Whitley, West Midlands - Since the 1950s Jaguar has prided itself on cars with grace, space and pace; now it has added more pace to the grace and space of its XJ sedan with the 2018 XJR575 performance flagship model.
And yes, it has exactly what it says on the label: 575 horses (423kW) and 700Nm of five-litre supercharged V8 power - an 18kW improvement on the the outgoing 405kW version. That’s good enough for a claimed 0-100km/h blast-off in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 300km/h.
It’s available, as befits the quickest of the four-door Big Cats, in standard-wheelbase format only, and comes with a special front bumper, bonnet louvres, side skirts, rear spoiler, special badging and 20 inch Farallon gloss-black wheels over red painted brake callipers, in your choice of two special colours, not offered on any other Jaguar: Velocity Blue and Satin Grey.
There’s more special branding inside, on the sill plates and seats, which are trimmed with diamond-quilted leather in your choice of black on black or ivory on black.
More intelligent safety features
Not just the XJR but all the XJ derivatives get a number of technology upgrades for 2018 that enhance connectivity with 4G Wi-Fi, capable of handling up to eight devices at a time.
A bigger, 25cm touchscreen on the centre stack lets you pinch and zoom when you’re using satellite navigation and make you own homepages for your favourite features.
New safety kit includes autonomous emergency braking, which operates from 5-60km/h, using a forward-facing stereo digital camera to spot hazards - including pedestrians - and automatically applying brakes when it detects the the risk of a collision.
The 2018 Jaguar XJ range, including the new XJR575, will be released in South Africa late in 2017; pricing will be announced closer to the local launch.