's Jim Rockford, the man himself, demonstrating the move. Stay tuned until 1:10.

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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.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Truth or Consequences

July 09, 2012


Really, why take the short way home? That's what I told myself as the Jaguar headed down the road from Templeton into the rolling country of ranches and vineyards outside of Paso Robles. Why not give the XF its head on these back roads between the coastal oaks?

Apparently I was not the first to go this way with similar intent, as this informal warning sign made from a classic Jaguar XJ6 suggests. It's right in the middle of a Y intersection, and probably the nursery behind the white fence has grown tired of drivers running out of talent on its doorstep.

This particular XF is way too much car for back roads, really. If you want to keep from sticking it in a dirt bank like the XJ6, you definitely need a plan before you put your right foot to the floor.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: The Secret to a Good Road Trip

July 06, 2012


If you're going to own a car like the Jaguar XF Supercharged, then you should use it to drive someplace far away. Otherwise it's like owning a twin-engine offshore powerboat and never going beyond the breakwater.

So going north I found myself once again going past Blackwell's Corner, so I did the obligatory photo session in front of the two pieces of John Cerney artwork (you can also see the tall, full-length figure in the background), and bought some gas and also something to drink from the big store with all the 1950s memorabilia.

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2012 Jaguar XF: A Look Underneath

July 05, 2012


Our 2-post Rotary Lift is working overtime this week. We've only had our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged for about a month, but we're anxious to show you the underbelly of this cat.

More pictures after the jump.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Hill? What Hill?

July 02, 2012


As I've mentioned in previous posts, my favorite market is up a steep hill. It gives me a chance to compare how our long-term cars handle the climb.

This weekend, the Jag and I set off to buy mussels and an organic chicken. Our Jaguar XF didn't even notice it was on a hill. It flew past all the other cars without hesitation or struggle of any kind. 470 horsepower, 424 lb-ft of torque and a supercharger. Yeah, that'll do it.

On a related note, the fuel economy on this car is pretty drastic: 12 mpg overall average so far. The EPA estimates 15 city, 21 highway and 17 combined. Not very optimistic and not likely to be earned by us any time soon.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 1,280 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Leaping In

June 27, 2012


This car is special and it makes me feel special, too. With the influx of new cars into our long-term fleet, it's a great time to have access to the lot.

I took the XF to a fancy-schmancy lunch in Malibu in the afternoon, then out to a fancy-schmancy dinner in my neighborhood last night. The Jaguar is exquisite from the inside, with rich leather and an intoxicating blend of stately design and high-tech styling. Honestly, the only thing I'm not a fan of is the steering wheel shape.

From the outside, the muscular shape and jet-black paint manage to turn plenty of heads; way more than I had anticipated.

Then there's the engine. Oh. My. Gawd.

It feels like it's got more than 424 lb-ft of twist. When you stomp the throttle, it responds with a flood of power that presses you into the seat. It doesn't shove you violently, no, it's a smooth and graceful wallop that doesn't jostle your innards. Fan-freaking-tastic.

Out of curiosity, I engaged the sport modes. On downshifts, there's a glorious snarl and a series of exhaust crackles. Those turned even more heads in Beverly Hills.

Here's the kicker: the Jaaaaag is almost $30,000 less than our long-term Audi A8. THIRTY-GRAND! I like our Audi, but I love our Jag. *Gasp* this isn't even a fair fight.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 1,200 miles

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Past Long-Term Road Tests