Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Jaguar launches storming new XKR-S

Jaguar sets sights on the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 with the 550bhp XKR-S, the British firm's fastest production car yet

Jaguar XKR-S front
S marks the spot for the fastest and most powerful production model Jaguar has ever built. This is the XKR-S, and it’s designed to steal sales from the Audi R8 and Porsche 911. It promises to sprint from 0-60mph in only 4.2 seconds – that’s four-tenths quicker than any current XKR. The newcomer is also the first big cat to break the 300km/h barrier: it hits a 186mph top speed, which is 12mph more than the XKR Speed Pack.

Based around the strong and lightweight advanced aluminium body architecture of every Jaguar two-seater, the XKR-S is designed to combine grand tourer comfort with incredible performance. Power comes from the same supercharged 5.0-litre V8 as in the regular XKR, but it’s uprated from 510bhp to 550bhp.

Marking the new car out visually is a new nose, which incorporates twin air scoops above the grille, as well as a deeper spoiler. And at the back, the wing stands proud of the boot, while the quad exhaust pipes sit between a new diffuser. Under the skin, tweaks to the suspension promise to boost driver appeal.

The XKR’s Adaptive Dynamics system has also been reprogrammed to provide a more aggressive experience, while there’s an active sports exhaust which claims to deliver an authentic, race car-inspired soundtrack. Final specification details and pricing will be announced when the car takes to the stage at the
Geneva Motor Show next week. However, with a standard XKR already costing just under £80,000, buyers can expect to pay in excess of £90,000.

But there’s no rush to get your name in the order book, as insiders have confirmed to Auto Express that the XKR-S isn’t a limited edition. “It’s a full model, a permanent fixture in the XK range, and we anticipate that it will sell around 100 units a year,” explained our source.

While the new model is never going to win any prizes for its green credentials, Jaguar top brass are keen to stress that it’s as eco-friendly as possible. They believe the XKR-S is the only car in its class to emit less than 300g/km of CO2.
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