Cool cat gets the cream
The Jaguar XKR-S Convertible is an unashamed indulgence but it's also a car with the ability to make its rivals look a bit silly. It can hit 186mph, is powered by a 542bhp supercharged V8 and will set you back just over £100,000. Crazy, sexy and, oh yes, cool.
Do you really need a convertible car with a 542bhp supercharged V8 that's capable of 186mph? No. Do you want one? Heck, yes. Here's a car that Jaguar has tested at that 186mph with the roof down, that packs a better power to weight ratio than an Aston Martin DBS and which will howl around the Nurburgring faster than a 911 GT3. It's the quickest ever drop-top Jaguar, which should come as no great surprise really. The sprint to 60mph comes and goes in 4.2 seconds and 100mph is dispatched in just 4.4 later.
It'll come as no surprise to hear that the XKR-S convertible shares its underbody tech with its coupe sibling. Because the XK was designed from the outset to function as a convertible, the XKR-S doesn't need extensive chassis reinforcement. In fact it's stiffer in the body than many hard-top sports cars, with an impressive torsional rigidity of 16,500 Newton metres per degree. The rear damper top mounts have been stiffened as have the damper spring rates in this open car. Jaguar has saved 4.9kg of unsprung weight by fitting lightweight Vulcan 20-inch alloy wheels, while the front suspension has been revised to improve the accuracy and weighting of the steering. Beefier spring rates and firmer bushings mean that control inputs now result in smaller response delays, giving the car a more alert nature. Jaguar's high performance brake kit is fitted as standard with massively better performance as a result. Dropping the roof gets you closer to the sound of the Performance Active exhaust which can't be recommended highly enough.
There's room in the back for handbags, jackets or early retired mine clearance operatives but there's a decent amount of space for two. The detailing is sumptuous with contrast-stitched carbon leather everywhere, harness cut-outs in the 16-way adjustable sports seats and an exclusive dark aluminium finish available as standard with an optional Piano Black finish also offered.
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The exterior is extrovert, with no shortage of air capturing, bending and depressurising body fitments. The slimmer LED headlights are set to find their way onto the rest of the XK line up in due course while the more compact front grille isn't the most obvious styling revision but looks great nevertheless. The stance is just perfect, and there's real cohesion to the styling; the XKR-S looking well resolved from every angle. The chin finisher and rear wing contrast with the body colour and give the XKR-S some real attitude. The acoustically treated hood opens and stows in 18 seconds and comes in black as standard with a further six optional colours available.
The result is an open topped Jaguar like no other. It's an immensely capable and charismatic thing that makes good on many of the early promises of this XK platform. We could use a smile. Thank heavens for the Jaguar XKR-S Convertible.