Like the XK model, the new supercharged XKR makes intelligent use of practical, modern technology such as an aluminium monocoque structure that results in a light and yet very stiff body. An uprated 420bhp supercharged V8 engine and class leading calibration of a state of the art, six-speed automatic transmission deliver accessible, real world, high performance that makes the XKR a special sporting GT all-rounder in its class.
With 120bhp more power than the normally aspirated 4.2-litre XK and the same strong and stiff aluminium body structure, superb ride and handling is assured. Furthermore, a six-speed automatic transmission with Jaguar Sequential Shift ensures Jaguar's blend of performance and dynamics reaches new heights with the XKR.
Impressive reserves of power and acceleration available in an instant are the hallmark of every great Jaguar. The new XKR ensures this by using a supercharged version of Jaguar's renowned 4.2-litre AJ-V8 engine. Producing 420bhp at 6250rpm and 560Nm of torque at 4000rpm, it is capable of propelling the XKR Coupe to 60mph in 4.9 seconds (5.0 seconds for the Convertible) and on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph (250kph).
The addition of a supercharger and twin air intakes means the new XKR benefits from a 120bhp power increase over the normally aspirated 4.2-litre XK with which it shares its base engine. Torque, so essential for instant acceleration at any engine speed, also increases significantly - by 36% over the XK. The overall weight of the XKR is raised by just 70kg, consequently the power-to-weight ratio compared to the normally aspirated 4.2-litre XK is an impressive 34% higher.
And in comparison to the previous generation XKR, the new engine produces more power and more torque. Combined with a much stiffer and lighter aluminium monocoque body structure, these performance improvements lead to a significant leap in the power-to-weight ratio of 12% and an equally useful jump of 7.7% in the torque-to-weight ratio. To achieve the equivalent improvements in power- and torque-to-weight in the outgoing XKR would have required nearly 50 more horsepower.
At the heart of these significant performance improvements is the XKR's lightweight eight-cylinder engine with an Eaton supercharger. The water-cooled cylinders are arranged in a 90-degree V configuration and the crankshaft is supported by five main bearings. Each of the two cylinder head assemblies incorporates twin camshafts operating four valves per cylinder. One of the reasons for the engine's impressive output is continuously variable valve timing which helps to deliver a wide spread of torque. The increase in power and torque over the outgoing XKR is down to two major additions to the engine. The air intake has been significantly enhanced and a Variable Inlet Camshaft Timing (VICT) system is used for the first time on the XKR.
Mated to the 4.2-litre engine is Jaguar's sequential shift transmission, which combines all the speed and involvement of a sequential manual gearbox with the comfort and convenience of a full automatic. The system consists of steering wheel mounted paddles and a conventional automatic gear lever, allowing the driver to switch between three automatic or paddle-operated transmission modes. Whereas an automated manual gearbox interrupts the flow of torque during the gear change - while the clutch is disengaged - Jaguar's transmission maintains the flow of torque throughout the shifting process. This results in gear changes that are not only very quick, but also smooth.
The three gearbox modes give the driver total flexibility to use the transmission to match whatever driving style he or she chooses.
New Jaguar XKR at a glance
_ New supercharged Jaguar XKR sports car, available as a coupe or convertible
_ All the attractions and attributes of the XK - but amplified in the 'R' to complement the extra power and performance
_ 4.2-litre, supercharged V8 engine developing 420bhp and 560Nm of torque
_ Coupe is capable of 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, 50-70 mph in just 2.5 seconds and has an (electronically limited) top speed of 155mph
_ All aluminium body construction delivers a lighter, stiffer car, with excellent agility. At 1665kg, the Coupe is 70kg lighter than its predecessor, while the 1715kg Convertible is 100kg lighter than the previous convertible XKR
_ Prices start at $227,900 for the Coupe and $249,900 for the Convertible.
_ Uprated springs and dampers and recalibrated Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) provide enhanced ride and handling
_ Class-leading six-speed automatic transmission for ultra-quick manual gear shifts in milliseconds using steering-wheel-mounted 'paddles'
_ Active Exhaust System ensures refinement at cruising speed but purposeful V8 roar under hard acceleration
_ Subtle XKR exterior styling enhancements include a sportier grille and front bumper design, louvred bonnet, aluminium-finish side power vents and two new wheel designs
_ Enhanced interior includes unique aluminium 'weave' design on the fascia (other veneers such as polished burr walnut are available at no extra cost) and XKR sports seats
_ Blend of supercharged performance, outstanding dynamic abilities and keen pricing gives the new XKR significant advantages overall against both lesser - and considerably more - expensive rivals.