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Jaguar XKR road test

by Stephen Walker

28th June, 2010

Home > Road Tests > Jaguar

Is there anything more iconic than a Jaguar sports car? With sports cars dating back to the 1930s with the SS1 and post-WWII classics such as the XK and E-Type, Jaguar is firmly established as a sports car manufacturer that can compete effectively with all-comers. Modern day Jaguars include the XJ-S, the XK8 and the limited edition XJ220 super car. The XK nameplate received attention again when the current model was introduced in 2006. This new model seems to be a 'work in progress' as it is often the basis for limited editions whilst also gaining regular updates.

There are two Jaguar XK models, namely the XK and the XKR. Our drive of the new XK was with the top-of-the-line "R" model.

Priced from $255,000* (MLP*), the Jaguar XKR is suitable for those with a big budget and a desire for that extra prestige which comes along with the Jaguar name.

The considerable attributes of the XKR are easily recognised. There is the styling, which is an obvious link to past Jaguar sports cars. There is the outstanding quality of the interior presentation. There is the effortless performance. And there is the inclusion of so much standard equipment.

Looking at the performance of the Jaguar XKR is enough to get anyone excited. During our road test I discovered this car is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in just a few heartbeats. Whilst the factory suggests 0 to 100 takes just 4.8 seconds, I willingly accept that as a 'given' rather than doubting it! This much performance is all anyone will ever need. Anyone wanting to go faster should take up bungee jumping!

The considerable performance characteristics of the XKR are courtesy of a supercharged 5.0 litre V8. Power is rated at 375 kW, whilst the torque is 625 Nm. The transmission is a six-speed automatic.

On the road, the XKR felt strong, very strong. This is no lightweight sports car. This particular car has a substantial feel to it. Very solid, it is just what a grand tourer should be. Part of the strength is felt with the steering wheel, which has a very nice solid feel. No wishy washy feedback here, just the strength of purpose. The ride quality is superb and the handling characteristics are excellent.

No need to worry about fuel consumption in the Jaguar XKR. This is a very rewarding driving machine, but for the record we were quite pleased with our fuel useage. Our mix of mostly city but with some country driving averaged 13.5 litres per 100 kms for our 300 kms around Melbourne and environs. The factory rating is 12.3 litres per 100 kilometres for the often quoted combined cycle.

Interior comfort is very satisfying in the Jaguar XKR. The front seat occupants will always be comfortable. And the front seats have electronic controls, together with memory settings, heating and cooling. Whilst the XK is considered a 2+2, it is my view that anyone with a small frame who is game enough to try the back seat should be classified as an extreme optimist. The standard leather feels good and looks good. It isn't unreasonable to have high expectations with a Jaguar. And with the XKR expectations are matched.

The luggage space is greater than what I would have expected.

Standard equipment for the Jaguar XKR includes satellite navigation, six airbags, keyless ignition, 20" alloy wheels (optional wheels fitted to the test car), bi-xenon automatic headlights with 'power wash', 'folding' exterior mirrors, front and rear 'park assist',

Nifty features on the Jaguar XKR include the rotary transmission selector which rises/lower when the ignition starter is activated/deactivated and 'Park' is automatically selected when the ignition is turned off.

Open air motoring is also available with the Jaguar XK. Both the XK and XKR are available as a convertible.

You don't get Jaguar quality and craftmanship for nothing. In fact, the classy Jaguar XKR is a pricey car. But it does offer extraordinary performance with extraordinary prestige. It delivers on all the aspects that one could possibly desire from such a high performance grand touring coupe. Attention to detail and the obvious craftmanship of the XK is always going to be appreciated. To enjoy the XKR one only needs time. Although, with a Jaguar XKR on your driveway I suspect you would soon make time! That's because this is one car that shouldn't be kept off the street.


NOTE: * MLP (manufacturer's list price) excludes options, dealer delivery fees and the various statutory charges. Additionally, prices are always subject to change without notice.

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