Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book
KBB.com 2009 Jaguar XK Series Overview
Recently acquired by India's Tata Motors, Jaguar is embarking on a new era in its illustrious history. But in this time of change, one constant remains: The automaker's commitment to create cars that match expressive styling with impressive performance. Advancing that noble cause well beyond the formidable XK models, the exhilarating XKR Coupe and Convertible boast stronger 420-horsepower supercharged V8s, upgraded suspension and braking and enhanced levels of standard equipment. These 2+2 Hypercats are bred to take on the likes of the BMW M6, Maserati GranTurismo and Porsche 911 Turbo, with some two-seaters, such as the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and Chevy Corvette Z06 and ZR1, in their sights. Adding a halo effect to the lineup are XKR Portfolio trim-level versions that bring unique and even-richer features to the 385 limited-edition vehicles we'll see here for 2009.
Those who like a bit of beast mixed in with their beauty will find the 2009 Jaguar XKR's added muscle a perfect complement to the car's stunning good looks. The net result is an exquisitely rendered package that works as well in everyday commuting duties as it does when challenging a twisty back road.
Those who prioritize pure firepower and edgier handling might find the pricier BMW M6 or Porsche 911 Turbo more to their liking. Anyone who expects to have even the occasional need for usable rear seats might want to redirect their automotive lust to a Maserati GranTurismo instead.
Ultimate Black Metallic paint, Front Park Control and power-folding side mirrors are now standard equipment, as are the previously-optional 525-watt Premium Surround Sound System, SIRIUS, USB and iPod connectivity and air-quality-sensing auto-recirculation climate control. New Satin American Walnut veneers are available, Alcon brakes now cost extra on re-trimmed Portfolio editions and a Dynamic Handling Package (suspension, brake and wheel upgrades) is now optional.
Compared to the Jaguar XK models, the supercharged XKRs excel in rewarding demanding drivers with a car that's considerably more capable but only marginally less comfortable. Tap the starter button and the potent V8 springs to life with the throaty rumble of 420 horses. It's matched with a paddle-shifted six-speed sequential automatic and a sportier version of Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension (eCATS) that uses stiffer springs and two-stage adjustable shock absorbers, plus a rear-mounted strut brace, to sharpen control and response without ruining ride compliance. Rounding out the dynamic mix are driver-selectable stability and traction controls, higher-effort power steering and bigger, confidence-inspiring anti-lock brakes. Caveats include modestly compromised driver sightlines, particularly in the Convertible with the top up, and a navigation-system display can be difficult to read in bright sun. But those downsides pale when compared to the rewards either of these Jaguars delivers to anyone behind the wheel.
XKR Portfolio editions
The XKR Portfolio Coupe gets a classy Convertible running-mate for 2009 and both boast cosmetic enhancements that include Shadow Grey Metallic paint, milled-aluminum front fender vents, 20-inch Selena-style alloy wheels, soft-grain interior leather with Rich Oak or Engine Spin aluminum accents, 16-way power seats and a Bowers & Wilkins speaker upgrade for its 525-watt premium Surround Sound audio package.
Springing for this XKR extra brings soft-grain leather, not only on the upgraded 16-way power seats but on the dash, doors, steering wheel, shift knob and center console, adding the kind of visual and tactile distinction that a car in this price range deserves.
Contemporary with classic overtones, the 2009 Jaguar XKR interior blends high-tech elements with aluminum "technical-weave" trim, supple hand-stitched leather and multiple "R" logos. Aggressively bolstered sport seats highlight a layout that pairs white-on-black analog main gauges with a logically arrayed center stack that has audio and climate controls topped by a large touch-screen for the navigation system. Although six-footers will be comfortable in front, the XKR's rear seats are more suitable for children or briefcases. A liftback eases access to the Coupe's 10.6 cubic feet of cargo space, while the Convertible's trunk can stow a maximum of 10.0 cubic feet with the top up, less with it tucked away.
Few cars of any kind can match the exotic visual character of the 2009 Jaguar XKR's sleekly contoured aluminum bodywork. Classic long-nose/short-deck proportions impart a sporting flair to both the Coupe and Convertible that hearkens back to Jag's legendary E-Types. A bolder-than-XK front fascia treatment with bright mesh grille inserts, bi-xenon headlights, prominently flared fenders and 19-inch alloy wheels with Z-rated 245/40 front tires with 275/35 rears are key accent ingredients in this styling recipe that never fails to turn heads, regardless of whether it's the fixed-roof Coupe, or the Convertible with the power-activated soft top that raises and lowers in 20 seconds at the press of a button.
Function and fashion elegantly intertwine in the 2009 Jaguar XKR, starting with rich leather seating surfaces, aluminum technical-weave accents, numerous power assists, 10-way power seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, DVD-based navigation and a 525-watt Alpine Surround Sound audio with Dolby Pro Logic II circuitry. The Portfolio trim level adds full soft-grain leather trim, 16-way power seats, a Bowers & Wilkins custom speaker package and more. All share a 420-horsepower V8, six-speed automatic transmission and a tauter version of Jaguar's enhanced Computer Active Technology Suspension (eCATS). Safety features include adaptive front lighting, upgraded anti-lock disc brakes, front and front-side airbags and anti-whiplash front head restraints, plus automatic-deploying rollover hoops on the Convertible.
The XKR offers two primary extras groups: A Luxury Package (soft-grain leather throughout the cabin, heated steering wheel and 16-way power front seats) and the new Dynamic Handling Package (revised sport suspension, Alcon brakes and 20-inch Takoba-style alloy wheels). Stand-alone options include the Bowers & Wilkins premium nine-speaker system, various custom interior and exterior colors and trims, 20-inch Senta-design alloy wheels and distance-maintaining Adaptive Cruise Control. The XKR Portfolio trim also offers larger, high-performance Alcon disc brakes – with or without the 20-inch Senta rims.
All XKR variants share an identical supercharged 4.2-liter all-aluminum V8. This force-fed version of Jaguar's sophisticated 32-valve double-overhead-cam V8 makes 420 horsepower, 413 pound-feet of torque and uses variable intake-valve timing to spread that output over a broad rev range. The responsive ZF six-speed sequential automatic transmission includes a Sport mode that delivers lightning-quick upshifts and downshifts using paddles mounted on the steering wheel, and incorporates a throttle-blipping feature to smooth transitions on the downshifts. While all XKR variants share 15/25 mpg city/highway EPA marks and a top speed of 155 mph, the 3,814-lb Coupe can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, while the 3,924-lb Convertible needs 5.0 seconds to hit that mark.
4.2-liter V8 Supercharged
420 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
413 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the Jaguar XKR Coupe starts at just under $88,500, while the XKR Convertible opens slightly below $94,500. In the Portfolio trim level, those figures rise to slightly under the $95,000 and $102,000 marks, but all four of these Jaguars still undercut the base prices of their BMW M6 and Porsche 911 Turbo competitors – as well as the coupe-only (for now, at least) Maserati GranTurismo. Choosing all the options with either XKR can add around $10,000 to the bottom line, and the Alcon brakes, Senta wheels and Adaptive Cruise Control will bump the Portfolio's sticker by a like amount. Historically, Jaguar residual values have been significantly below those of BMW and Porsche. However, it's also true that many well-heeled owners who favor Jaguar's style and spirit might be inclined to prioritize the gratification of driving one of these Top Cats in the near future over worrying about the steeper depreciation it may suffer at trade-in time.