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Thread: 2008 Jaguar XKR

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    2008 Jaguar XKR


    Here's the thing about Jaguars: You forgive their quirks - even their inadequacies - much more easily than you would the same deficiencies in a less soulful car. Jags are pretty. No, more than just "pretty." Exceptionally pretty. And like exceptionally pretty people, it's simply harder to get mad at them. You are bewitched.

    Consider the XKR - the hotted-up version of Jag's XK-series four-seater coupe and convertible.

    It is drop dead gorgeous - so much so that even if the thing didn't run, you'd want to keep it in the garage anyway as an object d' art. It has the feline sultriness of its namesake; wide, low, rippling muscles shimmering just below a tautly stretched skin and ready for the kill. Magnificent. Shaggadelic, even.

    You don't t think much about Jaguar's not-so-great reputation for quality control - very much like you'd tune out something vacuous or annoying a supermodel (Barbie or Himbo) might say.

    Once inside, you're still entranced. That long hood. Dog leg shifter gate. "Growler" embossed on the three-spoke steering wheel, his mouth wide open - a hint of what's to come when the supercharged V-8 is tasked. It doesn't matter much that the touch-screen display for the integrated climate control, audio and GPS system is harder to use than it should be - or that satellite radio still costs extra on a car with a near six-figure MSRP.

    Beauty trumps everything.

    You want to sign the papers and drive the car home, little niggles be damned. It's an emotional connection - the same as it's always been with Jags. You find you just can't help yourself.

    At least, that's how I felt.

    The $86,035-$92,035 XKR (coupe/convertible) is defined by its high-performance upgrades over the standard XK-series. The heart of the package is a supercharged version of the XK's 4.2 liter DOHC V-8, which serves up 420 horsepower - or 120 more than the non-supercharged XK's 4.2 liter V-8.

    The added power drops the 0-60 time to just under 5 seconds - and what's more important for everyday driving, the boosted engine delivers immediate and forceful thrust whenever called upon. A six-speed automatic with full manual/auto capability and "sport" and "normal" settings (and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters) accompanies the force-fed V-8.

    A manual transmission is not available.

    Other XKR-specifics include a performance-calibrated adaptive suspension (CATS, in Jaguar argot), 19-inch rims (20-inchers are available with the optional Portfolio package), high-performance brakes, retuned steering, quad tailpipes, aluminum mesh grille - and twin hood vents to help keep the supercharged engine running cool. Inside, the XK's Burl and Poplar wood trim plates are replaced with racier-looking aluminum pieces with a brushed/carbon fiber-looking applique. The driver also gets a special 16-way sport bucket with electric-adjustable side bolsters.

    The XK's chassis and bodywork and are built almost entirely out of aluminum now - and this dropped the weight of the convertible by 20 percent and dramatically upped the performance of both versions with only a minor increase in peak horsepower (420 vs. 390) over the previous-generation XKR. 420 horses pull a lot harder when they're pulling several hundred pounds less dead weight. And the superior performance is achieved without hurting the MPGs. The more powerful, quicker and faster 2008 XKR gets almost exactly the same gas mileage as the old model XKR - 15 city/23 highway (vs. 16 city, 23 highway).

    Not too shabby.

    Like most two-plus-twos, the XKR's back seats are not really viable for people - especially in the coupe, where the sexy slope of the fastback roofline comes at the price of serviceable headroom. But it's better in the convertible (with the top down) and either way, you've got a bit more room to carry things like a couple of bags of groceries than you would in a two-seater.

    One very noteworthy piece of intelligence to pass on about the '08 XKR is that its electronic stability/traction control system can be turned off completely. In this respect, the Jag's attitude is very different from that of several competitors - especially Teutonic ones - which dictatorially refuse to cede to the driver absolute authority, even when you push the "off" button. In these cars, the system is really only partially off - and will cut right in if the know-it-all computer thinks you're becoming overly exuberant. That sucks the fun right out of it for me - and I'm willing to bet many fellow enthusiasts share that opinion. When one pays nearly $100k for a high-performance exotic, one does not expect to be denied access to the machine's full capability - no matter how indiscrete the resultant actions may be.

    Look here, chief: If they guy next to me in his $26k Mustang GT can do a proper burnout, I damn well better be able to do a better one in my six-figure Jag!

    Even when it's not turned off the XKR's stability/traction control system is set up to provide a lot more leeway than the system used in the regular XK-series. For example, a decent bit of wheelspin is allowed during full-throttle standing starts - and without the herky-jerky power cutbacks/ABS applications that you sometimes have to deal with in other cars. The XKR's system will also allow some tail-wagging power slides - up to a point. If you want to hang it out in the breeze even more, just tap the button and send Mr. Computer off to the land of Nod for awhile. He won't bother you anymore - and with any luck, neither will the cops!

    Handling-wise, the XKR's not as balls-out aggressive as, say, a Porsche 911 (or even a plebian Corvette). But this is compensated for by the Jag's substantially more civilized demeanor. And anyway, you can make up what you lost in corner speed by punching it once the road straightens out. If 5 second to 60 sprints and the ability to leap from say 35 mph to 60 mph like a panther running down an unlucky forest deer isn't speedy enough, you might want something more single-minded in focus.

    But if it's style and beauty you're after, a Jaguar's hard to beat.

    END


  2. #2
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    Re: 2008 Jaguar XKR

    Here's the youtube promotion of this article:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-_-XOEJJOM

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2008 Jaguar XKR

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Here's the youtube promotion of this article:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-_-XOEJJOM
    Thanks, Pete - looks mahvelous, as always!

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    Re: 2008 Jaguar XKR

    Please send money.

    I am bored with my GM LS1.

    Thanks Pete for the links; I just bought some whisky and wine for Xmas and the place next door is a motorbike shop which has lots of cafe racers outside and I need POWER....

    btw that 4.2 supercharged Jag gives the kind of power Aussie tuners regularly get out of LS-series GM V8s unblown 320Kw at rear wheel but normally aspirated they need big cams for that, and blown the rest of the car breaks <g>

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2008 Jaguar XKR

    Quote Originally Posted by robmcg
    Please send money.

    I am bored with my GM LS1.

    Thanks Pete for the links; I just bought some whisky and wine for Xmas and the place next door is a motorbike shop which has lots of cafe racers outside and I need POWER....

    btw that 4.2 supercharged Jag gives the kind of power Aussie tuners regularly get out of LS-series GM V8s unblown 320Kw at rear wheel but normally aspirated they need big cams for that, and blown the rest of the car breaks <g>
    You maybe need something with character... that is, something older - and a bit wilder. The LS1 is wonderfully efficient - but so is a modern diesel electric train, eh?

    That's why I love my old Pontiac; the massive (7.4 liter) V-8 may not make as much hp as the LS1 (though it could - with more torque, besides) but it is a living thing compared with the anodyne, dime-a-dozen ECU'd, EFI'd modern stuff.

    Maybe an old jag V-12 is what would fix ya?

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    Re: 2008 Jaguar XKR

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Maybe an old jag V-12 is what would fix ya?
    Indeed it would, and there are some early XJ12s around with carbs, right up my alley! But they RUST in my environment... also they feel OLD to drive even though they ride better than any car I've ever owned.

    Food for thought, though. There is a 1996 XJ12 on the market too at US$10K, full of the old Jag character, but efi and plastic abounds, and it wouldn't be as fast as my LS1! <g> I fully comprehend the pleasures of carb-distributor cars.

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    Re: 2008 Jaguar XKR

    Quote Originally Posted by robmcg
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Maybe an old jag V-12 is what would fix ya?
    Indeed it would, and there are some early XJ12s around with carbs, right up my alley! But they RUST in my environment... also they feel OLD to drive even though they ride better than any car I've ever owned.

    Food for thought, though. There is a 1996 XJ12 on the market too at US$10K, full of the old Jag character, but efi and plastic abounds, and it wouldn't be as fast as my LS1! <g> I fully comprehend the pleasures of carb-distributor cars.
    I LOVE the 1971-1973 Jaguar XJ12. A friend of my parents owned a 1973 British Racing Green model with a tan/beige interior. The connolly leather absolutely tickeld the nostrils and the V12 engine was so quiet you sometimes hit the starter while it was running. The doors opened and shut with a solid thunk and the car rode like silk over any type of pavement.

    The wooden dash gleamed when hit by the sun and the gages on the dash were arranged horizontally to give you the whole scoop on its operation. The 4 Stromberg carbs made the car eat gas like an 18 wheeler. I think that my parents friend got 12 mpg on the highway.

    That V12 Jag was capable of 140 mph and was quite a handler as are all Jags.

    I really miss that car and the memories of that time. It was truly the car on the fringe of a golden era.



    I wish that it was a tad more reliable, as repairs on the V12 were astronomical even in 1970's dollars.



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    Re: 2008 Jaguar XKR

    I fully agree that the early XJ12s were amazing cars!

    I had a good friend with a 1973 E-Type V12 [carbs] and it was reliable enough, but didn't handle as well as the XJ. These days either would be an expensive toy unless you had a good workshop. I sold all my Jag stuff about eight years ago... engines, gearboxes, the lot, all in one go, togther with a slightly rusting-around-rear windows tidy mechanically VERY good1973 XJ6 4.2. About US$2K the lot! [sigh]...

    The wheelchair and age jas made it less than practical to run a labor-intensive car.
    '

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    Re: 2008 Jaguar XKR

    Quote Originally Posted by robmcg
    I fully agree that the early XJ12s were amazing cars!

    I had a good friend with a 1973 E-Type V12 [carbs] and it was reliable enough, but didn't handle as well as the XJ. These days either would be an expensive toy unless you had a good workshop. I sold all my Jag stuff about eight years ago... engines, gearboxes, the lot, all in one go, togther with a slightly rusting-around-rear windows tidy mechanically VERY good1973 XJ6 4.2. About US$2K the lot! [sigh]...

    The wheelchair and age jas made it less than practical to run a labor-intensive car.
    '
    Ahh....and less oil on the floor!
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  10. #10
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2008 Jaguar XKR

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1
    Quote Originally Posted by robmcg
    I fully agree that the early XJ12s were amazing cars!

    I had a good friend with a 1973 E-Type V12 [carbs] and it was reliable enough, but didn't handle as well as the XJ. These days either would be an expensive toy unless you had a good workshop. I sold all my Jag stuff about eight years ago... engines, gearboxes, the lot, all in one go, togther with a slightly rusting-around-rear windows tidy mechanically VERY good1973 XJ6 4.2. About US$2K the lot! [sigh]...

    The wheelchair and age jas made it less than practical to run a labor-intensive car.
    '
    Ahh....and less oil on the floor!
    Yes... but -

    An old Jag looks better on jackstands than most new cars look driving down the road!

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