So what’s this then?
Probably the definitive way of making a labrador vomit, this is Jaguar’s offering in the 186mph hyper-estate sector, the XFR-S Sportbrake.
However, while this specific model is stealing the headlines for the Geneva Motor Show, Jaguar is also updating the entire XF range for the 2015 model year. It’s not much more than a facelift – the second in the model’s 6 year life – but then the XF is really rather good as things stand anyway.
What powers it?
Out at the front is the same engine that already powers the XFR-S and XKR-S – a five litre V8 petrol, spurred on to 550hp by means of a very large supercharger indeed. In the saloon, this is good enough for a 4.4s sprint to 60mph but the slightly weightier estate is pencilled in at 0.2s slower. The prodigious power on tap means the Sportbrake will continue to accelerate to a limited 186mph top speed (300km/h), but we’d estimate it’d hit just over 195mph with the limiter removed.
Of course you’re not going to see terrific fuel economy from this rocketship engine and a car that weighs over two tonnes – Jaguar’s figures are 22.2mpg combined, but our experience in the XFR-S saloon last year didn’t get over 15mpg according to the on board computer. This gives it a carbon dioxide rating of 297g/km, comfortably into the top VED bracket to cost you 490 a year – and 1,065 for the first 12 months.
How much will it cost me?
Well… it’s 82,495.
That’s a whopping 30,000 more than any other model in the XF Sportbrake range, but only a 3,000 premium over the XFR-S saloon. Considering the rear suspension is bespoke for the model – as the standard XFR-S suspension isn’t beefy enough for the extra weight and the Sportbrake suspension won’t cope with the power – that’s not an unreasonable sum. You’ll be able to order yours from April 1st, along with the rest of the MY2015 updated XF range.
Having driven the XFR-S and the slightly slower XFR (0.3s slower to 60mph) a month apart last year, I’d have to say the lesser car is my preferred choice – being almost as fast but riding much better. As far as we’re aware, there are no plans for the XFR to make its way over to the Sportbrake body, which is a pity.
The XFR is also 14,500 cheaper, so an XFR Sportbrake could be the thinking man’s wallet-friendly practical performance car. Pretty please, Jaguar?
You might imagine that the 300km/h prestige performance estate sector was somewhat slim pickings, but there are alternatives here.
Long the benchmark of this class is Audi’s RS6 Avant. Its 560hp turbocharged V8 and 4WD system gives it the performance edge on the Jaguar and it slightly undercuts it too at 77k – but beware that notorious options list when comparing like for like.
Elsewhere there’s the Mercedes E63 AMG. That also has 560hp like the Audi but is RWD like the Jaguar and makes a good rival, having the biggest boot of the three. It also comes in an S trim with nearly 590hp for 86k. Sadly the third big name of the group – the BMW M5 – has been ruled out for an estate body this generation.
In a line…
All the car you’d ever need – if you can afford it.