Lunar Grey Metallic, Illumination Package ($1,700 -- includes stainless-steel illuminating sill tread plates with Jaguar script, illuminated front and rear air vents, illuminated trunk latch finishing plate); Carbon-Fiber Interior Trim ($1,575); Electric Side Window Sunshades ($700).
Supercharged, direct-injected V8, gasoline
Double overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder with variable intake and exhaust valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
550 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
502 @ 2,500
Eight-speed automatic with console shifter knob and steering-mounted paddles with sport/competition modes
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
Traction control does its best to maximize the power to the rear wheels when turned on, and a 4.2-second 0-60-mph run is as easy as just mashing the throttle (our best was only 4.1). This, despite pretty slow upshifts. With TC turned off there's some techinique required, as mashing the throttle produces a big burnout but a slower time. Best method was a minor bit of throttle/brake overlap to bring the revs up slightly at launch, followed initially by a smidge less than full throttle as you release the brake. It gets some wheelspin toward the top of 1st gear, and in Drive/Sport mode it then will also upshift early. Best run came using the manual shifting mode with the steering wheel paddles to hold 1st gear a bit longer. In manual mode it will hold gears to the 6,600-rpm rev limiter, and it blips the throttle on downshifts.
This big Jag stops in impressively short distances, but wow there's a lot of ABS commotion. You can definitely feel those tires scratching for grip. Well-controlled stops with zero movement and minimal nosedive. The pedal stayed nicely firm, from the first stop at 106 feet, to the sixth and shortest stop at 105 feet to the seventh and final stop at 107 feet.
Slalom: Even though the steering has a light effort, it's surprisingly quick. The stiffer suspension setting keeps the car fairly level, and the tires grip nicely. With this long-wheelbase model, this is a big car to get around the cones, and it took a few runs to comprehend just how far the rear tires trail behind you. Some cones were killed in the process. The stability control system does a good job of staying out of it until things get massively out of shape, then it mashes the brakes hard. The Trac/DSC stability control mode allowed a fair bit of oversteer at slalom exit. Skid pad: The XJR's stiff and abrupt throttle was a real pain here, making it difficult to play with the throttle to adjust the car's attitude. Annoying. At these lower speeds the Jag's light steering was prevalent but hardly an issue. We ran the suspension in Dynamic mode for all runs, and grip was identical whether with ESC on, in Trac/DSC mode or with everything off.