All the drama and performance of a supercar, but fewer of the costs and frustrations....

03 August, 2015

Press the button labelled ‘Start’ for a few seconds and the XKR-S snorts into life before settling to a melodic and soothing thrum.


Jaguar says the XKR-S Coupe is the quickest model in its illustrious history, but it’s still a cosy thing to drive at low speeds. Its leather seats adjust in 16 different ways for heaven’s sake.

It’s the same story with the Jag’s automatic gearbox, which might not be as quick-shifting as some newer rivals from the likes of Ferrari, but allows you to lope more serenely during the boring driving we all encounter most of the time.

And yet, this ‘cosy’ car can reach a top speed of 186mph and accelerate from a standstill to 100mph in 8.7 seconds, all while emitting one of the best exhaust bellows found behind a steering wheel.

To see it happen from outside you’d think the world had gone into fast forward.

At its heart there’s a 5-litre supercharged V8, which sends a prodigious 542bhp and 501lb/ft of torque to the rear wheels. This might sound like a recipe for nothing but smoking wheel spin, but during our drive – admittedly in the dry – the 295/35 R20 rear tyres and suite of electronic driver aids kept the XKR-S stable and fast, with little intervention to spoil the fun.

Its steering is light but accurate, and because the XKR-S is a long car, stability is excellent as you carve from one corner to the next. Gently feed in the power during a long gradual bend, and the cornering forces it can summon are up there with most supercars.

This is in part down to its adaptive damping system, which alters the setup of the chassis second-by-second and has been re-programmed to summon even more grip than in the standard XK.

Exterior changes have been dictated by the wind tunnel, with new front air intakes, side sills, rear diffuser and rear wing all designed to take the svelte Coupe and improve its performance and high-speed stability, reducing lift by as much as 26 per cent.

20-inch gloss black ‘Vulcan’ alloy wheels and a 10mm drop in ride height visually plant the XKR-S onto the tarmac; just as well as its wings literally stick it to the ground.

Some feel these go-faster add-ons have spoilt the XK’s graceful lines, but as looks are purely subjective, we’ll let you decide. It certainly adds a dose of aggression, and takes on quite a different character depending on whether you go for French Racing Blue, British Racing Green, Italian Racing Red, Polaris White or Stratus Grey.

More likely to be off-putting is an average fuel economy of 23mpg, but in reality, the XKR-S is neither a car which is likely to be used every day, or one purchased by people too bothered about saving money at the green pump.

So, onto our final question. Who will buy the XKR-S? It’s less of a techno-fest than the Nissan GT-R and less well suited to track days than a stripped-out Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

We think it will appeal to buyers who want to experience the drama and performance of a supercar, but with fewer of the costs and frustrations of a mid-engined, carbon fibre exotic.

By Andy Goodwin, senior road tester,

Who needs austerity, lets focus on the XKR-S...

03 August, 2015

I've cracked it. Where countless politicians and economists have failed, I think I may have found a solution to the economic crisis. Forget quantitative easing, interest rates and house building, the one thing that can drag us out of the recession is the Jaguar XKR-S.

You might need to bear with me on this…

Last month I had the pleasure of driving the £97,000 supercar for the first time and for 20 glorious minutes, I was on top of the world. I admit that the XKR-S isn’t exactly a PetrolBlog car. Heck, for £25k more, I could have the entire contents of my Real World Dream Barn. But hey, surely everybody is allowed to indulge themselves every once in a while?

But why does the XKR-S have the potential to haul us from the age of austerity? undefinedJaguar XKR-S outside pub in Wiltshire

It’s quite simple when you think about it. The Jaguar XKR-S is a quite brilliant car. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that the XKR-S is more than just a car. It’s an icon. A masterpiece. A representation of all that’s good about British engineering.

Only a single letter change separates class and crass and often, through association more than anything else, a supercar can end up being crass. But the Jaguar XKR-S, even in ‘look at me’ white, simply oozes class.

When it comes to sophistication, elegance and subtlety, nobody does it better. Time for a change, Mr Bond?

Those delightful 20 minutes behind the wheel of the XKR-S were astounding. For a car with dimensions that make it only slightly smaller than Chipping Norton, the big cat is surprisingly easy to chuck around a British B-road. Its off-the-line pace is breathtaking – it’ll rocket to 60mph in 4.2 seconds and go on to a top speed of 186mph. I was somewhat taken aback when I got the rear wheels spinning in third gear, but then with 558bhp on tap, the XKR-S is so powerful, you sense it could drag the Isle of Wight out of the Solent.

Jaguar XKR-S back viewAnd then there’s the noise. Oh my word, the noise. Jaguar, here’s a request. Please, please, please bottle the sound made by the 5.0 V8 supercharged engine and have it made available on prescription. It’s the best cure for depression I’ve ever come across.


And yet, despite the Jag’s epic dimensions, power and indeed, price tag, it somehow manages to remain effortlessly cool. The big Jag should be revered rather than reviled. It says more in a single whisper than other supercars could shout in an entire decade.

So here’s the plan.

If you’re a captain of industry, a genuine A-lister, a school headteacher or an infinitely cool person, please phone your local Jaguar dealer and place an order. Immediately. Don’t waste your time with the tedious task of a test drive or the rather tasteless act of face-to-face negotiation, simply choose a colour and place a deposit. Take it from me, you won’t be disappointed.

The more XKR-Ss that are seen on Britain’s roads, the better the economy will perform. The XKR-S is the ultimate motivational tool. The good people of Britain will once again learn not to accept second best. We shall no longer be satisfied with glorious failure. No more the plucky underdog. With the XKR-S, Britain shall rise again. The XKR-S is not only something to be proud of, but it’s also something to aim for.

Jaguar XKR-S high frontIf you’re head of sales for your organisation, I demand that you hold a photo of the XKR-S in front of your sales team. This is why you need to sell more paper clips. This is why you need to sell one more conservatory this month. Second best isn’t good enough – you can only call yourself a success once you’ve owned a Jaguar XKR-S.

You’re a head teacher. Then start saving for the big Jag. Nothing will spur on the pupils at your school more than the sight of your XKR-S in the car park. Go further than this. Pin a photo of the XKR-S to every desk at your school. This is why you need to work hard, kids. Forget pinning your hopes on Celebrity Simply Come Dine With Ice Factor – that’s not a passport to greatness. Ownership of a Jaguar XKR-S is. And parents, you can help too by ensuring a spec list for the XKR-S is glued to inside of your child’s lunchbox.


It cannot fail. Workers will work harder. School children will…er…school harder. The increased productivity will improve the economy. The Jaguar XKR-S can do this.

Think of the knock-on effect of greater XKR-S ownership. More demand means more supply is needed. So new factories will be opened and more jobs created. And more people in work means more people spending money, so the XKR-S will help the retail sector too. Wow, what a car.

Then there are the countless suppliers of parts and accessories. The joy will spread throughout the nation.

Jaguar XKR-S interiorAnd you, Mr Farmer, don’t think you’re left out of the good times. Each XKR-S comes with the finest Warm Charcoal leather, so cattle farming will need to be ramped up. Turn those fields of crops into pasture for the cows to ensure a plentiful supply of hides. And we all know that cattle farming makes for a more beautiful countryside, so tourism will increase too, thanks to all the visitors flocking to see our green and pleasant land.


And Mr Petrol Forecourt Retailer, you’re in for a treat too. The XKR-S’s combined MPG figure of 23.0 means that more drivers will be spending more time in your garage. So stock up on Snickers and Jelly Babies as we know you make more margin on sweets than you do on fuel. And believe me, such is the intoxicating feeling of driving the XKR-S at the limit, that most people will be seeing the 14.9 urban MPG figure.

Jaguar XKR-S rear sideOh and don’t feel you’re being left out, Mr Tyre Fitter. With the 235/35 R20 rear tyres costing upwards of £200 a piece, you’ll be enjoying bumper profits as sales of the XKR-S rise. Being in rubber will never have felt better.

I seriously can’t see how this plan will fail. Every way you look at this, the country wins. More dealers will be required. More servicing departments will be needed. Everyone’s a winner.

Let’s also not forget that the XKR-S is quite simply the sexiest car on the road today. Britain will look more respectable. More beautiful. The Jaguar XKR-S can make Britain sexy. One can only hope that this inspires the population to dress accordingly. No more tracksuits, jogging bottoms and football shirts. You see, the Jaguar XKR-S really is a car that keeps on giving.

And the more XKR-Ss that are bought now, the more choice we’ll have on the secondhand market in a few years time. See, even PetrolBlog readers benefit from this.

Jaguar XKR-S boot space 330 litresBut best of all, the Jaguar XKR-S is made in Britain. So when other countries see what the car has done for us, they’ll want a piece of the action. The XKR-S will become our biggest export since The Beatles.

I therefore present to you, the car that will drag this nation out of the doldrums. The exquisite and quite beautiful, Jaguar XKR-S.

However, if it all goes wrong, the XKR-S would make the perfect bank robber’s car. It seats four and has 330 litres of boot space. And the cops would never catch you…


Shut it!

by Gavin Big-Surname on

Say hello to the XKR-S.... A scaled down version of Zeus that has 542 horses charging beneath the bonnet.

03 August, 2015


Published date: 27 July 2012 | Published by: Richard Jones undefined

YOU are looking at Jaguar’s hottest XK to date, a scaled down version of Zeus that has 542 horses charging beneath the bonnet. Say hello to the XKR-S.

The Greek king of gods may rule Mount Olympus, but this Coventry-built GT pretty much rules everywhere else that has a decent stretch of road and a store selling clean underpants.

Simply put, the XKR-S is a beautiful (even in this very un-Jaguar shade of blue) sub £100,000 performance coupe with savage speed and blistering acceleration.

The bare facts say it will achieve 0-60mph in a rapid 4.2 seconds and will carry on accelerating until it reaches a top speed of 186mph, making it the fastest mass-produced Jaguar ever. But numbers alone don’t do justice to the sheer brutality of this car.

Stand on the throttle and you’ll swear you’ve just activated the afterburner in a F-16 fighter jet. The engine roars like an angry lion and the once-distant horizon smacks you in the face faster than you can say a four-letter word of your choosing.

The XKR-S is startlingly agile too. Push it hard and it will thread along twisty roads with great poise, while at the same time gripping the surface as if its 20-inch tyres are coated with an adhesive invented by a scientist from Krypton.

The car acquits itself beautifully on bigger roads too and thanks to its prodigious power it makes even the longest of straights seem like tiny back alleys.

But while driving supercars can sometimes be draining - a bit hard work, a bit like trying to get a Chinese visa - the Jaguar XKR-S is different; it’s as easy a sharing a bowl of Spaghetti with a beautiful Hollywood blonde. Handy technologies like a reverse parking camera, which sends pictures from the rear of the car to the seven-inch touchscreen in the dash, along with the active Jaguar Driving Control System, which can be adapted according to weather conditions and road surfaces, means the car has been optimised for driving ease and comfort.

The active damping system is even designed to constantly monitor the car’s movement, so if you are popping to the corner shop to pick up some milk the Jag will soften the suspension to maximise comfort. On the other hand, if you are late and hurtling down the motorway, the system will automatically increase suspension firmness and grip.

Critics among you will no doubt question the need to spend an extra £20k when, by any normal standards, the standard Jaguar XKR is already a top performance coupe. But there is so much more to this range-topping model than the extra 39bhp and the letter S, for the additional money you are getting a car that is more poised and more aggressively styled; you are getting a car that has helped transform the Jaguar image.

The gloves have come off at Jaguar HQ and the big cat team has built a car capable of taking on the best performance coupes from Germany and Italy.

Fact file

Tested: 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol Jaguar XKR-S
Price: From £98,000
Power/torque: 542bhp @ 6,000rpm/502lb ft @2,500rpm
Top speed: 186mph
Acceleration: 0-62 in 4.2 seconds
Fuel economy: 23.0mph (EU Combined)

Drooling? Wanna see it being driven?


Welcome to my XKR-S Blog... Adventures of a Fat Cat....

01 August, 2015

Description and activities to follow soon..... keep checking back!!!undefined

Newer posts →