The XJR575 was formerly just known as the ‘XJR’ but has had its name changed as part of Jaguar’s range-wide updates for this year, to include the power output in the name of its cars.
The most notable difference under the skin is the increase in power, up from 542bhp to 567bhp.
Otherwise, changes have been kept to a minimum. You get some special 575 details such as treadplates, seats and dashboard – just to remind you that you are in something quite special. You also get some fresh colours – satin Corris Grey and Velocity Grey – which we love.
The only other changes are those that also affect the whole of the XJ range, including a 10-inch touchscreen and upgraded safety technology, including lane-keeping assist, autonomous emergency braking and a tiredness monitor.
This is the XJR575’s centrepiece, a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 that has been used thoroughly by both Jaguar and Land Rover over the years. In its latest iteration, it pushes out a fearsome 567bhp.
It has a top speed of 186mph and accelerates from 0-60mph in just 4.2 seconds. While it’s quick, it’s not quite as quick as the BMW M760Li that manages the same dash half a second quicker.
A relentless surge is supplied by 700Nm of torque - and it sounds incredible.
Ride and handling
Surprisingly for a car of this size, the XJR575 is a superb handler. Despite being 5.1 metres long, the steering is pinpoint accurate making it very fun to pilot down narrow country roads, just like we encountered on our Portuguese test route. Its smooth power also avoids unnecessary wheel spin, although of course you can do some great ‘elevens’ if you are feeling childish, and on private roads, of course.
Its aluminium construction makes it light for its size, too. It’s 300kg lighter than its German rivals and really not much portlier than the smaller XF. This lightness really helps when it comes to the handling stakes - it feels so much more like a hot hatch in its agility than its rivals do.
Yet, it will happily act as a superb motorway cruiser, being every bit as refined as the standard XJ. The somewhat firm ride does let the side down, though, as nearly every bump is felt in the cabin, despite the comfortable and supportive seats.
Interior and equipment
Inside, it is instantly recognisable as a Jaguar. You get its trademark ‘eyeball’ air vents and curves across the dash and doors.
While everything is of a good quality, the infotainment system is the only exception. It’s not as good to use as its rivals’ systems and is lacking on the connectivity front, not even featuring Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, which even a lot of superminis now feature. The layout is also not perfect, and not quite what you expect when you’re paying this much for a car.
The rear space is also not as good as you would think, unless you choose the long wheel-base car. Although, at least the chauffeur up front will be happy, with perfectly sculpted seats, an F-Type lookalike steering wheel and plenty of room.
As for the spec, it’s just as well-equipped as you would hope. There’s a raft of safety kit, 360-degree parking sensors and a rear-facing camera, park assist, lane-departure warning, blind spot assist and autonomous emergency braking.
You also get Jaguar’s InControl infotainment system that includes a 10-inch touchscreen and satellite navigation as standard.
Running costs probably aren’t at the top of your agenda if you can afford an XJR575, but all that performance does come at a premium. While Jaguar claims the XJR575 can achieve 25.5mpg on the combined cycle, in normal driving you would struggle to get 20mpg and even worse if you are pushing it. You’re also looking at a pretty high tax bracket with hefty emissions of 264g/km of CO2.
While the XJR575 seems expensive at £93,710, it is actually very well priced considering how much its rivals from Mercedes and BMW cost. The Mercedes-AMG S63 costs £124,955 and the BMW M760Li costs even more at £132,310. So, if you compare it that way, the XJR575 is nearly £40,000 cheaper than the BMW, and begins to look very good value.
While the XJR575 is a bit of an oddball choice for those after a super saloon, it offers everything its rivals do, at a considerably lower price. It offers incredible performance, looks amazing and is fabulous to drive. While its infotainment system and rear seats let the side down slightly, it is otherwise fantastic.