Can you imagine a bipedal big feline? We know it’s a bit complicated, but this is how Jaguar started out in life... as a motorcycle company. The first steps were made in the early twenties. and it took the company more than a decade to find its name. The strong genes we see in Jaguar’s current DNA date back from the post WWII era, when the company really started running.
After the war, the Brits’ first step in the medium saloon class was the Mark I, which also brought the unibody construction to a Jaguar-badged car for the first time. This was followed by the Mark II, which built on its assets, adding extra values in many areas. The catmaker subsequently introduced the original S-Type, a more sophisticated Mark II, with the two vehicles being sold alongside each other.
In 1969, Jaguar decided to hit the pause button for this class, subsequently only relying on its large saloons to cater for its space-needing customer’s transportation needs. The pause button was pressed for 30 years, with the return of the big cat to this segment being delayed until 1999, when the S-Type, which was inspired from the Mark I and Mark II’s styling cues, came to the market.
By the time Jaguar had been taken over by Tata Motors (there you go, we introduced Tata), the company wanted to show a new identity to the world and the luxury medium segment was the weapon of choice for this. Thus, the Jaguar XF was born. Actually, the vehicle was previewed by the C-XF concept in 2007, one year before its debut.
We were curious to see where so many years of evolution have brought Jag’s middle fighter, so we decided to invite the XF to our “test drive” section. We couldn’t resist the temptation of choosing the XFR incarnation of the vehicle, with the selection also being a sign of respect to the supercharged engine species, which is on its way to becoming an endangered one nowadays.
So, climb inside the medium feline and fasten your seatbelts - let's see just how special this ride is.
Before we start, we have to mention that Jaguar has a sweet spot for the XFR, as it used the car to achieve its personal speed record. Back in 2009, an XFR protoype, which had received certain tweaks, but was not that far off from the road-going model, managed to clock 225.675mph (363.188 km/h) at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah - can you belive the production XFR respects the German 155 mph top speed Gentlemens' Agreement? Anyway, we must set off now...