Jaguar XF Diesel S with Adaptive Dynamics (2010)

Published: 05 May 2010

It's not every day you see a diesel executive car lifting a wheel in anger – but that's what Jaguar engineers appear to be doing at the Nurburgring as they fettle the latest XF Diesel S with chassis mods pilfered from the XFR.

The Diesel S will shortly be available with optional-extra adaptive dampers from the XFR and XKR in place of conventional struts. It's part of a model-year polish that will also usher in some dashboard improvements from the supercharged range-topper.

So this is just a Jag 3.0 Diesel S hammering around the Ring?

Yep. And it was unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March, so hardly an earth-moving scoop. At first we wondered if it might be the much-mooted smaller diesel engine Jaguar is expected to drop into the XF. Currently it offers only the 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel in two states of tune, which means it misses out on the heartland of the executive car marketplace hogged by the likes of the BMW 520d and Audi A6 2.0 TDI.

But this test hack – caught in our spy photos performing a deliciously poised three-wheel canter during a high-speed 'Ring test – is in fact registered as a regular 2993cc diesel.

Sources confirm it was a development car tuning the Adaptive Dynamics suspension dampers that recalibrate their rebound rates hundreds of times a second depending on data coming in from the onboard diagnostics. It's the latest version of Jaguar's Continuously Variable Damping, né CATS, and helps stiffen up the chassis during corners and soften it for a comfy cruise. See it in action in our XFR drift video below.

Why not just be done with it and build an R diesel?

Jaguar reserves the R badge for its most extreme models, although insiders won't rule out R diesels in the longer term. For now, this is just an options pack on the Diesel S: buyers can order the Dynamic Pack, which includes the dampers and 20in Volans alloys, and the Aerodynamic Pack, which includes new lower grilles, air intakes and side sills from the XFR.

A bit of a misnomer then; nowt to do with aero improvements, everything to do with posing.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet