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New York show: Jaguar XJR pounces in

Kitty’s got claws: Jaguar has fitted a 404kW supercharged V8 to the XJ limo, and it arrives in Australia in the fourth quarter of this year.

Jaguar XJR to get 404kW V8 from XKR-S when it arrives in Oz late this year

21 Mar 2013

JAGUAR has revealed its “most focused, agile and responsive” XJ limousine to date – the XJR – ahead of its global debut at next week’s New York motor show.

Featuring the potent 404kW supercharged V8 from the smaller XFR-S, the hottest XJ variant will join existing ‘R’ versions of the smaller XK and XF in the Jaguar Australia range from the end of 2013.

Expect to see a first local glimpse of the new wildcat at the Australian International Motor Show this June in Melbourne.

According to Jaguar Australia brand manager Mark Eedle, the XJR is as hot as the flagship Jag needs to go, with an even more brutal XJR-S variant made unlikely considering the ‘R’ already uses supercharged V8 from the XFR-S.

“In essence we have delivered an R-S in this car because its got the 550hp (404kW) engine, so it has the engine upgrade that the R-S gets in the XF and XK,” he said.

“We have already been offering the 510hp (375kW) in the (XJ) Supersports over here so we have effectively had the R engine in a guise of XJ, so to release an XJR we obviously have to take a step up from what we already offer and we have been able to do that by putting in the 550hp (404kW) version of the engine.”

The XJR will top the Indian-owned, British-based marque’s local XJ range, supplanting the $320,000 Supersport 5.0 as the flagship. Mr Eedle confirmed that there would naturally be a premium for the XJR, but was unable to divulge an amount.

While performance figures are not yet available, Mr Eedle said that he expected the XJR to better the smaller XFR’s zero to 100km/h sprint time of 4.9 seconds because the larger car is more powerful by 29kW and the fact that is built from light-weight aluminium, as opposed to the XF which is a combination of aluminium and steel.

Images of the XJR reveal a more sporting and aggressive look than the standard XJ, with a similar grille to that of the XFR, but not nearly as wild-looking as the XFR-S with its eye-catching blue hero colour.

The rear-wheel drive sports saloon looks likely to have its local debut at this year’s Australian International Motor Show in June, with Mr Eedle saying “that would be the intention, yes.”

Jaguar global brand director Adrian Hallmark said the XJR will be a welcome addition to the car-maker’s line-up.

“The new XJR epitomises the three pillars of technology, performance and contemporary design which the Jaguar brand stands for in the twenty first century, while delivering new levels of dynamic ability in a luxury saloon,” he said.

Last year, Jaguar sold 60 XJs to be the sixth best-selling upper large car over $100,000 in Australia behind the top-selling BMW 7 Series on 138 units, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Porsche Panamera both with 99 sales, the Audi A8 with 75 sales and Bentley with 65 units shifted.

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