2014 Jaguar XKR Convertible
5.0L V8 Supercharged DOHC 32-valve
510 @ 6000
461 @ 2500
14.2 / 9.2
Some cars are built just to take you places. Others are built for comfort and luxury and others are built for style.
This is the 2014 Jaguar XKR convertible and the only sure thing is that this one has been built to simply put a smile on your face.
The all-aluminum body is unmistakably a product of the British school of design, but can easily be identified as an Aston Martin instead. You see, Ian Callum, the head designer, is the man who has also designed the DB7 and the Vanquish.
Prices start at $116,500, which is a lot of money, but what you also get a lot of, is power! Under this elegant, beautiful hood, there is a 5.0L V8 Supercharged power plant that delivers 510 BHP to the rear wheels. The result is mind blowing!
The XK series is a Grand Touring convertible, designed primarily to take Sir or Madam Madeitinlife for high tea or to the marina for some wine on the yacht. But append an R to the XK and the effect is explosive as it becomes a ground to ground missile that can be heard approaching from miles away.
Through traffic it is rather discrete until you send some fuel to those cylinders and the exhausts start hauling. You will then be presented with the answer to the question; “how wide can humans open their eyes”? You’re welcome for the “eargasm” and the eye-candy everyone. It is absolutely astonishing how Jaguar created a machine that can make love to your ears powered by fossil fuel.
The adaptive all-round independent suspension feels firm but also comfortable enough given the character and power of the car. Over bumps and rough surfaces your spine is kept stress free and its damping is also very quiet. With the roof up, very long journeys are a pleasure as the cabin is quiet and refined and wind noise is suppressed well for a convertible. With the soft top down, apart from the breeze and the stars and the sky, the best part is, you get to hear those exhaust pipes even more. Passing under bridges has never been so much fun as with the XKR.
The AJ V8 Gen III 5.0L direct injection supercharged V8 has unlimited power reserves as the 461 lb-ft of torque are available from just 2500 rpm. The 510 BHP bring blistering performance and the all-aluminum body can reach 100km/h in just 4.8 seconds while the top speed exceeds 280 km/h. Drive smoothly and you can average 13.0lt/100km combined but in reality, you will be wasting a couple more just to keep your ears pleased.
The 6-speed ZF transmission is the perfect example of what a gearbox should be like. Decisive, smooth and quick it will always satisfy the driver without being too aggressive. Via the paddle-shifters, downshifts sound thrilling and upshifts are done in a split second complimenting the engine’s power delivery attitude.
The XKR’s chassis, despite its age, is still amongst the most rigid ones which means that handling-wise it is very capable, composed and fun. The adaptive suspension keeps the front of the car planted to the ground and the excellent hydraulic steering is your ally for pin-pointing your direction. In the hands of an experienced driver, the XKR is tons of fun and can go around bends a lot faster than what most drivers can handle. It does require respect and some brains as the rear sometimes can feel a bit too playful. It can oversteer for as long as the tires can stay in one piece and in the wet, the winter mode comes in handy as it makes the car a lot easier to drive.
Jaguar has equipped the XKR with big “R” brakes that bring the car to a complete stop from 100km/h in just 40m. The pedal feels good enough and the ABS will never kick in too early.
The interior design is modern but at the same time also feels like old money. High quality leather and precision double stitching is the trim chosen for the occasion and the result is second to none. The A-pillars are covered in suede, fit and finish are top notch and ergonomically the layout is very user friendly. The entertainment system is not cutting edge but all the basic features are there including Bluetooth, navigation and a rear view camera. The soft top is quality cloth made to resist weather and noise. Its operation is fully electric, very easy are quick. You can even open or close it while cruising at very low speed.
Passengers in the front will enjoy lots of space and fully adjustable seats that can accommodate even the most demanding. The rear two seats though are only there to act as additional storage to the trunk, which at 313Lt is more than enough for golf gear or shopping bags.
The XKR’s sheer power, exhaust note and attractive looks make up for the tricky e-LSD and auto wipers that simply put, are useless. Overall, it is not better than the BMW M6, Porsche 911 4S or even the Mercedes SL63 AMG. It is though, in its own unique way as good as the above and it definitely stands proud with a personality of its own.
Some rattles from the dash
e-LSD not as thrilling