We brought you the first undisguised pictures of Jaguar’s updated XK a few days ago, and Jaguar has now officially unveiled the XKR at the Detroit Motor Show.
As we reported, the styling updates, although modest, do freshen the car up nicely and make it feel more current. A new front end with chrome-rimmed air vents, tweaks to the mirrors and LEDs at the back, although small changes, do make a difference.
Inside it’s much as we suggested, with sensible use made of some of the features found in the more recent XF, such as the pop-up gear selector, and a new SatNav/Interface system. The new system looks pretty promising, but we haven’t had chance to play with it yet (obviously). The previous Jag Interface looked good but was slow and clunky, so this should be a big improvement. You can choose the usual leather and trim options (wood or aluminium), and you get cooled and heated seats and new dash illumination in white instead of the old green.
It’s under the bonnet that the most interesting changes take place (and from where, incidentally, beautiful V8 sounds are piped in to the cabin to give a great aural edge to the XKR experience). The XKR benefits from the all new 5.0 litre AJ V8 engine. Two versions are available. The first uses a normally aspirated version to pump out 385bhp and a 0-60 of 5.2 seconds. But the second version is the Supercharged job, which has a very appealing 510bhp, 460lb/ft of torque and manages the 0-60 sprint in 4.5 seconds. Both engines have a 6-speed ZF auto box, run through the new JaguarDrive selector, and a set of flappy-paddles. Both versions of the V8 are more economical and have lower emissions than the previous model.
You can take your pick of coupe or convertible. The convertible, still a very pretty car, sticks with the tried and tested soft-top (which lowers in just 18 seconds) and both cars get the replacement for the old CATS suspension system – Adaptive Dynamics. There is, as you would expect, a whole raft of electronics to keep the Big Cat on the ground, including Dynamic Stability Control, Active Differential Control and Adaptive Damping System. You shouldn’t need nine lives in this Cat.
No mention yet of the Diesel XK (but it’s coming), but this very well tweaked and sorted Big Cat, especially with the blown engine, will really take the fight to the Germans. And it’s a damn sight better looking than anything that comes out of Mercedes or BMW.