2008 Geneva Auto Show: 2009 Jaguar XKR Portfolio
Making the exclusive even more exclusive
What it Is
2009 Jaguar XKR Portfolio Preview – 2008 Geneva Auto Show: When you see the word “Portfolio” in a Jaguar’s name, expect three things. First, there won’t be very many of them. Second, there will be luxurious surroundings, such as leather-covered dash, sumptuous seating, high-end audio systems and maybe even a few extra performance goodies. Finally, expect to write a very large check to get one. The 2009 XKR Portfolio does nothing to change the first two parts of this equation, and even though Jaguar hasn’t released prices, we suspect the third will be fully intact as well.
Why it Matters
The 2009 XKR Portfolio won’t save gas, decrease greenhouse emissions or advance the automotive state of the art. It won’t rocket you to unheard of and largely unattainable speeds. It won’t carry a family of six to the mountains. However, it will do one very important thing: Look pretty. Think that’s not important? We have an entire modeling industry that would love to chat with you. Seriously though, the improvements value style over substance, and visually enhance an already stunning automobile.
What’s Under the Hood
The XKR Portfolio sports the same engine and transmission as other XKRs: A 4.2-liter supercharged V-8 coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. The combination is good for 420 horsepower, and makes the XKR seriously quick. The only significant mechanical change is larger brakes, which Jaguar claims are the largest ever fitted to one of its production cars.
What it Looks Like
The 2009 Jaguar XKR Portfolio’s main mission in life is to look good, and on that front it delivers. The exclusive Shadow Grey metallic paint is so glossy it looks like it hasn’t dried. The big 20-inch Selena wheels feature a unique “shadow” finish, and have red vintage-looking Jaguar center caps. We’re not sure if the seductive lines of the coupe outweigh the inherent fun of the convertible, but in either trim the Portfolio looks good enough to eat.
Leather, wood, wool, aluminum, and an awesome audio system fill the XKR Portfolio’s various nooks and crannies. That also describes the standard XKR’s interior...suffice it to say the luxuriousness has been amped up an order of magnitude in the Portfolio. The leather is contrast stitched, with cranberry stitching on the black leather and slate stitching on the white. The trim is either oak veneer or spun aluminum with a piano black instrument panel. The surround-sound audio system is from Bowers & Wilkins, a name known to audiophiles, and boasts 525 watts. There’s more, but you get the point: Lavish is the order of the day.
What Jaguar Says
Ian Callum is Jaguar’s design director, and is always a reliable source for enlightening quotes like this: “The Jaguar XKR epitomizes Jaguar's commitment to creating beautiful, fast cars. The XKR Portfolio has been crafted using exquisite modern materials - from the use of aluminum inside and out to the stylish cabin's soft-grain leather with twin-needle stitching, hand-crafted veneers and luxury Alston headlining.”
What We Think
The XKR is not our favorite high-end grand touring car to drive, but it’s one of our favorites to see. It has plenty of power, a quick-shifting automatic, good handling and those oh-so sensuous looks. The Portfolio turns the looks up a notch or two, always a good bet. We of course wish for more performance, but for the chosen few who have a big enough checkbook and can whip it out fast enough to get one of these limited production vehicles, we’re sure they’ll be happy.
By Keith Buglewicz
Photo credit: Jaguar