Every now and again we get a very special car, one that we really don't want to give back.
Every now and again we get a very special car, one that we really don't want to give back. The new Jaguar XKR is just such a vehicle. It isn't simply a matter of high performance, luxury and a great body, it's more about the whole package and Jaguar has done a superb job in bringing it all together.
It seems that everything is new and improved. Starting with the new styling, which is now more chiselled and blatantly purposeful without being ostentatious. The styling is not a far cry from that of the previous model but enough to bring it bang up to date and in keeping with Jaguar's new design language while simultaneously attracting even more attention.
At the front, there are new features, which are shared with the rest of the Jaguar XK range, such as the redesigned front bumper with chrome inserts and details on the oval, upper grille. Here, the Jaguar XKR goes a step further with a chrome finish to the lower mesh grille, instead of black. The lower lip of the front skirt curves round at the sides to form the outer edge of the side air intakes, which themselves blend into the broad, muscular wheels arches.
Feline front headlight clusters finish off the 'face' and provide a starting point for the broad and long bonnet. The Jaguar XKR test car had more air scoops either side of the central bonnet design creases and, if you were in any doubt about it, the narrow borders of the vents have 'Supercharged&' embossed into them. This feature and the 'R' emblem at the rear are just about the only displays of showiness and even then they remain quite a subtle reminder of the power.
At almost five metres in length, the Jaguar XKR is long and sleek when viewed in profile. The body-coloured side power-vents, just forward of the wide doors, are almost invisible at this angle. Another new feature throughout the Jaguar XK range are the chrome window surrounds and rear 'signature blade'.
The rear light clusters now come with LED illumination and twin reversing lights and wrap around the muscular hind quarters and extending into the boot lid. While clearly visible below the deep rear bumper, two pairs of chromed tailpipes peep out from under the sill.
The Jaguar XKR Convertible also has a new hood, which is triple lined and works almost as well as a hard top for heat and sound insulation. The XK Portfolio and Jaguar XKR have a suede cloth roof lining for extra sumptuousness and it has to be said that the XKR looks just as good with the hood up as down.
It takes just 18-seconds to raise or lower the roof. With just a push of a button the choreography begins as the fabric and glass rear window gradually folds into or out of the boot, leaving a smooth finish so as not to spoil the aesthetics. For this reason, the roll-over hoops are completely invisible and only pop up, in an instant, when required.
Jaguar XKR Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Jaguar XKR Convertible SC|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||4.8 Seconds|
|Top Speed||155 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||33 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / Unlimited miles|
|Price (when tested on the 16/09/09)||£78,000|