Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

This is the top model in the XF range, so it’s only fitting that it gets Jaguar’s top engine – a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 that produces 510bhp. It’s nearly 25 per cent more powerful than the older 4.2-litre supercharged V8 that was previously fitted to the XF. 0-62mph takes just 4.9 seconds – that’s lightning quick but not quite as fast as the BMW M5, Audi RS6 or Mercedes E63 AMG.

That said, it’s an enormously powerful engine, yet not difficult to drive. There’s a very wide band of power in third and fourth gear, which means few – if any – gearchanges are needed and it can cope with relatively low and very high speeds. As well as being good to drive, the V8 is good to listen to with a characteristic howl. The six-speed automatic gearbox offers smooth changes in either fully automatic mode or through the steering-wheel paddles.

It’s the same gearbox that’s found in other XF models, but it’s uprated in the R version to cope with the extra power. On downshifts the gearbox will ‘blip’ the throttle pleasingly before changing gear.

The XFR has a relaxed character that mixes refinement with sports-car agility. It’s equally happy to notch up motorway miles as it is criss-crossing B-roads at speed. The powerful Jaguar gets a system called Adaptive Dynamics that other XFs don’t. It uses sophisticated electronics to continuously monitor the car’s behaviour and adjusts the suspension accordingly to combat body roll.

Grip is very good and the XFR never feels anything less than firmly planted to the road. The steering is light at low speeds for parking and three-point turns, but weights-up when the car is travelling at speed for more feel through corners. There’s also a Sport switch that sharpens the car further, though most driver’s will find the standard settings more than adequate.

The ride is excellent and very capable of soaking-up motorway miles when required.