Jaguar is currently in full assault mode as they unleash their stunning 2018 lineup. First, they hunted high-performance saloons. Then they attacked the crossover world. Now they are once again on the prowl, this time going after the prestigious business class.
Jaguars pinnacle XJ series is getting a nice little revamp for 2018, with the XJR getting the brunt of the updates. The new XJR575 is the business sedan every petrol head dreams of, featuring a supercharged 5-liter V8 that produces 575horsepower. That’s a 25hp gain over last years XJR, and a torque gain of around 15ft-lbs. That’s enough to catapult the Jaguar to 60mph in just 4.2 seconds. No more excuses for being late to that meeting. The XJR575 is also capable of sprinting to an eye watering 186-mph, because top speed runs are for winners.
While going fast is well within the XJR’s wheel house, it excels in an avenue that we can all appreciate, utter beauty. The XJR 575 shaded in Satin Corris Gray is breath taking, to say the least. The body is sophisticated aggression. The front of the XJR suggests that it’s ready for a dog fight, yet the rear seems to prefer a war of words. It really is a body that comes off a little bipolar, and yet that’s part of its charm. The XJR’s massive wheel wells make way for a set of 20-inch black rims. I’m amazed at how these wheels, in their preposterous size, still manage to fit perfectly with this body. It’s a larger than life type of car.
If the exterior is the Mona Lisa than the interior is the Sistine Chapel. When you open the door you are greeted with gorgeous quilted leather seats, all bearing a beautifully stitched red ‘575’. The interior is immense, fitting for the class but deceiving from the exterior. The center console is equally as enormous, now featuring an array of different storage departments and a custom dial that recedes until flat. This is no doubt used to control the massive entertainment unit fitted to the XJR, one that utilizes a 10-inch touch screen display. The entire package is tidy and functional, easily allowing all aboard to enjoy the many features of the XJR. Yet it’s the smallest details that make you instantly realize this is no ordinary interior. The way the trim wraps around the top of the dash, displaying a ‘575’ badge dead center just below the windshield is visually captivating. As if you needed a reminder of what you are sitting in.
Then there are minor details like the small analog clock just below the massive air conditioning vents. Little details like this set a Jag apart from almost every other manufacturer on the list, including the Mercedes C63S. Sure the C63S is a fantastic car. Hell, I would even own one if I were in that type of position, financially. But when you compare the C63S to the XJR575 you realize just how serious Jag is taking the 2018 model year. Sure, the XJR’s platform is now starting to feel a little dated, but even with that pitfall, it manages to be so much more than the C63S, all in a way that is almost intangible.
Performance is an easy win for the Jag as it can easily out muscle the twin turbocharged Merc. But even if it had less power it would seem to be the engine of choice. While Mercedes-AMG makes some of best sounding engines in the business, there is no denying how good Jags current 5-liter V8 sounds. It’s intoxicating. When you add supercharger wine to that equation the result is close to perfection. Then you have the interior. It is almost cruel to compare the two in this department. While the C63S’s interior carries its own merit when stacked next to the XJR575 it no longer looks like a luxury sedan and instead looks more like something you would find in an economy car. Seriously that screen looks like its straight out of a Mazda.
Lastly, you have the subjective comparison between exteriors. This is the only area that the C63S can really hold a candle to the Jag, and it does so with a slight edge. While I love the XJR’s aggressive front features, the rear leaves just a little to be desired. I get it, it’s not solely focused on performance. It is a professionals car after all. But still, the C63S manages to keep a uniform look from front to back, allowing it to walk a line that the Jaguar seemingly jumps back and forth over.
Even still the XJR is a stunning presentation of what Jaguar is capable of. If I were Mercedes, BMW or Audi, I would be shaking in my boots right about now.