Last month we introduced our latest project: Before Jaguar announced its very own XFR-S with the LA Auto Show, the Jaguar XFR; a build we commenced only weeks.
Undeterred, our plan was to create a super sedan we’d call the XFR that can take on the ideal in the segment, and give existing XF owners some aftermarket options for their highly capable cars. With only 100 examples of the XFR-S arriving at the US, the majority of Jag owners will never see one of these simple rare and elusive cats, yet our tuning parts will be applicable to every XF model, in a single form or other.
When embarking on the project with GSR Vorsteiner and Autosport, it was always our goal to one day compare it to the mighty BMW M5. The German four-door helped define what a sports sedan should be and still sets the benchmark.
Starting this comparison test, we wanted our plucky Brit to do well but knew it was an overwhelming challenge, so we’re still slightly shell-shocked by the result that saw the Jag not only hold its own but come out at the top in certain key areas.
Sharing driving duties would be Michael Essa from GSR Autosport. Professional drift racer and co-owner of GSR Autosport, he was as curious as us to discover whether the Jag had what it took to depose the king, as an accomplished track driver. Would it stand an opportunitybecame a rolling laboratory for both GSR and Vorsteiner. Michael’s company would create a coilover suspension system to the car, based upon the Jaguar’s standard adaptive Bilstein damping system and adding Eibach springs on adjustable perches. They also fitted a smaller supercharger pulley to enhance the boost pressure, and looked at the exhaust system and intake to aid breathing.
While we ran out from time to fully develop the prototype intake, the XFR sported GSR’s custom stainless steel axle-back exhaust system, that might let this Jaguar roar and growl.
For Vorsteiner’s part, they designed and created a carbon fiber front lip, rear spoiler and diffuser. We may also improveBrowse the video at europeancarweb.com
The final alteration came thanks to Daley Visual, which wrapped the acres of chrome in grey vinyl to increase emphasize the sporting credentials our Jag now possessed.
Wearing its battle armor, the first meeting of these deadly foes saw a decisive victory to the XFR. It was the Battle of Britain all over again, with all the Germans underestimating the will to win.
When the two cars met at 5am in a deserted gas station, the luminescent lighting would shine brightest about the Jaguar. Since the notorious Bangle-designed BMWs hit the streets, the company’s design language has been challenging to many eyes. A few of the convex curves and sharp lines are still an acquired taste, although admittedly, the latest generations will be more handsome.
The F10 model may also be probably the most conservative M5s. There are few additional bulges or extra spoilers across a stock 5 Series, relying instead on badges and jewelry to tell apart it from lesser models.
Conversely, the Jaguar XF is one of the most elegant sedans on the market. Its athletic proportions and sleek lines giving the company a design direction that moves forward, instead of continually looking back.
The R model is again only subtly different from regular XFs, however those changes are more dramatic and leave little doubt concerning this car’s intentions. Along with our embellishments laid on theWith its carbon spoilers, lower suspension, wider stance and wrapped brightwork, the Italian Racing Red Jaguar was instantly appealing, receiving all the comments from fellow motorists while they wiped the sleep off their eyes, appearing to wonder why these sedans were lurking beneath the lights at such an ungodly hour.
The Vorsteiner formula had again worked its magic. With the help of just the right quantity of muscle in exactly the right places, our Jaguar became available punching similar to a pro.
If we’d also dressed the BMW M5 in Vorsteiner’s latest carbon fiber pieces and plus-sized wheels, the points scoring might have been slightly different, but it would remain a victory to the Jag, to become fair. Stock or modified, it’s a much more attractive car.
2012 jaguar XFR vorsteiner JSR V carbon fiber front lip 02
2012 jaguar XFR vorsteiner carbon rear diffuser 04
2012 jaguar XFR vorsteiner carbo JSR V trunk spoiler 06
While we always expected the XFR to win the visual contest, we knew it would be a different story on the streets. With its torquey, 560hp V8 biturbo motor, adjustable multi and suspension-stage traction control among its many weapons, the M5 is virtually over-equipped. Add the optional six-speed manual transmission fitted to our test car, and we couldn’t picture the Jaguar enjoyed a hope in hell.
From this point we expected to be explaining just how the Jaguar put up a good fight but was simply overwhelmed. But hang on a minute… the result wasn’t clear-cut. This fight would go down to the wire.
What surprised us most when swapping between the cars was the Jag’s composure. It was able to shine a totallyI will honestly say I was initially confused with the M5’s behavior. At first I assumed something was wrong using the car. But as we became more conscious of each car’s strengths, it was actually apparent the pupil was teaching the master.
During our morning canyon driving exercise – a challenging environment for such large, heavy and powerful machines – the XFR would leap out of each corner. It’s Eaton supercharger giving instant torque and allowing it to gain a few yards on the M5. This had the effect of making the M5 feel as if it had turbo lag, taking longer for your twin-turbos to spool up. It was something neither Michael nor I had previously experienced in the wheel in the F10 M5, but there it was.., because i mentioned.
Conversely, as the Jag’s 5.0L V8 began to run out of puff at higher revs, the topTapered off at the top-end, though this trait was highlighted in our dyno tests, in which the smaller supercharger pulley fitted by GSR gave the 510hp 5.0L V8 Jaguar engine an extra 20hp at the wheels throughout the rev range. Ideally, it needs software tuning or bigger injectors to get more power at high revs, but for our purposes it was sufficiently strong.
Both cars had enormously powerful brakes, allowing them to scrub speed for the tight turns effortlessly. Again, the Jag pedal felt a little bit more reassuring but neither car was compromised in this area. However, the Jag’s slightly slower steering meant its corner turn-in was effortless, creating a graceful arc. Whereas, the previously stunning M5 did actually want to turn-at the begining of and needed mid-corner correction. Its quicker steering caused it to be fussy from theits very own. On these roads, the XFR was easier to drive quickly, and much more relaxing to do so, even though driven on a racetrack, the M5’s power advantage and superior traction control system would undoubtedly allow it to pull ahead.
We were even surprised by the Jaguar’s six-speed automatic transmission. Our 2012 car pre-dates the latest eight-speed ZF automatic, which is the best in the market and commonly used. As a result, we assumed it would struggle inside our test although the paddles responded to aggressive downshifts, or selected the following cog with haste. And while it wasn’t as quick several dual-clutch set-ups, it didn’t detract from the experience either, suiting the XFR’s more relaxed demeanor.
So, the modifications we’d installed were definitely playing their part. The lower center of gravity and stiffer spring rates from GSR had reduced body roll, giving the vehicle more poise. The extra boost pressure in the smaller supercharger pulley have also been allowing it to have aWe’ve left the very best until the end, however: The GSR steel exhaust. Driven gently, or when cruising on the freeway, you had no indication in the joy that will be unleashed at wide-open throttle. Again, its stock exhaust unfairly handicapped the M5 but we advise you to look at our online video to hear the glorious engine note from the XFR . It made your spine tingle, especially bouncing from the canyon walls in the crisp morning air. You’d hear the V8 several corners before it emerged, and also the sound would reverberate round the rock face, leaving our entire crew grinning.
Our two tuning partners came up trumps, building a package for your XFR that’s put it comparable to one of the best super sedans in the business on extremely demanding roads. And as we examined last month, many of these parts will fit other XF models from the range.
On our drive home, the two M5 and XFR returned to their default mode as highly capable high-speed transport, with little to choose subjectively between them. So if you’re looking for a new or used sports sedan and want something different from the mainstream, we’ve hopefully given you some more reasons to placed the Jaguar XFR on your list alongside its German counterparts.