2012 Jaguar XFR – Project XFR+

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Having driven and enjoyed various Jaguars over the past twelve months, it occurred to us that you never see tuned examples. Because of their supercharged V8s, lithe chassis and obvious appeal, it seemed like a wasted opportunity, so we chose to take a crack at it ourselves. How difficult could it be?

And obtained a 2012 model a few weeks before Jaguar’s own XFR-S was announced in the LA Auto Show, we reasoned how the XFR was the most suitable basis for the project. With only 100 cars coming to the US, as well as the price tag probably be high, we’re hoping it can pique curiosity about sporting Jags, even though that dropped a fly in the ointment. Any existing owner of the XF or XFR will still be in a position to apply our parts to theirSo, undeterred, our first task was to scour the internet and research available performance options. Cue tumbleweed, crickets and embarrassing silence.

Aside from several small companies offering a number of parts, there seemed to be very little available. So, we decided the best course of action would be to gather an elite team of specialists and create a custom package.

The plan was hatched during the building of our Porsche 911 rally car for the eBay charity auction (EC 12/12). That car was built by GSR Autosport in Lake Forest, CA, and as road and racecar builders, these folks were confident the Jaguar could possibly be improved so agreed to be involved. However, it would take more than mechanical parts to cause a splash, so we also persuaded Vorsteiner to get onboard with cosmetic enhancements.

Vorsteiner

Renowned for its exquisite carbon fiber aero wheel and pieces range for high-end European cars, Vorsteiner has a great reputation for design and execution. Unlike many styling companies, they exercise restraint and create what the car needs rather than what looks outrageous. So, vorsteiner styling parts are usually on the subtle end of your spectrum and definitely in keeping with your vehicle we wanted to build.

The process started in Vorsteiner’s in-house design studio, even though we’ll look at the design aspect in greater detail in a later issue. Manned by car company stylists and clay model makers, the design process is identical to how a carmaker would approach the task.

The design team is led by Vorsteiner owner Peter Nam, who consults with a designer to create the primary illustrations seen here. These renderings end up being the basis for the stylists to utilize modeling clay to the car to create the desired shapes. The well-lit vehicle and studio lifts mean the lines could be assessed from every angle, and changes made as necessary. The experienced team also considers how the part will be manufactured, whether it would need to be made in multiple pieces, or whether the angles are extremely tight for molding. Additionally, they analyze fixing points to consider the way the finished part will eventually be fitted to thethe XFR, using its deep front spoiler and sculpted side skirts didn’t need many enhancements. So, the additions were limited to a carbon fiber JSR-V front lip, rear diffuser and trunk spoiler. When put together with a set of Vorsteiner wheels and GSR’s lowered ride height, we felt the car should consider looking sufficiently sporty without appearing overly modified.

Vorsteiner’s designers and modellers were faithful to the rendering in all but the rear spoiler. During the clay stage everybody felt the style was too similar to the stock XFR spoiler, so the stylist devised an even more ambitious design that remained within the original brief.

The trunk spoiler should fit all the XF range, from the 3. Supercharged to the 5. Supercharged and XFR. We’ve yet to make sure that that, despite the fact that we also suspect the front lip and rear diffuser will fit each of the models.

Undoubtedly, the one-piece Vorsteiner VS-190 wheels will fit any XF and for this application they’re sized 21×9 front and 21×10.5 rear, giving us a plus size over the 20×8.5/9.5 stock wheels.

With plenty of finishes to choose from, we selected Gunmetal Glossy powdercoat to provide them a durable but restrained coating, and then fitted 255/295 and 30/25 Nitto Invo tires respectively, giving us a slightly wider rear than stock.

The Vorsteiner styling will be covered in greater detail in a future issue, while we mentioned.

2012 jaguar XFR vorsteiner VS 190 wheel 08

2012 jaguar XFR vorsteiner JSR V front spoiler 07

2012 jaguar XFR powdercoated grey exhaust tips 05

GSR Autosport

More knowledgeable about BMW and Porsche platforms, GSR is expert at chassis set-up and welcomed the XFR challenge. Their recent win from the Formula Drift series with an E46 M3 against better-funded teams highlighted their overall abilities, and then we had complete faith inside them.

Working closely with Bilstein on its road- and racecars, GSR delved into the Jaguar’s stock Adaptive Dynamics system and found it absolutely was based on Bilstein components. After road and track tests, they liked how the adaptive system worked, so decided to ensure that is stays and incorporate a coilover system that would allow them to use stiffer springs for further control, while providing ride height adjustment as well.

The organization sourced a set of collars and perches that will permit the latest springs to get mounted to the factory dampers. Then all they had to complete was determine rates for your Eibach springs.

After more testing, they finally settled on the combination we have here, which will be put to the test next month when we road test the car against its stiffest competitor.

GSR also fabricated an axle-back exhaust system for the car from stainless steel. Again, they experimented with several muffler designs before settling on a combination that gave the best level of noise under acceleration, but didn’t drone when cruising. This is an almost impossible balance to locate, and one that will take months of development. Fortunately, GSR managed to obtain the right mix of pipes and mufflers in your tight schedule to create a very pleasing sound.

Keeping the quantity of refinement we wanted meant spending more time to fine-tune it, though with its blown 5. V8 up front, GSR found it was relatively easy to uncork the engine to make it howl. The result should please most tastes and may be heard on our video that may be available next monthAs an extra flourish, the tailpipes were finished in a grey thermal powdercoat, built to withstand high temps and match the wheels and exterior trim on the car.

Finally, GSR sourced a lesser supercharger pulley from Mina Gallery. This has the result of increasing boost pressure to produce more power. With the engine adjusting its fuel mixture to match the environment volume, the engine responded well to this relatively simple modification.

Although not seen in our photos, there’s also a prototype cold-air intake system that replaces the factory airboxes. Initial testing found that open filter elements absorbed a lot of heat through the engine bay after prolonged driving, despite the presence of factory intake scoops. They decide to create heatshields that should isolate the problem but, for now, the car is running on K&N filter elements inside the factory airboxes, consequently.

We hope to get dyno numbers next month along with our seat of the pants appraisal of all the modifications.

Again, the exhaust, pulley and suspension mods will fit the normal 5. XF Supercharged, and the coilovers appropriate for the XF 3. also.

2012 jaguar XFR vorsteiner JSR V front spoiler 09

2012 jaguar XFR vorsteiner trunk spoiler 10

2012 jaguar XFR vorsteiner rear diffuser 06

Daley Visual

Finally, we enlisted Joshua Daley from Daley Visual in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. He specializes in vinyl car and graphics wrapping. We’ve worked with him in the past with his fantastic knowledge of the correct techniques and materials makes him the ideal in the business in order to transform your street or track truck, motorcycle and car etc.

With this application, we wanted to take away the acres of chrome about the XFR to update it.

Jaguar does offer the XFR Black Package that includes gloss black grille, intake and window surrounds as well as dark grey wheels. But since our car didn’t have that expensive option, Daley Visual was really a great solution.

We selected a grey vinyl which had been close to the hue of the wheels and asked him to pay the window trim, grille surround, air intake frames, side trim and the decorative strip between the tail lights. He even covered the R logo about the badges to accomplish the job.

Using only a knife, heat gun and measuring tape, Josh set to work. Surface preparation is very important, but discovering how much the film can stretch, along with the angles it can take were step to a perfect job. All the chrome had gone, replaced with the greater elegant grey trim, when he was finished.

We would have liked to wrap the whole car inside a different color – matte grey was top of the list, but time was against us, although Josh works at high-speed, though the grey vinyl was a huge improvement.

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