Paul Maric road tests and reviews the 2014 Jaguar XKR-S.
To mark the end of an amazing era for Jaguar, the brand has launched its biggest, baddest and loudest pussycat yet. The Jaguar XKR-S builds on the already quick XKR and offers more power, torque and noise.
The special edition XKR-S was launched to mark the end of a fleeting era for Jaguar. When the XK was launched in 2006 it signalled the start of a design revolution lead by Ian Callum. The XK went on to become one of Jaguar’s most successful sports cars.
So, it’s only fitting that Jaguar stuffed more power under the bonnet and went wild with the XKR-S’s exterior styling. In fact, it’s so crazy that people literally fall over themselves trying to catch a glimpse of Jaguar’s fastest sports car – I’m sure the unique French Racing Blue colour didn’t help either.
Carbon fibre bits on the boot and bonnet work in unison with the aluminium monocoque shell to reduce weight and increase pace.
Inside the cabin, Jaguar’s love affair with attention to detail and luxury continues. Body hugging sport seats are the perfect companions to a winding road, while the suede-bound steering wheel sits nicely in the hand.
The interior is getting very dated, though. The touch screen central control unit hasn’t benefited from recent Jaguar updates, so it feels a bit clunky and slow in comparison to its peers.
Thankfully the sound system lives up to the car’s price tag. The 16 speaker Bowers and Wilkins stereo is the ultimate solution to rare occasions you don’t want to hear the engine and exhaust note.
Despite looking aggressive and eye catching when stationary, the XKR-S isn’t complete until the starter button is pushed. Hit the flashing red starter button and all eight cylinders of supercharged fury fire to life.
Quad exhaust pipes are controlled by active baffles that adjust the engine note from a rating of three to a ten in a fraction of a second. The full effect of this can be heard north of 4,000rpm when the XKR-S starts sounding more like a top-fuel dragster as opposed to a luxury sports car.
The noise is unlike anything I’ve heard before and easily justifies the price of this car — in fact it could cost twice as much and the noise would still be priceless.
Under the bonnet, Jaguar used the donor 5.0-litre supercharged V8 XKR engine and increased power to a staggering 404kW, with torque hiking upward to 680Nm. Remarkably, combined fuel consumption figures remain the same between XKR and XKR-S, despite a 10% power increase.
These stupendous power and torque figures allow the XKR-S to sprint from 0-100km/h in a physics defying 4.4-seconds.
Also different from the XKR are spring rates, dampers and steering. The XKR-S is stiffer (but not overly so) and the steering tighter in a bid to give it a gnarly edge. Predominantly this combination works a treat and only comes apart on very rough country roads.
Through corners, it’s impossible to fault the XKR-S. The brakes and steering feel A-grade, while the available power is utterly responsive thanks to a finely tuned supercharger.
Three stability control modes give the driver a chance to really stretch the wild cat’s legs. Even with 295mm wide rear tyres it’s not hard to drop the back end out with overly vigorous throttle applications.
Priced at $298,645, the XKR-S is available as a coupe or convertible (as a no cost option). Despite costing some $90,000 more than its XKR donor car, the XKR-S delivers thrills, noises and looks that simply can’t be matched by its peers.
The limited edition XKR-S will go down in history as one of the most exciting and thrilling Jaguars ever. It gives me tingles just thinking about it.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 5.0 litre supercharged V8 producing 404kW and 680Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: 3 years
Origin: United Kingdowm
Price: From $298,645