Jaguar has given the XK range a makeover after six years on sale and will cap the new line-up with what is probably the company’s fastest production car yet.
The XKR-S is powered by a 543bhp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 and can sweep to 100mph in just 8.7sec, says Jaguar. It features extensive changes to the chassis as well as to the exterior styling. Although the top speed is electronically limited to 186mph, the XKR-S’s unrestricted maximum is thought to be close to 200mph.
The XKR-S heads a revamped 2012 model year XK range that benefits from a redesigned nose with a new bumper and grille and new, smaller headlamps, with LED running lights. The front wings have been changed and now feature horizontal vents, something avoided until now because it was a styling signature associated with Aston Martin.
There will be a choice of 17 exterior colours, six new interior colourways and three new veneers. The XK interior gets a new steering wheel and switchgear, a rotary gear selector, upgraded instrument cluster and blue LED interior ambient lighting.
The flagship XKR-S is marked out by a much more aggressive exterior treatment, with a new front bumper and carbonfibre splitter, new sills, a prominent rear spoiler and a carbonfibre lower rear valance. Inside, it gets 16-way adjustable performance seats and leather embossed with a carbonfibre weave pattern.
The XKR-S uses an updated version of Jaguar’s familiar V8, with eight per cent more power than the XKR and nine per cent more torque. This means that it has five per cent more torque than the Porsche 911 Turbo and 10 per cent more power. It also gets a revised exhaust, to reduce back pressure and provide a more appealing engine note.
Jaguar has designed a new, more rigid aluminium upright for the XKR-S’s front suspension, and that is expected to reduce understeer and to deliver improved steering feel.
Bilstein continuously variable dampers (controlled by Jaguar’s own software) can monitor wheel position up to 500 times a second and aim to control body movements, including body roll and fore and aft pitch.