It's a wonderfully bonkers cargo-carrying V8-powered feline.
Wagons are dead. Crossovers, hatchbacks and SUVs are their permanent replacements. The car buying public, mainly in the US, has made up its mind and automakers have responded. Jaguar is the latest one to do so, having just made clear that it will also be getting out of the wagon building business. Can’t say we were surprised by that, but it is what it is, and isn’t what it isn’t. And barely two years ago, Jaguar launched what’s perhaps the greatest wagon it ever made, only it wasn’t called a wagon.
The XFR-S Sportbrake sounds much better than the XFR-S Wagon. Why was this thing so special? Let’s just look at its specs: Power comes from the familiar 5.0-liter supercharged V8, with 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. Paired up with an eight-speed automatic transmission, performance times are impressive. Try 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 186 mph. Yes, it’s a bit slower than its XFR-S sedan counterpart, but that’s OK. Speaking of which, we ought to point out this thing is based on the previous generation XF. Think of it as sort of a goodbye present Jaguar’s engineering guys had been clamoring to do for some time.
Combined with those big brakes and many other performance-focused touches, the XFR-S Sportbrake was, in a nutshell, a European luxury muscle wagon. Speaking of which, it was only sold in Europe because Americans don’t buy wagons, even those with over 500 hp. Cadillac realized this with the previous generation CTS-V Wagon. We were still holding out some hope Jaguar would give its new XF sedan the Sportbrake treatment as well, but why would it? The F-Pace crossover is here now instead. Word has it that it’ll also be equipped with a V8, and we’d have no complaints about that, for the record. Still, brawny and loud wagons/Sportbrakes have a certain cool factor most crossovers never will.
Rich soccer moms don’t drive them; V8-loving gearheads who required extra cargo space because they go on cool adventures do. What options are left for them? Only two: the Audi RS6 Avant and Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, both of which are Europe-only, too. And so there we have it. With Jaguar officially out of the wagon business we’re left with crossovers. The market has spoken. So the next time you see a Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake, whether you live in Europe or happen to be visiting, take a moment to stop and stare. You’re looking at one wonderfully bonkers cargo-carrying cat.