Jaguar XKR Review (2008)

Jaguar XKR Interior

Jaguar XKR Review

Jaguar XKR ReviewJaguar XKR Review  | Part ThreeJaguar XKR Road Test

The acceleration is addictive, as is the wonderful whine from the Eaton supercharger as you build up the revs.

The acceleration is addictive, as is the wonderful whine from the Eaton supercharger as you build up the revs. And then there is the noise from the four exhaust pipes which starts as a superb burbling sound from the V8, and develops into a magnificent mighty roar under load.

The Sequential Shift six-speed automatic gearbox, which offers all the benefits of a manual gearbox with the convenience of an automatic. For everyday driving the Jaguar XKR’s gearbox can simply be left in ‘Drive’ and the gear changes are taken care of for you whatever mode you choose the changes are very quick nearly undetectable. In automatic 'Sports' mode, the gearbox's adaptive software becomes more prevalent, adapting and reacting more dynamically to demanding conditions. This software takes account of the prevailing road conditions and the driver's input and adapts accordingly. For example, it recognizes when the car is negotiating a curve, and holds the gear accordingly; Hill Recognition enables the XKR to choose the ratios to optimise the ascent or descent of a hill; the gearbox’s software will also match the engine speed precisely to the engine and road speeds, ‘blipping’ the throttle during rapid downshifts.

The manual sequential mode is activated by simply operating one of the steering wheel-mounted paddles to shift up and down, it is sometimes easy to lose track of what gear you are in as the XKR pulls furiously  in all gears even from very low revs, fortunately there is an indicator on instrument panel.  The manual mode allows you to explore every last inch of the 420 bhp on tap, although we rarely used it preferring the automatic ‘Sports’ mode when the mood arose - the manual sequential mode offers the quickest gear changes. In fact, during development, comparison tests between the Jaguar Sequential Shift and rival automatic transmissions in its class showed the transmission to be the fastest system of all, changing gear at least 400 milliseconds faster than a standard automatic and 100 milliseconds faster than the best automated manual system.

To ensure optimum sporting ride and handling the Jaguar XKR’s springs and dampers are uprated compared to the XK. The front spring rate is increased by 38% and the rear spring rate by 24%. You benefit from Supersports CATS - Computer Active Technology Suspension, a two-stage adaptive damping system that ensures the optimum balance between ride and handling, reducing body roll to a minimum.

Overall grip is phenomenally high, pushed hard there is a little bit of 'designed' under steer before the rear takes over it is all very controllable and predictable. The steering is very rewarding and you can feel what is going on through the wheel, yet it remains comfortable.

It rained most of the time during our test week with the Jaguar XKR, which seems quite typical in August, what we did notice was that the traction control can be quite intrusive, normally it is fine, but once or twice in the wet it left us floundering, whilst it made up its mind whether to let us have the power or not. The traction control system can be switched off, but this is not recommended for use on the road. However, this is more of an observation rather than a criticism perhaps we needed to feed the power in more smoothly.

Jaguar XKR Review | Part Three
Jaguar XKR ReviewJaguar XKR Review  | Part ThreeJaguar XKR Road Test
Jaguar XKR Road Test Data
Model ReviewedJaguar XKR 4.2 litre V8 Supercharged
Body TypeCoupe
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph5.2 Seconds
Top Speed 155 mph
Transmission6-Speed Automatic Transmission
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban14.8 mpg
Extra Urban32.9 mpg
Combined22.9 mpg
Insurance Group20
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3-Year / Unlimited Mileage
Price (when tested on the 24/08/08)£70,995

The information contained within this Jaguar XKR review may have changed since publication on the 24 August 2008. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Jaguar dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018