Jaguar’s XKR convertible is a head turner

Jaguar’s XKR convertible is a head turner

Jaguar XKR featured

The combination of beauty and power is nearly always a head turner. But Jaguar’s XKR convertible is more like a head-snapper.

The drop-top version of Jag’s racy coupe is a rocket on wheels – 19-inch Tamana wheels, to be precise.

[![Jaguar XKR Snapshot]( "Jaguar XKR Snapshot")]( to enlarge.
With a 510-horse supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 under its long lean hood, the XKR delivers a top speed limited to 155, according to Jaguar, and a 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds.

From a real world perspective, it’ll push you back in the seat and keep you there as you and the arrow-like convertible flash onto the freeway. The engine roars as it cranks up to highway speeds, and the slick-shifting six-speed automatic delivers a luxurious quality feel as it moves gear to gear.

You know this car is pricey just by looking at it. Riding in it convinces you that its $102,000 price tag, including destination charges but absolutely no options, is worth it – if you know where money grows on trees.

Sporty, pleasant ride

XKR weighs in at 4,079 pounds and seems solid, but not heavy. Steering is fairly precise, but with a much more fluid feel that puts the emphasis on luxury without ignoring sporty.

Ride is good, with the independent suspension handling most bumps and crumbled pavement with a sporty, but pleasant, feel. On the highway, the rear-drive Jaguar is a super cruiser. At 65-70 mph, you feel like there is so much more you could do – and you could.

Braking comes from large performance-oriented vented disc brakes at the four corners, along with ABS, traction control and stability control.

[![Jaguar XKR exterior]( "Jaguar XKR exterior")]( the lined canvas top, which is impervious to road noise, takes all of 15 seconds while holding a button.
Inside, there’s a black leather dash and seats with white stitching, along with black walnut veneer trim on the dash, console and center stack. Some pewter look trim also is used and a chrome surround on the console by the shifter, which is a classy round knob that recesses into the console when the car is turned off.

Lowering the lined canvas top, which is impervious to road noise, takes all of 15 seconds while holding a button. And this convertible doesn’t restrict your open air fun to occasions when you have nothing in the trunk. The top slips into a compartment in front of the trunk, leaving you 10 cubic feet of storage, even when it’s down. That’s plenty to hold a couple decent sized suitcases.

There are five buttons to adjust the driver and passenger’s seats up front, including the lumbar and side bolsters. The seats are well shaped, but it’ll take a while to get all the adjustments just so. The seats are rock hard, so comfort wasn’t great even after all those adjustments were made.

The seats are both heated and cooled, a welcome feature year-round. The steering wheel also is heated.

Shrieking sonar

Not so awesome is the overly complex button system on the dash along with its tiny touch screen for radio and navigation. The buttons on screen are hard to hit, singly.

I’m also no fan of the loud shrieking sonar system to guard you from bashing the front end into things. First, I can see out the front pretty well, and second, it screams with a piercing beep even when you are in reverse and moving away from items in front of you. I also found no backup camera on the Jaguar. Usually that kicks in on other luxury makes as soon as you put the car in reverse.

[![Jaguar XKR interior]( "Jaguar XKR interior")]( interior is quiet. Even with the roof down I could hear the fantastic Bowers & Wilkins stereo.
On the upside, the interior is quiet. Even with the roof down I could hear the fantastic Bowers & Wilkins stereo. There’s also satellite radio and Bluetooth technology, along with connectivity for portable audio devices.

You’ll be getting to know your local gas station a little better if you’re driving this Jaguar. I got 17 mpg in about 60% city driving. The EPA rates it at 15 mpg city and 22 highway, and naturally the monster V8 uses premium.

The XKR is a beautiful car at a steep price, but if you’re buying a Jaguar, you’re likely less concerned with price and more concerned with power and prestige. This has both in abundance.

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