Jaguar XJ Supersport review

We drive the super new Jaguar XJ saloon in high performance V8 Supersport form. It's a brilliant driver's car

Evo rating
Price
from £87,455
  • An extraordinary driver's car
  • You might not like the looks

What is it? Jaguar’s brand new, all-aluminium, top of the range saloon in its sportiest trim – the short wheelbase chassis with the 503bhp supercharged petrol V8. It'll set you back £87,455. Technical highlights?Despite being much bigger, more spacious and more imposing than the XFR, with which it shares its supercharged V8 and six-speed ZF automatic gearbox, the XJ Supersport weights just one kilogram more. That’s the benefit of building in aluminium (the XF is steel). Like the XFR, the sportiest XJ also has an active limited slip diff and adaptive damping, and also features novel virtual instruments.  What’s it like to drive?Extraordinary. It looks like a limo, even with its standard 20in rims, and it’s luxurious inside, yet it drives like a much smaller, lighter saloon. First thing you notice is how light on its feet the XJ feels, then how swiftly and strongly it responds to the throttle. Asked to guess you’d put its mass at around 1400kg, and you’d be about 500kg out. Best of all, the dynamics back up this feeling. There’s a wonderfully clear and detailed feel to the way the XJ tackles a road, the steering bright, the car’s reactions crisp, its balance comfortable, easy, better even than an XFR’s. It’s a great driver’s car that happens to be a limo as well.   How does it compare?There are other big saloons that feel sporty and have great composure but few feel as wholly sorted and multi-faceted as the Jaguar. It has the Maserati Quattroporte’s engagement and balance, the Porsche Panamera’s pace, the Audi A8’s integrity and carries it all off with its own style (its interior is especially handsome). It’s a remarkable car.  Anything else I need to know?The diesels will be the biggest sellers, no question, and they’re very good. But beware: once you’ve had a good go in the supercharged Supersport there’s no going back.

Specifications

EngineV8, 5000cc, supercharged
Max power503bhp @ 6000rpm
Max torque461lb ft @ 2500-5500rpm
0-604.9sec (claimed 0-62mph)
Top speed155mph (limited)
On saleNow, £87,455

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