I’ve just spent two days taking in intense back-to-back technical briefings at Jaguar and Land Rover covering three different new models and a myriad of individual variants. My mind is, quiet genuinely, reeling.
But I think I should first shine a light on Jaguar’s new XKR-S. It could easily be dismissed as an extreme styling special, but, having been talked through the project by the engineers responsible, I reckon this car is going to make more of an impact than anyone has suspected.
When you see the XKRS in the flesh, it’s very striking indeed and, arguably, the most visually aggressive Jaguar yet. There are a couple of cheeky references to the Nissan GT-R, in the way the grille is framed by the nose cone’s ‘jowls’ and the square-cut tail spoiler. And I can’t help but associate the ‘French Racing Blue’ colour scheme with Audi’s original RS2.
As Jaguar design chief Ian Callum says of the car, “There’s still a misunderstanding about Jaguars, that they’re old men’s cars. We’re going to shout a lot louder about Jaguar. We don’t shout loud enough about our technology.”
As he says, the real action is under the skin. The supercharged V8 has been given another boost, so it now delivers 542bhp and 502lb ft (up 8 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively, over the old XKR-S). Even better, a full 80 per cent of the torque arrives under 2500rpm. Let’s put those figures into perspective. This Jag now has 10 per cent more power and five per cent more torque than a Porsche 911 Turbo.