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New Jaguar XJR combines power and comfort (pictures)

The 2014 Jaguar XJR, the performance version of the XJ, boasts 550 horsepower, but a cabin as posh as you could want.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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1 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET
Jaguar signifies its high-performance vehicles with an R at the end of the model designation. The XJR comes out after a five-year hiatus for the performance version of the XJ, following the launch of the updated XJ model in 2011.
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The XJ is Jaguar's flagship sedan, and the XJR variant sits at the absolute top of the model lineup.
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For the R version, Jaguar paints the wire grille black and includes an aerodynamic splitter in front.
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Vents in the hood denote the supercharged engine.
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The R version is called out on the chrome fender ornaments.
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The 5-liter V-8 engine, with its supercharger, puts out 550 horsepower. The carbon fiber engine cover is an option.
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20-inch wheels come standard on the XJR. The design is made specifically for this model.
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XJ models feature this panel in the C-pillars that Jaguar describes as wraparound sunglasses.
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The XJR features quad tailpipes, while the flowing taillights are standard for the XJ model.
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The trunk lid sits up high on its struts when open, allowing better trunk access.
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The interior of the XJR features a variety of carbon fiber trim and metal switchgear.
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The seats feature bolstering designed to keep passengers in place during fast cornering.
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The rear seats offer a lot of legroom, but the driver's seat is the place to be.
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Jaguar uses virtual gauges rendered on an LCD for the instrument cluster. The graphics look a little flat.
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One nice effect with the LCD is that it turns red when you put the car in its Dynamic mode.
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The tachometer gets replaced with voice command instructions temporarily when you hit the voice command button.
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The touch-screen infotainment center comes standard in the XJR.
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Hard-drive-based maps are not particularly elegant, but they show useful information, such as traffic.
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The Bluetooth phone system includes integration with a paired phone's contact list.
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The XJR comes with the typical array of digital music sources, but no online music capability.
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The included Meridian audio system delivers excellent clarity.

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