Friday, 10 January 2014

JLR Experience - Jaguar XKR-S

If you're ever wandering around with £100,000 burning a hole in your pocket, unsure of what to spend it on, then I may just have something for you here. What you're looking at here is the £97,000 Jaguar XKR-S. The ordinary XK is a cruiser, a GT car for wafting along to your holiday home in the south of France. The R-S is its antisocial, 'hard' brother who would punch you in the face for looking at it the wrong way. Well at least that's how it looks...

The engine in this car is the brilliant 5.0-litre, supercharged V8 which can be found in several Jaguars and Range Rovers at the moment. It produces a monumental 550PS and a planet-moving 680Nm of torque. So much so, that experts at Jaguar told me it simply did not need launch control. There is that much torque generated as soon as you plant your right foot that no system would help it get off the line faster.

And boy how it gets off the line. Give it the beans and you'll hit 0-62mph in just 4.4 seconds, and go on to a top speed of 186mph. Sounds exciting doesn't it? Well it gets better, because the XKR-S comes with one of the nicest exhaust notes I've ever come across. Where BMW V8s are precise, perfect engine notes, the XKR-S is deliberately rough and animalistic, and addicting to listen to. Forget the stereo, because the only soundtrack you need can be controlled by the pedal on the right.

Despite all this though, the XKR-S is very civilised indeed. It has a wonderful automatic gearbox- with paddles for when your hair's on fire- and is no harder to drive than a Ford Focus. While it looks suggest bite, the XKR-S is more bark. And that's good, because you get all the fun, the thrills, the speed, but none of the fear. In just half an hour I fell in love with this car, and I wasn't the only one. Several journalists returned back after an hour or more, claiming that they simply lost track of time.

And I must add as a final note, that French Racing Blue is simply a wonderful colour. When coupled to the blue stitching inside and the graphite wheels, the whole appearance is fantastic. The interior is
as you would expect for a GT car; big, comfortable seats, lots of leather everywhere, and you could go anywhere in it. Just don't forget to plan a few fuel stops... you'll need them!

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