Jaguar XJR 575 review: this big cat roars

The XJR 575 is capable of some pretty impressive figures, but it's starting to look old next to its Germanic rivals

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Jaguar has a new flagship limo – its beefiest and most powerful super saloon yet – the XJR 575. It's interesting that when most of Jaguar's competition has focused on electrified-powertrains and high-tech interiors, Jaguar has focused on outright performance and power. This feels like a swan song.

So who buys the XJ? While the gentry may lean towards Bentleys and Rolls-Royces, those on a slightly tighter budget will head to Mercedes S-Class, Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, and, if they're feeling patriotic, the Jaguar XJ.

The Jaguar stands out from its German rivals with distinctive styling, and, in its most recent, range-topping form, with driving dynamics and grunt.

I had a trip to forest fire destroyed Portugal to test it out.

Jaguar XJR 575: An engine that growls

The XJ has traditionally been designed to be a relaxing cruiser, capable of chomping up motorway miles whilst also being relaxing around town (mainly for the important people in the rear seats).

But the XJR 575 is a different beast all together – you'll want to drive this one.

The XJ in its current form has been around for seven years now, but the recent XJR 575 comes with upgraded technology, and most dramatically, an upgraded engine.

The 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine produces 575 PS (hence the name) and 700nm of torque, while the Electronic Active Differential offers control of power delivery and maximises traction. 

That growling V8 beneath the hood means the XJR 575 can hit that 186mph top speed in only 44 seconds, and a much more road legal speed of 62 mph in 4.4 seconds.

That's pretty impressive for such a hefty barge, and while it may not be the fastest luxury whip, it's clearly one of the best sounding and a constant source of fun.

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The 575 can handle its weight deftly, with a distinctly sporty edge to its steering and chassis response.

That's in Dynamic mode - switch it into Comfort mode and the XJR 575 offers a much smoother, relaxing ride.

Of course, that supercharged V8 is a lot more thirsty than the hybrid powertrains found in the S-Class, 7 Series and A8. The Jaguar will return 25.5mpg and emit 264g/km of CO2.

It's also not quite as intelligent, with less advanced autonomous features than the previously mentioned cars. Still, it comes with the option of adaptive cruise control, which is one of the most important features, as well as Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist and Driver Condition Monitoring.

Jaguar XJR 575 specs

Model: Jaguar XJR 575
Price: From £93,710
Engine: Supercharged V8 petrol
Power: 553bhp
0-62mph: 4.4 seconds
Top speed: 186mph
Fuel economy: 25.5mpg
Emissions: 264g/km CO2

Jaguar XJR 575: updated interior tech

In this mode, the Jaguar is best enjoyed from the back seats, which have ample legroom and airline-style reclining seats.

But, as we've mentioned before, it's the drivers seat where you'll want to spend most of the time.

The Jag’s cabin has aged well, although it does feel a little more cosy (and as a result, less spacious) than its rivals.

The centre console is filled with buttons where, perhaps, you'd expect a dual-touchscreen (found of the Audi A8, Range Rover, and Velar). It does look dated next to those, but, of course, the lack of a touchscreen could appeal to some more traditional than us.

Sitting atop the centre console is a new, larger 10-inch touchscreen which runs InControl Touch Pro. This comes with full-screen navigation and apps. All the modern stuff you'd expect, basically.

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Scattered throughout the plush cabin are sporty red '575' badges, which denote the specialness of this model.

Jaguar XJR 575 standout design

While the Jaguar might lag in its tech department, it certainly excels in the design department.

While its competitors are boring to look at, the Jaguar is athletic, aggressive, and visually captivating.

The added vents and special badging belies the 575's sporty intent.

The model has two new paint options from the firm's Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division to ensure the XJR575 is more individual than ever, the Velocity Blue, and my personal favourite, Satin Corris Grey (pictured below).

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Other updated details include LED headlights as standard, and unique new double ‘J-Blade’ daytime running lights, and gloss black details. 

Jaguar XJR 575 Verdict 

The Jaguar XJR 575 is tonnes of fun to drive, sounds amazing, and looks much better than its rivals.

Unfortuntely, it's starting to show its age, especially next to the Audi A8 we drove recently. There's less interior tech, less driving tech, and the engine is less efficient.

As a result, the XJR 575 feels a lot more traditional. It's got a certain charm to it, that newer cars a losing. You need to decide what you value most.

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