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Powerful and sporty Jaguar XKR-S Convertible debuts at the LA Auto Show

The Jaguar XKR-S Convertible is currently being showcased at the LA Auto Show. The latest creation from the British icon is the fastest and most powerful open-topped GT Jaguar has ever built. The Jaguar XKR-S Convertible will deliver sheer driving pleasure to anyone who is lucky enough to get behind the wheel.


The Jaguar XKR-S Convertible adds to the Jaguar lineup; a coupe version is already available. The new XKR-S Convertible embodies all the characteristics that have always defined legendary Jaguar GTs explosive performance, great handling, relaxed comfort and discreet luxury, it takes dynamics, design and interior upgrades to a new level. The new XKR-S model line-up sits at the pinnacle of the XK range, which now consists of XK, XKR and XKR-S derivatives in coupe and convertible format.

"There is nothing as liberating as life behind the wheel of an open-topped Jaguar and the new XKR-S Convertible takes the Jaguar GT experience to new heights." said Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar Global Brand Director.


Powering the car is a 550hp Supercharged aluminum AJ-V8 engine which produces 502lb/ft of torque. This engine allows the XKR-S to achieve a Top speed of 186mph, quite impressive for an open-top convertible. It will accelerate from 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds. These numbers represent a power increase of 8 percent and torque increase of 9 percent over the Jaguar XKR. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters and an Active Differential.

Some technological advances on the all aluminum AJ-V8 are (1) it incorporates spray-guided direct injection and variable valve timing for improved efficiency, (2) the Roots-type twin-vortex supercharger nestling in the 'V' of the engine has twin intercoolers and (3) it is 20 percent more thermodynamically efficient than its predecessor.

With the roof lowered on the XKR-S Convertible the exhaust note will provide a driver and passenger with a thoroughly exhilarating driving experience.

Suspension and Brakes

“Aluminum” seems to be the key material for the XKR-S as it is used in many different parts. The XKR-S has a curb weight of 3957 pounds. Jaguar actually pioneered the use of aluminum in series production cars. The torsional rigidity of the XKR-S is due to its lightweight aluminum structure. This allows the fitment of suspension components such as a redesigned aluminum front steering knuckle and revised rear geometry, stiffer springs and dampers. Lightweight wheels and re-calibrated steering settings have allowed Jaguar's vehicle dynamics experts to create a supremely agile, connected driving experience with no loss in refinement.

In addition a new aluminum steering knuckle in the front double wishbone suspension increases camber stiffness by 23 percent to provide even greater levels of steering accuracy and feedback. To increase stability and control, the Active Differential has also been uprated to reduce steering sensitivity at very high speeds.

The Jaguar High Performance Braking System is fitted as standard with huge brake discs - 380mm front and 376mm rear - in combination with aluminum calipers and pad area increases of 44 percent front and 31 percent rear, in comparison to the XK, provide confidence inspiring levels of power and stability for the braking performance.

"Because the XK was designed as a convertible it has great structural integrity, this allowed us to apply the XKR-S coupe's sporting suspension settings to create a convertible with no compromises. Its blend of great speed, precision and dynamism is given an extra dimension with the roof down and that thrilling exhaust soundtrack.” said Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity.


Rear damper top mounts have been stiffened over and above the changes found on the XKR-S Coupe while the rear wheel steer effect has been optimized for agility. Spring rates front and rear have been increased by 28 percent while a bespoke Adaptive Damping program for the XKR-S maximizes body control, traction and grip.

Unsprung mass has been reduced by nearly five percent through the fitment of lightweight, forged alloy wheels, which also offer greater traction and grip levels thanks to wider rear tires that were specifically developed for use on the XKR-S and serve to increase the size of the tire contact patch. The XKR-S convertible rides on Pirelli P-Zero tires (255/35 ZR20 at the front and 295/30 ZR20 at the rear).

In order to allow the enthusiastic driver to enjoy the benefits of these changes, the Dynamic Stability Control system has undergone bespoke changes. In Trac DSC mode, specific traction, stability and Active Differential settings reduce intervention levels and enhance mid-corner adjustability, allowing the exhilarating handling to be safely exploited to the full.

Interior and Exterior

With the convertible hood stowed away, the interior of the XKR-S will be subject to as many envious glances as the exterior, both highlighting the car's high performance intent.

Exclusive to the XKR-S models are carbon-leather trimmed versions of Jaguar's Performance seats which feature integrated head rests, racing harness cut-outs and increased side and squab support to hold driver and passenger securely during high speed cornering. The 16-way adjustable, heated seats feature highlights of carbon leather and contrast micropiping unique to the model.

Superb tactile interfaces are provided by the multifunction three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel and Jaguar-embossed bright stainless steel pedals. Other premium surfaces include soft-feel paint for the switches and a gloss black center console. An exclusive dark aluminum finish is available as standard. You can order Piano Black finish as an option as well.

This sense of drama is continued inside the car with Jaguar Performance seats that feature increased support for driver and passenger during high-speed cornering. The seats are finished in carbon leather and feature 16-way adjustment and heating while carbon is also used to trim the cabin and emphasize the car's assertive nature.

The exterior changes are highlighted by the application of gloss black to the exterior brightwork, complemented by the dark technical finish of the lightweight, forged 20" Vulcan design alloy wheels through which can be seen the Jaguar High Performance Brake calipers finished in either an eye-catching red or discreet gunmetal. The XKR-S Convertible is available in a range of six colors, including Polaris White and British Racing Green, a tribute to Jaguar's competition heritage. The acoustically treated hood opens and stows in just 18 seconds and has been proven at the car's maximum speed. It comes in black as standard with a further six optional colors available.


Exterior and interior styling changes reflect the car's dynamic abilities. Externally the XKR-S Convertible is dramatically differentiated from other XK models with carefully calibrated aerodynamic aids that allow it to perform flawlessly at very high speeds

These aerodynamic design changes give the front of the car a dramatic and bold appearance. Vertical feature lines run down from the edges of the oval air intake into a new bumper design which incorporates a wider, lower air intake, a carbon-fiver splitter and twin side nacelles. At the edges of the bumper, vertical panels channel air down the side of the car along new sills, which serve to both smooth the horizontal airflow and emphasis the 10mm reduction in ride height.

A unique rear wing with a carbon-fiber inlay works in conjunction with a rear apron featuring a carbon-fiber diffuser. The result is a reduction in overall lift of 26 percent and balanced aerodynamics front and rear to keep the car perfectly pinned to the road.

"Taking the track-oriented ethos of the XKR-S Coupe and applying it to a convertible is very exciting. There is a real spirit and thrill to driving with the roof down and in a car capable of these speeds that is going to be exaggerated to create a very dramatic and special experience." said Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar Cars.

Please contact Adam Yamada-Hanff – [email protected] – for comments, questions, or topics. You can also follow him on Twitter @AdamsAutoAdvice