What is it?
A facelifted version of Jaguar’s 543bhp XJR. Outside of some minor cosmetic and equipment tweaks, including a more modern infotainment system, the key update is the addition of electronic power assistance to the steering.
Jaguar says the conventional hydraulic rack, which previously featured in the XJ and XJR, had: “reached the limits of its potential.” That might sound like an odd statement, given that all you want is to have the rack communicate your inputs to the front wheels and deliver appropriate feedback, but then a lot more is expected from cars these days.
Consequently, fitting electromechanical power assistance grants two benefits: an an improvement in efficiency and the ability to support more advanced driver assistance systems that require steering control.
There are fewer parasitic losses with an EPAS system, which Jaguar claims can reduce fuel consumption by up to 3%. A moot point for most considering cars in this class, perhaps, but for a manufacturer those minor improvements can add up quickly.
In an effort to quell those concerned about its fitment, the company is also keen to stress that the system responds and feels far better than the previous hydraulic set-up did. We've always liked the way the XJ and XJR drive, so hopefully its fine handling hasn't been affected.
One thing the XJR never lacked was power, however, which is why you’ll find the supercharged all-aluminium 5.0-litre V8 unchanged. It still churns out a stout 543bhp and 503lb ft, allowing the XJR to sprint from 0-60mph in 4.4sec.