What's it like?
We had just three laps of the Silverstone track in which to find out whether the addition of electronic power steering had tainted the XJR. Fortunately, however, it was immediately clear that it hasn't detracted from the Jaguar's driver appeal at all.
There's plenty of weight to the steering, and that weight builds progressively as the speeds and angle increases. It's got a slick, smooth action to it, making it easy to adjust, and you're further kept involved by a plentiful amount of feedback. You're ever conscious of the sheer mass of the otherwise agile Jaguar, but it rarely feels as weighty from the behind the wheel as the numbers suggest it might.
The XJR is also still a deceptively fast car, especially once moving. The supercharged V8's substantial urge means that 30mph-80mph takes seemingly no time at all, and it continues to pull with conviction deep into triple figures.
Strong brakes with good pedal feel make it quick and easy to then bleed off that speed, while the Jaguar's firm suspension keeps the body in check through the corners. The eight-speed automatic does a fine job on track, too, changing gears quickly when manually commanded and rarely getting flustered during more aggressive driving.
All in, it's a satisfying and confidence-inspiring car to drive fast, further aided by elements such as an easily modulated throttle and switchable stability modes that allow a modicum of oversteer while retaining an electronic safety net.
The XJR's engine is still a bit quiet, though, and the option of a louder exhaust system would be appreciated. There's still no ancillary instrumentation either, so you can't view boost pressure or other readouts you might consider relevant.
Inside, it's much the same as before, but the new InControl Touch Pro media system is a significant step up in both functionality and quality. The cabin and kit is still not on a par with an Audi or Mercedes-Benz, though, but it's a step in the right direction.
The seats offer a lot of support - on our brief track blast at least - while a wide range of adjustments make it easy to find your preferred driving position. It's still not particularly spacious in the back, though, which is a shame given the car's overall size.
Should I buy one?
The Jaguar remains a good choice for those seeking a powerful luxury saloon that feels great from behind the wheel. That said, it'd be a close-run thing between this and a new Audi S8, particularly in Plus specification.
For one thing, the Audi offers a finer finish and a more modern feel. Many would also likely appreciate the tractability offered by its four-wheel drive system, which makes it far more docile in poorer conditions. It's also quicker from 0-60mph, although not as engrossing to drive as the XJR. Maximum involvement or a better overall package? You choose.
If the likes of the Mercedes-AMG S63 had been on your radar, however, then the Jaguar has one key card to play: value. It's a substantial £29,935 less than the S63, which may make it far more worthy of consideration.