Top speed is somewhat pointlessly increased to 174mph, but it's still a fantastic car

Our Verdict

Jaguar XKR-S

Faster and better controlled than the regular XKR, but did it need to be?

  • First Drive

    Jaguar XKR Speed Pack

    Top speed is somewhat pointlessly increased to 174mph, but it's still a fantastic car
  • First Drive

    Jaguar XKR 75

    Jaguar won't have trouble finding 75 buyers for this excellent sports car

What is it?

A curious edition of the Jaguar XKR, which has a 174mph top speed rather than the electronically limited 155mph of the regular car.

The Speed Pack comprises no more power than the standard car’s 503bhp, but the engine and transmission are recalibrated to allow the higher top speed (still electronically limited, incidentally). To increase high speed stability a new front splitter and a larger rear spoiler, both reducing lift, are fitted, while the steering’s sensitivity at very high speeds is reduced to make the XKR happier in a straight-line too.

Speed Pack cars can be had in seven colours, on different 20-inch alloys to the standard car, while there are also a couple of other very minor exterior changes. It adds £3500 to the price.

Jaguar has also just introduced a Black Pack, a bunch of interior and exterior styling changes that make the XKR look more aggressive. You have to add the Speed Pack first, bringing the total to £4000.

See test pics of the Jaguar XKR Speed Pack

What’s it like?

Pretty much like a regular XKR, to be honest. I strongly suspect you’d have to try a pair back-to-back at very high speeds to discern any notable difference between the two. Certainly, at any speed you can reach in the UK, the Speed Pack just behaves in the same manner as regular XKRs.

Not that that is a bad thing, you understand. We’ve long thought the XK is a terrific car and, although some say the naturally-aspirated V8 is the best handler of the lot (‘tis true), there’s something to be said for the appeal of the supercharged XKR’s extra thump.

It’s a cracking engine, and the six-speed torque-converter auto’ it drives the rear wheels through is tightly controlled. So it’s a peachy drivetrain but, even so, it’s hard to imagine too many people feel it’s one that’s overly restrained by ‘only’ being allowed to reach 155mph. You’d trouble that limiter on very few racetracks (Silverstone’s Hangar Straight, perhaps) and even on very few sections of German autobahn these days.

It’s as-you-were for the ride and handling; the XKR is one of the most capable and comfortable grand tourers around, with a fine ride/handling balance. The Speed Pack is coupe only, by the way.

Should I buy one?

Frankly, it’s hard to see very many people exploiting the objective improvements that the Speed Pack brings over the standard XKR. I suppose there might be the odd person who wants to shave a few seconds of their commute from Hannover to Berlin, but it would be entirely academic for most drivers. Nonetheless, with or without the Speed or Black Pack, the XKR is a lovely car.

Jaguar XKR Speed Pack

Price: £78,445 (£78,955 with Black Pack); Top speed: 174mph (limited); 0-60mph: 4.6sec; Economy: 23mpg; CO2: 292g/km; Engine type: V8, supercharged, petrol, 5000cc; Power: 503bhp at 6000-6500rpm; Torque: 461lb ft at 2500-5500rpm; Gearbox: 6spd automatic

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Comments
43

3 August 2010

[quote Autocar]the engine and transmission are recalibrated to allow the higher top speed (still electronically limited, incidentally).[/quote]

I'm so tempted to agree with the "pointlessly raised" aspect of the top speed issue but I just can't. I totally accept that in the UK it makes no difference at all in normal driving but in the Grand Scheme of that type of car I think bragging rights become something that people will pay money for, just so they know that they could go over to Germany and dispose of a regular 911 instead of watching it pull away while they bounce off the artificial 155 limit. Look at Autocar's own Isle of Man group test where the GTR was beaten by the Gallardo solely because of its being limited to 112mph. Admittedly 112 is much more restrictive than 155 as an imposed limit but the point is the same. Let it do what it can do in the (however rare) situations where it's possible to do it.

3 August 2010

Didn't the car manufacturers bring in a voluntary 155 mph limit (250 kmh) to stave off EU regulation of top speeds? I see more and more of them bringing in 174mph limits now for their top end models. I just hope they don't go overboard and come back to the attention of the ill-informed Eurocrats. Whereupon a 100 mph (or thereabouts) regulated top speed would be a real threat...


3 August 2010

[quote Johnny English]Didn't the car manufacturers bring in a voluntary 155 mph limit (250 kmh) to stave off EU regulation of top speeds?[/quote]

I remember Clarkson commenting that the main reason for it was so they didn't have to solve the engineering problems involved in making cars able to sustain really high speeds - overheating tyres for example. Even the Veyron's super expensive tyres only last 37 miles at 248mph, per James on Top Gear last week. The fact that they could do so while making the Greens happy was an added bonus. My guess is that with improving tyre technology 174mph is the new 155, i.e. they can get there now with not too much extra effort.

3 August 2010

Still not enough fire power has it?, 458 Italia 562bhp,almost as fast as an Enzo, Jaguar are still building gentleman's expresses, with a club class interior, 174mph?, most of it's competition can do nearly 200mph, school report, 7/10, needs to try harder!

Peter Cavellini.

3 August 2010

Have you driven a car with 503 BHP Mr Cavellini?? It would scare your jocks right off. There may well be more powerful cars available but none that offer the value of an XKR. On You Tube there is a head to head straight line race XKR 5.0 Vs R8, the Jaguar leaves the R8 for dead yet I doubt there are many unhappy R8 owners out there. Also Jag interiors are up with the best now. The facelifted XK's in top spec are beautiful, the XF a lovely place to be and the new XJ stunning. I dont think an XKR owner would think his/her car was equal to the mighty 458 Italia but he/she should not feel the poor relation. The XKR is one of the best GT's money can buy. If you want a supercar with all its compromise go buy the Ferrari - if you can afford it.

And I do know what I'm talking about having an XKR and an F430

[IMG]http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a45/PeteHand/010-1.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a45/PeteHand/006-2.jpg[/IMG]

3 August 2010

Yet another nasty facelift of the XK... I'll have a naturally aspirated 5-litre engine in the original 2005-vintage bodyshell, thanks, tuned up to 500bhp-ish (the GT racing XK8 does the same) and with no speed limiter at all. Oh, and I'll have a manual gearbox too, thanks...

Anyone else really fail to see the point of this? Personally I just think it's an opportunity for XKR owners to say to their mates in the pub "Yah boo sucks, my ****'s bigger than yours"...

3 August 2010

following on I thought maybe it sounded unlikely that I have an XKR and a 430 and although Jezza Clarkson now believes the 430 is the fools Ferrari (still love the guy) I attach a pic of mine next to my old 4.2 XKR (recently upgraded to 5.0). Seriously though I dont think its fair to say the Jag needs more firepower and very unjust to say its not a great looking car, it turns as many heads as my 430 and its actually the car i choose to do continental drives in. Anyway each to their own, I have said my piece from a proven perspective..;O)

[IMG]http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a45/PeteHand/3.jpg[/IMG]

oops cant get full pic to show

3 August 2010

You may know what your talking about, but you said it yourself, value for money, when was a Jag value for money?, years ago it was full of FORD parts, had old fashioned interiors, i've seen a few driving around with various names stamped on them, they look expensive but what are you paying for?, almost 40 years ago a Daytona could do 174mph,where's the progress?there's no gentlemens agreement to limit top speeds, why does Jaguar give their cars the cred?,i'm sure they could fined the extra BHP.No, i'm sorry the XKR isn't worthy of it's title, the shape still reminds me of the XJS, Simon Templar and all that, a totally new shape,which has been seen in some concept Jaguar's like the three series rival, scale this up and it'll be a start, and finally, no i've neber driven a Jag, but as a small boy i was taken out for the day in red V12 E-TYPE roadster and about ten years later in an XJ COUPE, the latter was un-inspiring compared to the E-TYPE,as for the current Jaguar offerings, top speeds are irrelevant, size matters and handling and these are just two of problems,and for all the difference between five hundred and 350, the odd second here and there in cut and thrust driving isn't significant enough for me to worry about big horse power, oh!, i what's my current weapon of chioce day in day out,practical,VALUE for MONEY?,Bavaria has the answer!!???.

Peter Cavellini.

3 August 2010

The XKR is under £75k, How much is a less powerful V8 Vantage or DB9? I think if you did a track day in a new gen Jaguar you might form a different opinion. Brands change, some for the better (Jaguar) some for the worse (another arguement maybe). I know what you're saying the E-Type was awe inspiring in its day and still looks fantastic now. The XJ Coupe could never measure up to the E-Type and Jaguar did build some terrible cars in the 80's and 90's. But the latest Jaguars are far better than you seem to be prepared to give them credit for. No the XKR will never be as iconic as an E-Type but few modern day cars will be.But it is a vastly superior car to the XJ Coupe that left you with a lasting negative attitude to the brand. I'm not sure I like my 5.0 XKR as much as my earlier 4.2. Its lost the super charger whine (I liked that) and the ride is a little harder, did it really need an extra 83 BHP? It was still a very fast car when it had a 'mere' 420 BHP.

I'm not sure I get you're point really but I'm not suprised your 'Weapon of choice' as you put it comes from Bavaria. Enjoy it!

3 August 2010

Final word from me (because I dont work for Jaguar and am not responsible for correcting any brand misconceptions) but I dont see anything similar between this;

[IMG]http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a45/PeteHand/XJS-rear.jpg[/IMG]

and this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JefLshLy-sI

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