RE: Jaguar XJR575 SWB: Driven

RE: Jaguar XJR575 SWB: Driven

Wednesday 25th October 2017

Jaguar XJR575 SWB: Driven

A late-life tickle to the range-topping XJ doesn't stop it feeling its age. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing...



Apparently Jaguar now regularly fields calls from celebrities who would like to be taken to events in the back of an XJ saloon. It's owing to the fact that - unlike, say, with an Audi A8 or a Mercedes-Benz S-Class - you don't see people being ferried to airports in Jaguar XJs all that often. Exclusivity, see. I suppose 'exclusive' and 'unpopular' are two sides of the same coin.


The Jaguar XJ is a something of a rare car, then, in the luxury car realm. Which is at once a positive thing, and then yet probably it's still a bit rarer than Jaguar would like. Rare enough that Jaguar had considered whether it was worth replacing it. Design director Ian Callum says, though, that "a flagship car company needs a flagship car," so a new one is on the way.

Meantime, the current XJ has been given a late-life tickle. This is a seven-year old car and probably has three or so years left. So, now, electrically-assisted power steering arrives in place of the hydraulic setup, and with that comes a fair raft of active safety systems. Some, like semi-automatic parking and lane keep assist, can't work without electric steering. Others, such as adaptive cruise control that works to and from a standstill, or cross-traffic warning systems, just needed better sensors all round. So the XJ gets them. When you compare it to cars like the latest Audi A8, though, or the Mercedes S-Class, the XJ is still some way short of being an industry-leading tech-fest, but I guess it broadens the appeal to those who want a car to do more and more for them.

And then there's the XJR 575, for those who still like to do things themselves. It's the flagship variant of the flagship range, but when it comes to giving you a guiding hand, it's does less via electronics and more via the medium of a supercharged, 5.0-litre V8 engine, turned up from the 550hp it used to have, to the 575hp that lends it its name now.


The number's replicated on a dashboard plaque that would look a bit out of place in a £30,000 hot hatchback, let alone a £90,000 luxury sedan, but here we are. The rest of the interior's pretty attractive, very roomy in the back in long-wheelbase form (obvs), but the infotainment, if you're used to what Audi or BMW will give you, is like picking up a several generations-old mobile phone.

Still, the important bits are the mechanical bits, here. Drive is to the back wheels only, via a ZF eight-speed auto, and the engine's extra poke all comes via a retuned ECU. Torque is 517lb ft from only 3,500rpm, while that power peak is at 6,500 - and because it has supercharged, not turbocharged, assistance, the output is linearly responsive. Sounds good, too; think pleasingly authentic V8 soundtrack occasionally overlaid with supercharged whine.

And while there's quite a lot that Jaguar doesn't get as right as some of the big premium carmakers, there are a few things that it always seems to have nailed; mostly because it has one of the best dynamics teams around. They've kept things lovely here, too: there's steering that's oily smooth, ideally geared and weighted, and gives nothing up for being electrically assisted. The ride is both deftly controlled yet adequately absorbent for a car of this type. And then there's handling that's lightly engaging when you want, relaxing when you don't, and ridiculously thuggish if the mood takes you.


So I wonder if the compromise is, in some ways, how a luxury car ought to feel. It feels a bit more 'old money' than a slick rival which wants to get everything right but feels leaden, wooden and uninvolving with it.

Jaguar won't necessarily thank me for this, because it thinks the modern Jaguar has appropriately modern design (wouldn't disagree, Ian). But nevertheless the XJR has the vibe of a comfy old settee. It doesn't exist for a world of doing things for you. It's a world where you're involved. It says old stone cottages with dusty fireplaces and a spaniel on a rug. It says tweed and ale and brogues and shotguns and slow-roasted lamb and cabinet ministers. And honest old-fashioned chassis dynamics. There's something quite nice about that.

Inspired? Buy a Jaguar XJR here


JAGUAR XJR 575
Engine
: 5,000cc V8, supercharged
Transmission: 8-speed automatic,rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 575@6,250-6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 517@3,500-4,500rpm
0-62mph: 4.4sec
Top speed: 186mph
Weight: 1,875kg
MPG: 25.5
CO2: 264g/km
Price: £93,710

 

 

   
 

 

   
 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

phil_cardiff

Original Poster:

3,835 posts

144 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
Still a handsome car (relatively) in the right colours...

rtz62

1,552 posts

91 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
If this were a TV series, then Jaguar would be like the TV series 'Shameless' compared to the Audi/BMW/Mercedes 'Real Hollywood Wives'
There's a distinct lack of cachet for me, too much Ripspeed catalogue, too little class.

LotusOmega375D

4,016 posts

89 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
This will sell in minuscule numbers. Shirley a 93K flagship saloon should at least have the latest infotainment system?

HeMightBeBanned

512 posts

114 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
I've always liked the XJR a lot but suspect it would be put to shame by my E63, let alone a top spec S-Class.

skinthespin

90 posts

84 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
In the right colour this is ace. I've done 80k in my supersport now so maybe this will be my next motor...class in my opinion.

An E63 might put it to shame performance wise or cross country but that's not the point at all. I test drove an m5, rs6 and an e63 and while quicker there all a bit, well, chintzy. Never felt so uncomfortable walking through the Mercedes dealer being looked up and down, checking out my watch, shoes etc..... I'll leave that brand alone thanks!
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HeMightBeBanned

512 posts

114 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
skinthespin said:
In the right colour this is ace. I've done 80k in my supersport now so maybe this will be my next motor...class in my opinion.

An E63 might put it to shame performance wise or cross country but that's not the point at all. I test drove an m5, rs6 and an e63 and while quicker there all a bit, well, chintzy. Never felt so uncomfortable walking through the Mercedes dealer being looked up and down, checking out my watch, shoes etc..... I'll leave that brand alone thanks!
I wasn't talking about just the performance. As a package, the AMG Mercs are very complete. I do still very much like the XJR though.

skinthespin

90 posts

84 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
I agree, if you grade every element of the car in segmented fashion the Germans will come out on top. I just think they all lack a 'cool' factor, especially when compared to a big fast jag. It takes a German car 20 years to become cool. The irony is a 20 year old jag is generally used for banger racing lol.

XFRFred

7,329 posts

189 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
Apologies for being pedantic, but SWB is mentioned in the title, does this refer to Short Wheel Based?
If so, why is there a reference to LWB in the body of the text?

"The rest of the interior's pretty attractive, very roomy in the back in long-wheelbase form (obvs),"

unpc

2,042 posts

149 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
LotusOmega375D said:
This will sell in minuscule numbers. Shirley a 93K flagship saloon should at least have the latest infotainment system?
I believe it is the latest one. Supposed to be way better than the old infotainment but it's not difficult to be better than that.

This is way cooler than anything else in this sector IMO ever if it's objectively worse. Love 'em.

steveb8189

188 posts

127 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
Sorry Matt but I find this piece incredibly hard to read due to the number of commas scatterguned throughout.

"The Jaguar XJ is a something of a rare car, then, in the luxury car realm. Which is at once a positive thing, and then yet probably it's still a bit rarer than Jaguar would like. Rare enough that Jaguar had considered whether it was worth replacing it. Design director Ian Callum says, though, that "a flagship car company needs a flagship car," so a new one is on the way."

You even managed to get one in at the end of a quote

Chestrockwell

1,115 posts

93 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
LotusOmega375D said:
This will sell in minuscule numbers. Shirley a 93K flagship saloon should at least have the latest infotainment system?
It’s funny how in the article below shows the M3 CS testing with a price of 90k, the question is, where would your 90k go? What will be worth the most in 5 years time

Loyly

16,358 posts

95 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
This XJ was never particularly good looking, but it's really starting to show it's age now. It looks terribly outdated next to the competition. I also find these sporty exec barges to be slightly incongruous when the majority of buyers will either be thumping out business miles or being driven around by someone else.

Riverside Red

707 posts

71 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
skinthespin said:
In the right colour this is ace. I've done 80k in my supersport now so maybe this will be my next motor...class in my opinion.

An E63 might put it to shame performance wise or cross country but that's not the point at all. I test drove an m5, rs6 and an e63 and while quicker there all a bit, well, chintzy. Never felt so uncomfortable walking through the Mercedes dealer being looked up and down, checking out my watch, shoes etc..... I'll leave that brand alone thanks!
When I went into my local Jag dealership to look at an F-Type, I got looked up and down to see if I was wearing slippers and a pipe was sticking out of my top pocket......😳

...and I wouldn't even go near a Porsche"A" dealership if I were you.😂

RR

Ares

7,502 posts

56 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
With the continued use of this engine, despite it's perpetiual-imminent retirement, I can't understand why there wasn't a halo (non-£XXX,XXX) M3/C63/QV competitor made out of the XE 3 years ago.

Jag repeatedly missing a trick.

Martin 480 Turbo

461 posts

123 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
Just rebadge it as a Holden.

NJJ

117 posts

16 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
Have always loved the XJ and I think they have real presence in dark colours. If you want a tech fest look elsewhere, but if you want real character and a driver's feel-good machine it is a fine choice. Disagree about it being a homage back to Old-World England though, still looks contemporary to my eyes.




Vocht

1,205 posts

100 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
Ares said:
With the continued use of this engine, despite it's perpetiual-imminent retirement, I can't understand why there wasn't a halo (non-£XXX,XXX) M3/C63/QV competitor made out of the XE 3 years ago.

Jag repeatedly missing a trick.
Should be XE SVR version coming soon. Not too sure why they're so late to the market though?

Danwise

13 posts

19 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
Vocht said:
Ares said:
With the continued use of this engine, despite it's perpetiual-imminent retirement, I can't understand why there wasn't a halo (non-£XXX,XXX) M3/C63/QV competitor made out of the XE 3 years ago.

Jag repeatedly missing a trick.
Should be XE SVR version coming soon. Not too sure why they're so late to the market though?
From what I gather the XE SVR has not been seen as a top priority, with all the new models still being developed. From what I understand XE is due a mid-life refresh next year, and this is when we will be seeing the SVR version.

Ares

7,502 posts

56 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
Danwise said:
Vocht said:
Ares said:
With the continued use of this engine, despite it's perpetiual-imminent retirement, I can't understand why there wasn't a halo (non-£XXX,XXX) M3/C63/QV competitor made out of the XE 3 years ago.

Jag repeatedly missing a trick.
Should be XE SVR version coming soon. Not too sure why they're so late to the market though?
From what I gather the XE SVR has not been seen as a top priority, with all the new models still being developed. From what I understand XE is due a mid-life refresh next year, and this is when we will be seeing the SVR version.
Focussing on a fleet of SUVs and electric cars rather than even moderately hot saloon cars shows where Jaguar's heart is. Sir William Lyons is spinning in his grave.

J4CKO

25,738 posts

136 months

Wednesday 25th October 2017
quotequote all
In a Brewsters Millions type scenario, this is the car I would buy.

I do like them but as has been said, a bit long in the tooth in today's market and that blue colour, though nice, doesnt suit it, sort of like its wearing a track suit.