Jaguar XF Supercharged 2010 - Short Take Road Test

Just a single model year after the new Jaguar XF hit the streets, considerable powertrain improvements have found their way under its shapely hood. The previous 4.2-liter V-8 has disappeared from all but the base XF Luxury model, while the main mill has grown to 5.0 liters, gaining both horsepower and torque in its supercharged and naturally aspirated applications. Beyond uprating the engines, Jag also added the snarly XFR to the mix, creating a sort of intra-model rivalry and relegating the once top-cat XF Supercharged to middle-child status. How does it stack up now?

Something Old, Something New

A 385-hp, naturally aspirated edition of the 5.0 moves the XF Premium with plenty of verve, while a Roots-type supercharger is added to the same 5.0-liter to create the Supercharged and XFR. Equipped with nearly all the same standard baubles, it�s primarily power that separates the latter two models, to the tune of 470 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque in the Supercharged and 510 hp and 461 lb-ft in the XFR. The XFR, of course, gets all the love because of its added grunt. But examine the performance numbers, and a compelling case emerges for the XF Supercharged.

Same Book, New Chapter

Put your right foot to the floor of the Supercharged, and 60 mph comes in just 4.3 seconds, beating the 2009 XF Supercharged by 0.7 second�and tying our best XFR run. The quarter-mile flies by in an XF Supercharged in 12.7 seconds at 112 mph, just one tenth and 4 mph slower than in the XFR. Coming to a halt from 70 mph is accomplished in 159 feet, not only an excellent number on its own, but also identical to big-brother XFR's. Snowy weather didn�t allow for a skidpad run, but with the same Jaguar Adaptive Dynamics and Active Differential Control systems as found in the XFR, we�re confident the Supercharged could come close to�if not outright match�the best we�ve seen from the burlier car, 0.89 g.

But the numbers merely add to the XF story, they don�t rewrite the book. The sultry exterior and executive-grade cabins of non-R XFs basically are the same as those of the 2009 cars; the Supercharged model now gets quad exhaust finishers. The XF�s sheetmetal continues to command double-takes, and wood and leather are spread around the cabin like butter on a crumpet. The painfully slow infotainment system and pop-up gear selector linger as gripe-getters, however. To avoid repeating ourselves, we won�t rehash the rest of the carry-over goodness. But we will reiterate that the car is athletic and very obedient to inputs, and we still love the stellar ride quality and quick shifts delivered by the six-speed automatic, qualities that helped the XF get named to our 2009 10Best Cars list. (Beyond the stellar crop of cars this year, it�s worth noting that the XF didn�t make a repeat 10Best appearance in part because of some quality issues with our long-term 2009 XF Supercharged.)

If the numbers and the style don�t convince you to give the 2010 XF Supercharged some love, how does $12K in savings over an XFR sound? Starting at $68,000�the only option is a $2200 adaptive cruise-control system that you don�t want anyway�the Supercharged model is the bargain of the bunch, delivering most of the performance and panache of the XFR minus some exterior bits and more heavily bolstered seats. Hell, if you want to save even more money, the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter XF Premium is far from slow. Our advice? Never underestimate a middle child�they may not stand out, but they definitely hold the power to surprise.


VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE AS TESTED: $68,000 (base price: $68,000)

ENGINE TYPE: supercharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 305 cu in, 5000cc

Power (SAE net): 470 bhp @ 6000 rpm

Torque (SAE net): 424 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic with manumatic shifting


Wheelbase: 114.5 in Length: 195.3 in

Width: 73.9 in Height: 57.5 in

Curb weight: 4481 lb


Zero to 60 mph: 4.3 sec

Zero to 100 mph: 10.0 sec

Zero to 120 mph: 14.6 sec

Street start, 5�60 mph: 4.9 sec

Standing �-mile: 12.7 sec @ 112 mph

Top speed (governor limited, mfr's claim): 155 mph

Braking, 70�0 mph: 159 ft


EPA city/highway driving: 15/21 mpg

C/D observed: 15 mpg


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