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2007 Jaguar XKR Convertible Road Test

November 4, 2007
2007 Jaguar XKR Convertible Road Test
By Rob Rothwell, Auto123.com
A Poor Man's Aston Martin?

There are many ways to spend $127,000+. Depending on one's "needs assessment," the sleek, virile Jag XKR may well be the preferred method.

A cat with pedigree
The Jaguar's XK8 series emerged in the 1997 model year as a replacement for the XJS line, Jaguar's "grand tourer" as they say in Europe. The XJS enjoyed a 21-year lifespan, and was the replacement for Jaguar's legendary E-Type coupes and convertibles.

The XKR has a certain similarity with Aston Martin products.

XK Chief Designer, Ian Callum, incorporated many traditional Jaguar design cues into the XK, most notable of which is the 1961 E-Type oval grille. An added design bonus is the resemblance the XK has to Aston Martin's DB7 (replaced by the DB9) and Vanquish, which were also penned by Ian Callum. However the XK shares more than just familial qualities with the DB7.

The XK and the Aston Martin DB7 are built upon the same platform, which was carried-over from the XJS. Of course much tweaking and engineering has been done to modernize the platform and provide each car with distinctive ride and handling properties.

R = 420-horsepower rage
When Jaguar adds an "R" to its naming convention, it brings with it a huge boost in performance. In the case of the XKR, I've equated the "R" with "rage," which is what one is subject to when the twin-supercharged 4.2 litre, DOHC V8 unleashes 420-horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 413 pound-feet of torque @ 4,000 rpm. Rage that is both felt and heard.

With power flowing through a six-speed paddle-shift equipped automatic transmission, acceleration is brutally potent. Look for 0-100kph times of 5-seconds or so. Accompanying the g-forces is a soundtrack decidedly un-Jaguar-like. This refined cat has one heck of a ferocious roar, especially when its roof is retracted, leaving nothing between ears and the quadruple exhaust tips blatting-out a staccato crescendo of unparalleled intensity.

This mill provides spectacular performances.
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