Project XFR: Introduction

ROAD pal, Andy Robinson (who changes his cars more often than any of us at ROAD HQ, good lad!) has ditched his BMW 335i Project car in favour of a cool cat, the new Jaguar XFR… all 503bhp supercharged V8 of it. Good man! This is Andy’s first report, and he’s already been running it up the quarter mile (drag addict that he is!). Top stuff. Follow the cool cat’s progess from wild to savage here on the ROAD website, and on Facebook.

Andy says:

It’s Bye, bye Bavaria……..Hello Kitty! The time came to change the 335i, but whatever next?

I’ve always loved the sound of a V8 and over the many years of car ownership I’ve never actually owned one. ‘This has to change’, I told myself.

Now, the V8 beast choices are a plenty out there, but the shortlist (after much deliberation) came down to just three contenders: Mercedes C63 AMG, BMW M5 and the Jaguar XFR.

The C63 was proving a tough search for the spec. and the novelty of driving sideways would have worn off quite quickly 😉 And, after a test drive in an M5, I came away a little underwhelmed (maybe the 335i left me too accustomed to the marque?).

Then came the cat and all it took was one short test drive in the Jag and I was sold. It really is pure Jekyll and Hyde. Pottering round in ‘Drive’ is smooth and comfortable. And for the (multiple) times when you want to push on there is ‘Active Dynamic’ mode: Push the button and all the little cats claws come to life and make the experience a whole lot sharper, lively and fun – heavier steering, variable locking rear diff, active dampers and quicker gear changes make it super sharp and snappy.

In standard form the car pushes out 503bhp and 461lb/ft of torque from as little as 2500rpm – more than enough to make progress very rapid indeed. And with all this power and torque at hand it would have been rude not find out exactly how quick this car is, so, I did what I do with nearly every car I’ve owned over the last 15 years… take it to the drag strip! (good lad, Ed).

After a few very strange looks and glances (yes, yes, it is a “Jaaaaag” at the strip, and yes, the owner has a screw loose), racing number on, helmet on, away we went. And after a few runs, it became apparent that the (super aggressive launch) human touch was beating the electronic forms of launch and traction control – but the cat still managed a best time of 12.7@122mph. And, for a bog standard car, this is mighty impressive. I might add, that no tyres pressures were altered, although I did do a small burnout to get some heat into the not so sticky Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tyres.

As with all our cars here at ROAD – it won’t stay standard for long. And, following talks with our resident tuning guru (Andy Clark of ACSpeedtech) it appears that there are plenty of tweaks available and extra power should be very easy to come by.

Once the first phase of mods are fitted, we will be reporting back with some results and maybe a few more runs up the strip to see what difference it all makes 😉

Stay tuned! And see more pics on Facebook here.