New R model likely to be pinnacle of XJ range image

Jaguar is unlikely to stretch the performance capabilities of its flagship XJ saloon beyond the new 545bhp R model unveiled at the New York show.

“We are in discussions about what the XJ stands for, but we also have to protect the brand equity, ” said global product marketing director Steven de Ploey. “There are no plans for an XJR-S. The XJ is a performance luxury car rather than a luxury performance car.
There is an important difference between the two. With the R we are already on a par with the (Mercedes S-Class) AMG and have best-in-class acceleration and top speed.”

The with 0-60mph acceleration in less than 4.5seconds.

But it has more up its sleeve that greater straight-line speed and acceleration, says de Ploey.

“We have significantly stepped up the dynamic capabilities of the car in every way,” he claims. “In the past we have maybe retreated a bit too much from our sporting heritage.
For the XJR Not a single portion of the drivetrain and chassis was left untouched. Many of the things we learned came from the development of the F-type.”

Traditionally, the R model takes only 3% of XJ sales, though this rises to 10% in some regions, but the halo effect it has on the rest of the range cannot be under-estimated, says de Ploey.

“In the majority of markets the XJR will be an incremental model,” he added.
“We will be retaining the Supersport and adding the XJR. But in some markets the R will be substituting for the Supersport. It will be a local market decision.”

text: Headline Auto