Jaguar XJR575 review: luxury and laugh-out-loud performance

Jaguar XJR575 review: luxury and laugh-out-loud performance
Jaguar XJR575 review: luxury and laugh-out-loud performance

You’ll never be late to a meeting again

No, you’re right, this is a ridiculous idea. The heart of this car is a vehicle that wafts prime ministers and other (dress)suits around. Regal, British, stately (the car, not the occupants). You need performance that is quietly adequate, so what you don’t need is a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 pumping out 567bhp so the rear wheels squeal out clouds of rubber smoke.

But that’s what you got here. Who would need such a thing? A driver who feels he needs to be able to get his passenger out of trouble in a hurry? Someone who likes to appear classy and in control but who actually has anger management issues? We don’t care, we love it – whatever that says about us.

Jaguar XJR575 review

Jaguar XJR575

Price: £93,710
Engine: 5.0-litre V8, supercharged petrol
Power: 567bhp
Torque: 517lb/ft
Transmission: 8-speed automatic,rear-wheel drive
0-62mph: 4.4sec
Top speed: 186mph
Weight: 1,875kg
Economy: 25.5mpg
CO2 emissions: 264g/km

Jaguar’s flagship luxury model has all the premium class you’d expect, just with extra oomph. The cabin oozes luxury, even if closer inspection shows it’s not quite up to S-Class levels. There are plenty of electronic aids for driving and safety like semi-autonomous parking and lane assist, but it must be admitted that the infotainment via the 10in screen is hardly the most intuitive in class.

So, it’s gorgeous but it’s flawed inside. And you might imagine that adding SVR-levels of performance would render this a rather dangerous drawing room at speed. After all, we’re looking at a dash to 60mph in only 4.4sec and a top speed of 186mph for those diminishing stretches of unrestricted Autobahn.

Jaguar XJR575 interior

A very powerful supercharged V8 and the need for sumptuous suspension ought to be the lead recipe in the collection of recipes for disaster. And yet somehow Jaguar manages to balance those two elements remarkably well. The performance is joyously exuberant, the four exhaust pipes rumbling with authority. It surges more than accelerates, but it surges jolly fast, aided by a quick-thinking eight-speed auto transmission.

And Jaguar always comes up with something special in the chassis department. There’s a control and a fluidity here which is absolutely delightful and confidence inspiring. However, you can’t escape the 1875kg weight, and on twistier roads that’s always going to present an issue. This is a big car as well, so you’re not actually going to try to emulate someone using this as a getaway car, unless in fact that is exactly what you’re doing.

Jaguar XJR575 review

So the sensible approach is to dial it back just a degree or two, and at that point you have an exceedingly rapid vehicle in which you can hurtle through the countryside, all the while sat in hushed luxury with just the rumble of that V8 reminding you of the excess on demand.

Does that make it sound like a sensible buy? For over £93,000? The sales figures indicate that the answer is ‘no’. This is not a modern car, and it shows. Up against the many luxury SUVs it looks a bit past it, since the market for large saloons is dwindling anyway. And it doesn’t objectively stack up against cars like the Porsche Panamera or BMW 7 Series either. It’s definitely not a realistic rival for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Which all means it doesn’t really make objective sense. But if the world was ruled by objective sense the Sistine Chapel would have a whitewashed ceiling, and nobody would own a car that could break the national speed limit. And in the subjective world most of us live in, there’s an immense appeal to a big old luxury barge such as this, which can deliver such a massive punch should you require it, while otherwise woofling along with quiet menace.

There’s no future for cars like these, but since we live in the present we’ll enjoy every moment of it.

Jaguar XJR575 review

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