For every mass-market cornerstone, there will always be an alternative. The 2015 Jaguar XKR-S has for several years presented exactly that to the world’s luxury sports coupe shoppers, a grand touring model that goes toe-to-toe with similarly-powerful models like the Porsche 911 Turbo S and the BMW M6. Selling in far fewer numbers than its German rivals, the Jaguar XKR-S layers top-tier acceleration and arresting looks over class and style in the British tradition, giving it an exclusivity not so much related to its price but rather the taste of its owners. If the 911 Turbo S is the car your dentist drives, then the XKR-S is the one you pull up beside at a stoplight and immediately wonder what scion of the aristocracy you have seemingly crossed paths with.
Despite its many charms, the moving target represented by federal safety regulations, combined with the successful launch of the smaller and nimbler Jaguar F-TYPE have conspired to make 2015 the final model year for the XK, XKR, and XKR-S. There’s no elaborate retirement ceremony planned and no flags to fly at half mast once the final XKR-S rolls off of the production line and into history - all that will remind us that this mighty beast once hunted our highways and byways will be the echo of its supercharged V-8 engine punishing the road beneath its wheels.