A lot of top Jag engineers make no secret of their admiration for the current Maseratis.

I was thinking of this the other day when I finally got to drive the new XKR coupe on British roads. Just to remind you, it's now fitted with the company's amazing new 503bhp supercharged V8, there's been some chassis, styling and interior mods too.

I spent 18 months driving the outgoing version and by comparison this one is harder, more aggressive and sounds a lot fruitier. Much more attention has also been paid to cabin craftsmanship.

All in all I'd say that the XKR has been Maserati-ed. Whether that means it's lost a little bit of Jaguarness along the way is something I'm still trying to work out.

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