Are these spy shots of Jaguar's forthcoming halo XFR-S supersaloon?
In an effort to catch up with its German rivals, Jaguar is preparing to upgrade the ageing XFR with the 542bhp supercharged V8 from the XKR-S, to once again challenge the BMW M5 and Mercedes E63 AMG.
However, on closer inspection these spy shots show an XFR wearing the 'Speed Pack' - given away by a deeper front valance and taller bootlid spoiler with integrated brakelight. The car also wears 'Black pack' trim in place of the usual chrome; in a normal XFR you have to choose between Speed Pack or Black Pack - you can't have both.
Could an XFR-S perhaps allow you more option choice?
Why do Jaguar need an even hotter XFR?
When the XFR was originally launched in 2009, its 503bhp compared favourably with the contemporary BMW M5 (507bhp) and Mercedes E63 (517bhp).
Since then however, the onset of turbocharging among Germany's elite, and the advent of new rivals such as the Porsche Panamera, the XFR has been left somewhat trailing in the power stakes. The current M5 develops 552bhp, whle the biturbo E63 with Power Pack is almost as potent, at 549bhp.
In order to keep pace, Jaguar has elected to plumb the 542bhp supercharged V8 from the XKR-S into the XFR - creating gains of 39bhp and 41lb ft. The vital stats are enough to propell the XKR-S from 0-60mph in 4.2sec and on to 186mph.
How fast would a Jaguar XFR-S likely be?
Similar figures in an XFR-S would move the saloon right back into the mix with its German rivals - and provide a more practical alternative for Jaguar buyers who seek the perforamnce of the XKR-S but in a less compromised package.
There'll be a price to pay though - an XKR-S asks £18,500 extra over a standard XKR, so a similar hike for the XFR-S would hypothetically pitch the price at around £83,880 - more than £10k over the F10M M5. Jaguar is highly unlikely to be that ambitious with the XFR-S's pice tag, though there's no official word on what the car will cost when it emerges in late 2012.