The Jaguar XKR-S is a future classic
The Jaguar XK is dead. So, here is why you should maybe take a closer look at this car.
Here we are in 2014. Jaguar officially killed the iconic XK, a name that has been around since 1948 when it first introduced the mythic XK120. Its last iteration, code-named X150, was produced from 2006 until the fateful year of 2014. Unfortunately, Jaguar did not replace the XK and went with the smaller F-Type sports car, which is excellent, but it kind of lacks the swagger of a big coupe or cabriolet like the XK. Fortunately enough, Jaguar had cooked some pretty intense versions of its grand tourer before tragically ending its production. The XKR-S is one of them.
It used to be the most powerful and fastest Jaguar ever produced. The 550 PS V8-powered Jag' goes from 0 to 60 mph in only 4.2 seconds and will reach a top speed of 186 mph. That's not too bad considering that the current most powerful Jag' is the XE SV Project 8 that produces just 50 PS more than the XKR-S. The car that we got to drive is a 2012 convertible version. It happens to be quite rare and only 25 units have reportedly been sold in the United States. In Switzerland, we have found only 3 other cabriolets for sale.
The XKR-S is not just an XKR with a wing. There is a multitude of improved elements over the regular car. It starts with the engine, which is a recalibrated supercharged AJ-V8 Gen III that makes 680 Nm, the brakes are Jaguar's High Performance Braking System. Doesn't tell much, but they are quite good. Otherwise, the car comes with a bespoke exhaust system that makes one of the nicest sounds ever, enhanced suspensions, P-Zero tires and a farandole of aero bits.
Indeed, the XKR-S looks way more dramatic than a standard XKR. I must admit that I am a great fan of the way this car looks. There are air-vents and pronounced aero panels everywhere that give the XKR-S a mean design. But it's not all about the show, the car behaves better on the road than the XKR. Let's start by saying that isn't a track toy, even if it looks like one. It's more of fast, very fast GT that can take on some cornering. In real-life, the suspension are way too stiff for a car that is not capable of doing excellent track times. You feel every imperfections of the road and the XKR-S is so low that you need to be careful every time you go over a speed bump. That's not the features you are looking for when buying a grand tourer. Inside, the car feels a tad old-fashioned. The screens look like they borrowed pixels of a 90's PlayStation. The leather that is supposed to mimic carbon fibre looks and feels cheaper than it sounds and to be entirely honest, it's not the greatest interior I have ever seen. The driving position is good though. The Jaguar XKR-S finds itself in a weird position then, because it is not a supercar, not a comfortable GT and not a track car. It is complicated to define what kind of car the XKR-S truly is and what kind of driver would buy it. I would classify the buyer as a gentleman hooligan just because it is a big luxurious GT capable of burning tires quickly and making a noise that is everything but subtle.
The XKR-S is a funny piece of kit. It's loud, fast, heavy and not at ease on track. But we kind of fell in love with the car because it is nothing a Jaguar should be. It is as extreme as it gets and does not make much sense. We also like the fact that not many were produced and that it was technically the last XK ever. The holy grail would be the limited-edition XKRS-GT that Jaguar produced in 2013. Only 45 units have been made worldwide and it was technically an XKR-S on steroids with even more aero. Yet, the "ordinary" XKR-S already ticks all the boxes to become a future classic, and the price is quite fair. A car like this one with 80'000 km costs £45'000. Yes, you could get a much better car for this price, but the XKR-S has this kind of exclusivity and non-sense that makes it pretty unique. Would I buy one? Oh yes, with the hope that one day it will become a true collector's car.
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Jaguar XKR-S Cabriolet
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Perego Cars, situated in Switzerland, for giving me the opportunity to review and shoot this car. Website: www.peregocars.com/en Facebook: www.facebook.com/peregocars/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/peregocars/