I’LL ADMIT I WAS ONE OF those who thought that, in broad terms, the faster, more powerful and sporting Jaguars became, the beffer they would be. The new XKR-S proves both me and the theory wrong.
It seems a harsh thing to say because if you look at its proposition and even take one for a drive, you are unlikely to find it anything other than highly enticing. This is due to the fact that its supercharged 5-litre V8 motor now has the same 542bhp boasted by the XJ220 nearly 20 years ago. In this relatively lightweight aluminium structure, it makes the XKR-S feel crushingly fast. I happened to climb out of one and straight into a 911 GT3 and the Porsche felt rather
anaemic by comparison.
Its problem is that it’s not quite sure what it wants to be and reveals the traps inherent in trying to turn a car designed originally to be a grand tourer into something more sporting. In fact it works quite well in the cruiser capacity, but certainly no beffer than the normal XKR that still has over 500bhp. It is as a sports car that it feels like it has overstretched
itself: the brief doesn’t suit the nature of its fully automatic gearbox and the need to preserve its ride quality has resulted in suspension too soft for serious driving.
In short it’s one of those cars that you drive thinking of another in this case the XKR. Over £18,000 cheaper damn near as fast and to my eyes far beffer looking, for the money it is the superior product.
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