'XK plus 30 per cent': the new XKR is here
30 June 2006

This is the new XKR, the hottest version yet of Jaguar's XK, with a supercharged 4.2-litre V8 producing 420bhp and 413lb ft of torque.

Mike Cross, Jaguar's chief engineer, describes the XKR as an ‘XK plus 30 per cent’, and with 120bhp more power - but only 70kg more weight - than the standard XK, expect it to be every bit as good as that claim. Jaguar says the XKR will reach 60mph in 4.9sec, with 50-70mph taking just 2.5sec.

The new XK's aluminium chassis means that the coupe and convertible are 70kg and 100kg lighter respectively than their predecessors. The XKR's V8 has also had some careful sonic tuning: Jaguar's engineers have reduced supercharger whine in order to let the V8 sing its song. That song can be heard more clearly thanks to an active exhaust, which allows quiet cruising but sonorous acceleration.

With springs that are 38 per cent stiffer at the front and 24 per cent stiffer at the rear over the XK, the XKR should go hard around bends as well as along the straights. The dampers have been uprated over the XK’s and Jaguar's CATS computer-controlled suspension system retuned to cope with the extra pace.

Transmitting the power to the road is a six-speed automatic transmission with paddles giving a semi-automatic mode. To haul it all in, the brake discs have grown from 326mm to 355mm.

A super-hot XKR-R is rumoured to be under development. The XKR is on sale now a coupe or convertible, costing from £67,495.

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