In AMG-esque fashion, the thing is just a brute. Mashing the throttle from a standstill will smoke the rear tires for a split second before the active diff hooks up and launches you off the line. I couldn't stop doing it, it's just so much damn fun. Surrounding traffic seems to fall away like wind-blown leaves.
So it's fast. Even better, it's damn comfortable. The cabin is very well appointed and seems cosseting and inviting in a way many German cars simply are not. It may come down to the little touches, like the ignition button that pulses red like a heartbeat, or the way the rotary gear selector rises into your palm and the vents roll up and open. As though the car is actually aware of your presence: Hello sir, nice to see you again. Let's haul some ass, shall we?
And running up through the twisty bits the XFR remains poised and confident. It feels heavy, sure, because it is, but because of that fact the way it rails around bends sort of boggles the mind. Turning the drive selector one click past D puts you in S sport mode, and the transmission will wind closer to redline under acceleration and hold higher revs off-throttle for more spirited driving. Or you can just shift it yourself using the wheel-mounted shift paddles. Despite the fact that it's a true automatic, the gear changes are about as fast as they come.
Overall, it's a firebreathing, tire-shredding conveyance that remains comfortable and welcoming enough for your mom to drive.
2010 Jaguar XFR
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
5.0-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve, supercharged
Peak Power: 510 hp @ 6000 rpm
Peak Torque: 461 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm
0-62 mph: 4.7 sec.
Top Speed: 155 mph (limited)
Fuel Economy: 15/21 (city/hwy)
To add a little personal flavor to our Targa coverage, we decided to pick one car from each leg of the rally that really stood out from the rest. Sort of as a representative of the kind of stuff you can expect to see on the events. For leg one, we chose Joey Seely's '85 Porsche 911 Carrera. It was one of the few vintage Euros that came out, is in beautiful shape, and since Seeley is one of the proprietors of BBI Autosport in Huntington Beach, Calif., it's been set up to run. It was reportedly hanging with a Pratt & Miller Corvette C6RS and a tuned-up C63 AMG in the twisties. And somehow we believe it. Look out for a feature in an upcoming issue.