Published on April 3rd, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Jaguar XKR-S test drive review
Jaguar has re-entered the super car club with this all new slinky cat. This is the Jaguar XKR-S. With a supercharged 5.0-litre AJ-V8 engine under the front hood, this direct-injection powerplant produces 550PS and 680Nm of torque. It will go from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.2 seconds. So now with its ‘numbers’ revealed, we can reveal all the luxury appointments.
This Jaguar has been styled to achieve 300km/h with ease. The XK has received awards worldwide for its elegant appearance. Now further styling changes keep the XKR-S inline with its Italian competitors. Slimmer, LED headlights, a more compact main air intake and vertical side power vents all contribute to a more purposeful front-end appearance. At the rear of the car the famous Jaguar ‘Leaper’ now takes pride of place in the centre of the bootlid.
In order to balance front and rear lift, the Jaguar XKR-S features a separate rear wing, a first for the XK range. This addition, with its carbon-fibre centre section, works with the similarly constructed Venturi structure underneath the rear bumper. The assertive new appearance of the Jaguar XKR-S is subtly highlighted by some carefully chosen details exclusive to this model. Exterior trim is finished in gloss black, complemented by 20-inch Vulcan lightweight forged alloys in a dark finish. The XKR-S is available in a range of five paint colours, two of which evoke Jaguar’s competition heritage: Italian Racing Red and French Racing Blue.
Like the lining of a bespoke suit, the finishing touch is provided by the brake calipers, available in either red or gunmetal and emblazoned with the ‘Jaguar’ name.
This AJ-V8 powerplant in the Jaguar XKR-S is a 3rd generation unit with the addition of supercharging, the all-aluminium quad-cam powerplant delivers not only extreme performance but also impressive efficiency thanks to the technologies incorporated into it, including spray-guided direct injection (SGDI) and dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT). The 5.0-litre V8 works with a performance active exhaust system that helps provide such spirited performance also produces a thrilling motorsport-inspired soundtrack to aurally reward the enthusiastic driver.
XKR-S Chassis & Handling
Jaguar has been using aluminium construction in their cars for some years now to maximise benefits in terms of performance, agility, fuel consumption and emissions. This XKR-S has a kerb weight of 1753kg and torsional stiffness of 28,400 Newtons per degree. Rear suspension geometry has been revised with rear wheel steer optimised for maximum agility while spring rates have been increased at both ends of the car by 28 per cent. Bespoke software for Jaguar’s Adaptive Damping has been written for the Jaguar XKR-S, ensuring both total body control and maximum traction and grip.
Wheels are lightweight forged Vulcan 20-inch alloys wearing Pirelli P Zero tyres measuring 255/35 R20 at the front, 295/35 R20 at the rear.
The Dynamic Stability Control System has been reworked to maximise the benefit of these wider tyres. The XKR-S is equipped as standard with Jaguar’s High Performance Braking System. Lighter and more powerful, this features cast iron and part aluminium monobloc calipers for a combination of power, stability and feel. The brake discs, measuring 380mm at the front and 376mm at the rear – are internally ventilated to provide repeated, fade-free stopping power. In combination with pad surface increases of 44 per cent front and 31 per cent rear the system provides total security and confidence on both road and track. Stopping distance from 124mph has been improved by 2.7 per cent over the already impressive XKR.
The end result is a car that captures the essential duality that is a characteristic of every great Jaguar; capable of transporting the driver to the fabled Nürburgring in total comfort and hushed silence, and yet still able to deliver a sub-eight minute lap time and then return home with total ease.
The cabin of this Jaguar XKR-S uses ebony soft-feel paint for the switches and gloss black finish to the centre console. Combining a ‘Dark Linear Aluminium’ finish as an option to the wood veneers it rings in a higher sense of luxury. A new leather-wrapped, multi-function steering wheel has also been added, providing a beautiful, tactile interface between car and driver as do the bright, Jaguar-embossed, stainless steel pedals.
Exclusive to the Jaguar XKR-S are the new Performance front seats with an integrated head restraints and increased lateral and squab support to hold driver and passenger securely and comfortably in place during the high speed cornering of which this car is capable. The 16-way adjustment of squab, cushion, lumbar and bolster elements is supplemented by memory and heating functions.
The sense of occasion offered when driving the Jaguar XKR-S will be heightened by the new carbon leather accents covering the seats, featuring unique contrast micro-piping and stitching combinations in Reims Blue, Red and Ivory. Duotone combinations of Charcoal with Tan and Charcoal with Red are also available.
XKR-S DRIVE DYNAMICS
This XKR-S surprises us with its high levels of grip and strong brakes that inspire the kind of confidence that lets you probe further than your drive instinct would normally allow. This is a very well-balanced car with quite a tenacious grip and eager performance. At speeds, turn-in is sharp and it points where it’s intended, however it is easily shaken off-line on pot-holed corners and uneven surfaces with its super firm suspension and tight chassis. It can be precisely-placed when cornering quickly on well paved roads only and, even with some induced slide feels controlled and very well-balanced. And the result? Pure driving enjoyment. There is sufficient pace in the lower gears, but it’s once you get out of first gear that the true power of the beast comes to life. From second gear on, this supercharged engine produces a high torque rate up to 680Nm that translates to impressive midrange speed. There is plenty of power on tap for that high speed run where available.
The 6-Speed ZF gearbox moves through the gears smoothly and allows for minimal loss of power. “Normal” and “Dynamic” modes are available, separated by longer stints in the gears, and higher on road performance. Manual gear changing is available through the use of paddle shifts which induces more fun from this luxury sports car. Cruise control is easily activated through steering wheel controls and works pleasantly enough. The car sticks to the road when cornering (under high speeds) perfectly. The engine purrs with a pleasant grunt of power. A nice engine growl emits from the engine through to the cabin as you travel in the lower gears. Pick up the pace and the noise becomes sweeter.
A head turning, aggressive, stylish luxury supercar, this Jaguar XKR-S is the ideal car to drive in the city and to take on the open highway when you get the calling.
Jaguar XKR-S Specifications
Engine: V8-cylinder Supercharged
Power: 550bhp @ 4000rpm
Torque: 680Nm @ 2000rpm
Transmission: 6-speed ZF
Top speed: 300km/h
Price: From RM1.18million