The XKR-S that Jaguar put on the stand in Geneva is its first entry into the 300 kilometers per hour club, obviously an important European distinction, that translates to 186 miles per hour or about 110 miles faster than one can drive legally on any public road in the United States.
As previously reported here at TorqueNews.com by Patrick Rall, the XKR-S is powered (and that seems like an understatement) by a supercharged 5.0-litre AJ-V8 engine with a revised fueling map that makes the direct-injection powerplant produce an estimated 550 horsepower and 502 lb/ft of torque. Jaguar claims a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds, which almost seems slow for a two-door sedan cranking out this much power. One could reasonably a sub-four second speed.
The one element of the car that is going to take some getting used to is a rear-wing spoiler – a device typically found on Japanese tuners. Jaguar does give it the more genteel name of carbon-fiber diffuser.
Jaguar is justifying this bold styling move. Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar Cars, said, “The styling of this car isn’t about image, it’s about true performance. Like other iconic Jaguar cars before it, the styling has been driven by geometry and aerodynamics for genuine design purity.”
To make it achieve 300 kilometers per hour, Jaguar had to make some modifications. The XKR-S rides 10 millimeters lower. A new bumper design features near vertical feature lines running down from the edges of the oval air intake and supporting the new carbon-fiber splitter and lower spoiler. An overall reduction in lift of 26 percent has been achieved through aerodynamic modifications.
The AJ-V8 features aluminum architecture with the high pressure die-cast lightweight block with cast iron liners and cross-bolted main bearing caps. The four-valve cylinder heads are now constructed using recycled aluminum to reduce the environmental impact of engine manufacture.
Wheel sizes have been increased with lightweight forged "Vulcan" 20-inch alloys. The wheels are now nine inches wide at the front and 10.5-inches at the rear for greater precision and grip. The new wheels wear Pirelli PZero tires measuring 255/35 R20 at the front, 295/35 R20 at the rear. This combination has reduced overall unsprung mass by over 10 pounds, with a commensurate improvement in handling and response.
Is this going to be a Jaguar that purists embrace? That's a question that remains to be answered. Pricing hasn't been announced but expect it to clip $100,000 when the MSRP does come out. The Jaguar XKR-S travels from the Geneva Motor Show to make its North American debut at the New York Auto Show in April.