Jaguar’s uprated, 542bhp XKR-S coupé has the firepower to rival Aston V12 Vantage

Jaguar is promising Aston Martin-busting performance with the most powerful mass-production variant of its XK coupé yet, the XKR-S.

Featured at the Geneva motor show, the XKR-S gets a retuned version of the XKR’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8 powerplant. It features an ECU upgrade that takes power to 542bhp, 9bhp more than even the limited-edition XKR-75 (which is now out of production), and torque to 502lb ft, a gain of 41lb ft over a regular XKR.

Jaguar claims a top speed of 186mph and a 0-60mph time of 4.2sec, putting the XKR-S clear of even the hardcore N420 version of Aston’s V8 Vantage (180mph and 4.7sec). In fact, the Jag’s acceleration figure matches that of the V12 Vantage. But the firm is also claiming that the XKR-S is the only car in its class to emit less than 300g/km of CO2.

Other changes over the standard model include a stiffer front suspension knuckle designed to improve steering precision, stiffer front and rear springs, wider rear tyres, new Pirelli rubber, 10mm lower ride height and revised dampers, steering and differential set-ups.

There’s also a revised exhaust system, although Jaguar sources report that it’s been tuned more to provide a fruitier note than to improve performance. “It’s crispier, edgier and louder,” said one company insider.

Pricing has yet to be announced for the car, although its figure is likely to be somewhere between £85k and £90k, putting it more firmly into Aston territory than any previous XK.

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