2016 Jaguar XJR - The M5 killer
Discover the 2016 Jaguar XJR, the M5 killer that Jeremy Clarkson raved about. Uncover why this rare gem stands out in the world of luxury cars. Read about its performance, unique features, and why it's the perfect grand tourer. Explore the owner's perspective and find out why this Jaguar XJR is a special addition to the automotive world.
2016 Jaguar XJR
2016 Jaguar XJR - The M5 killer
Described by Jeremy Clarkson as “the only big car you can have if you’re a keen driver” and “not far short of a masterpiece”, Ive always wondered exactly what the competition does better than the Jag to entice buyers into their cars.
The headline figures are pretty big. The Jag packs a 5.0 Supercharged V8, kicking out 550 bhp to the rear wheels and being that it is made all from aluminium, weighs in at a respectable 1800Kg.
Why did I choose the Jag?
When I was looking for a new car, my criteria was for something luxurious and good long distance. Each summer I take a long trip across Europe to visit family and wanted to treat myself to something that would devour miles in comfort.
Now 4x4s are off the menu for me, I wanted to be in something that felt sporty, fast, luxurious and not compromised by a tall ride height and lots of extra weight. The options are somewhat limited to the big German saloons, S class, M5, RS7, or a Porsche perhaps?
I don't know about you but all of them are just a little dare I say…. underwhelming?
The S class is more suited to be chauffeured in. The M5 looks like any other BMW and the Panamera is positively ugly, no matter how impressive it is. I didn’t want to feel sick every time I walked out of my car.
The Audi was definitely a contender, but then I remembered where I lived, and who made the best big executive and sporty cars of them all. And once you compare the Jaguar to all of them for the price I was looking at, the choice for me really was a clear one.
What it feels like to own
In a word, Special. You feel Special. It is such a lovely place to be, it really does make me stop and reflect and marvel at just how lovely this piece of machinery really is every time I climb into it. I refrain from using it as a daily driver as it really isn’t made for that. Weekends, nights out and road trips, that’s where the Jag excels.
The exterior with its vented hood, huge brakes, boot lip and large lower intake ducts are aggressive yet subtle. It blends in well for daily life to most people, but to people who know what they are looking at, it really is something unique and special.
You then remember just how rare this car is. Apparently, there are only 75 Jaguar XJRs from 2016 currently on British roads. Compare that to how many of the German cars there are, Jaguar XJ’s are definitely in the minority.
How is it to drive?
Driving the XJR lives up to everything you hope for. It is competent, refined, quiet and very easy to drive. That leaves the biggest impact is just how smooth it is. V8 engines are inherently “wobbly” as they are unbalanced, but once you are on the move, honestly it is like you’re flying on Aladdin's carpet. The ride is just that good. It is so smooth and so refined, it is hard to imagine anything better. This is despite the hugely wide 19” tires and stiffened suspension on the XJR.
In normal mode, the throttle is rather ordinary. You don’t feel like you are behind the wheel of such a vast amount of power. The engine does growl at you should you blip the throttle, but for everyday driving you could easily drive around in a calm and sophisticated manner without drawing any attention to yourself.
However, push the throttle further, and the gearbox quickly changes you down and surges you forward rapidly into license-losing territory. In Dynamic mode, the throttle becomes even more responsive and any movement of your foot results in an immediate reaction from the engine.
The best way to describe how it feels in dynamic mode is to get a rubber band and stretch it apart. The rubber band wants you to let go, just like the Jag wants you to accelerate. It feels like it is happiest when it is rapidly accelerating down the road.
When it comes time to stop, the brakes are effective, but it is the one part of the car I have not always been the biggest fan of. Having driven mostly small cars before the Jag, the braking just isn’t as good.
Stopping feels like it takes longer and like you are trying to fight a huge amount of weight and there is less feel through the pedal. However, being a big car with such a large engine at the front, you understand why it doesn’t stop as easily and I know that no other big car is likely to be any better.
The best thing about how the car drives tho is how it is on the motorway. Hand on heart I believe this is the best 5 door long distance Grand Tourer money can buy. Ive driven it through Germany a number of times and it is unstoppable. The engine is just so exquisite. You can easily cruise at over 100mph while the engine is barely over 1500 rpm.
When you do fancy putting your foot down, nothing else stands a chance frankly. It's great for when someone decides to gets right up behind your ass and you can wave goodbye as you accelerate off into the distance.
My favourite bits about the car
I love the design of the car, both exterior and interior. The car and seats are as comfortable as you like. The technology available to the driver is spot on and I love how easily everything is laid out.
And the icing on the cake is the noise. The exhaust note is just right. I have in the past wished that it had an exhaust value like the F-Types, but that is only because from inside the car is isn’t easy to hear. From the outside, however, it is a totally different story. My friends have said they can hear it before they see it and the cold start is brutal enough too.
From inside you hear the supercharger whine when you floor the throttle and I often give it a cheeky rev as I park it at the house. Honestly, this engine isn’t talked about enough for its noise.
Ive also taken it to a few car shows and meets and people have said it is louder than they were expecting. I mean it is an executive saloon after all, being loud isn’t normally what Sir Alan Sugar looks for in a car. But when compared to an M5, try telling me you wouldn’t have the Jag.
Would I customise it?
Personally, I am a fan of the stock look. I love a good sleeper and avoid messing with the outside of the car too much. With my daily drivers, I have made minor changes to the exterior and more substantial work underneath. However, with the Jag, it just feels wrong to mess with it. I don’t think there is anything that can be done to improve it much. I always make sure to put the best tires on her. With the car already being extremely rare and unique, I would rather spend my time maintaining it, detailing it and keeping it looking its very best.
There was a 575 bhp version of the XJR made which could be achieved with just a simple map, but will 25 bhp make a noticeable difference? I doubt it.
Would I ever sell the Jaguar?
Since I was a kid, I always wanted an Aston Martin, so maybe I would consider swapping one day, but for now, I am still very much enjoying the Jaguar and maybe will be in a position to own both. We can dream!
Patrick is the owner and editor of WeTryTires.com, an online resource dedicated to educating and sharing tips, tricks and everything else you could want to know about maintaining your tires.
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