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2011 Jaguar XF Performance

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Performance
Stealthy, gripping performance is the XF's calling card. That said, the XF's powertrain itself is sneaky. This year even the base-model 2011 Jaguar XF gets a 385-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8, while the high-performance XFR and XF Supercharged models get a 5.0-liter supercharged V-8—making 470 hp in the Supercharged and 510 hp in the XFR.

A sole six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters works with all three engines, rocketing the XFR to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds, while even the standard XF can get to 60 in 5.5 seconds. Both of the supercharged models top out at 155 mph.

The rear-drive XF simply gets better with each step up the performance ladder. Despite an almost supercar-like thrust on tap, powertrains are deceptively smooth; the Jaguar XFR feels like an entirely civil car—until you open the throttle and access its full potential. The six-speed automatic transmission that's offered throughout the lineup—operated through a unique dial on the center console, and with steering-wheel paddle-shifters—offers smooth, perfectly muted shifts during relaxed driving but changes personality on full throttle, seemingly making the most of the engine's powerband.

Erase all those stodgy expectations of how a Jaguar performs; the 2011 Jaguar XF is a serious sport sedan, and the supercharged, 510-horsepower Jaguar XFR brings this Jaguar lineup into cheetah territory.

Light, direct steering and capable brakes add up to a joyful driving experience, and with 20-inch tires and electronic systems like Active Differential Control and Adaptive Dynamics shuffling power between the rear wheels and adjusting suspension and steering firmness, the 5,000-pound Jaguar XF out-nimbles some of the less weighty sedans in its class. The steering feels just firm enough in corners—and is weighted perfectly.

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