2015 Jaguar XFR-S, headlight, wheel, dashboard. Click image to enlarge
Review and photos by Jacob Black
We don’t crawl through this traffic jam – we prowl. Hunkered low, the engine emits faint-but-threatening sounds as the Jaguar XFR-S’s strong hindquarters remain fettered. Its wide, muscular body strides from one stop to the other, each fleeting moment of acceleration dispatched with the rapid impatience of a cat’s flicking tail.
Together, we stalk the exit, creeping across the lanes, slowly, deliberately, hiding between the choked-up lines of traffic – this isn’t even the exit we want. It doesn’t lead me home but there is nobody taking this exit. There is a long sweeping arc waiting at the end of that unused slip lane, a barrier protects it from last-minute lane switchers.
Closer, we creep; gurgle, burble, grunt. Patiently we wait, hunkered down, two hands on the wheel, two fingers poised on the paddle that will shift me down to first gear, right foot hovering over the pedal, barely breathing on it as the supercharged 5.0L idles us forward. We’re at the opening, the broken white line appears alongside and we slide over, still prowling, still waiting – who knows who might see the prize we see. Traffic is skittish when it’s trapped and we don’t want anybody diving into our lane, we have plans for this lane.
The barrier gets closer; once we’re alongside it, no more lane jumpers, no more danger, just one lane. Our lane.
My left hand pulls back on the paddle, my right foot drops and the rear tires light up underneath me, the Jaguar squirms for a millisecond and then hooks up, the barrier is a blur now, so too the stagnant pool of trucks and buses and cars to my left. The corner is approaching and I’m pinned back to my seat. The corner’s upon us, I look to the right, stab the brake to load up the front and turn in. The Jaguar obliges, tipping in quickly and holding its line until I accelerate once more, again the back breaks traction, but only briefly, and now I’m back hard on the anchors for the impending red light.
Now I understand why nobody took this exit. It leads nowhere really. I am forced to double back, to rejoin the sardine throng creeping back across town. It takes me longer to rejoin than it did to exit and my detour costs me 20 minutes in the end.
Every moment of unbridled driving in the 2015 Jaguar XFR-S is as precious as a long kiss from my wife. To settle back in the deeply bolstered, red-lined seats, to grip the thick wide wheel, to feel the final detent in the pedal give way under your foot – this is pure driving pleasure.