There are few luxury car companies out there with the history and reputation of Jaguar. Jaguar has always stood apart from other car companies thanks to its rich heritage and uncompromising stance with regards to melding comfort with performance, and the spirit of founder Sir William Lyons has lived on through the decades in the form of some of the world’s most desirable premium automobiles.
Over the course of more than 90 years in the automobile business there have been a number of important vehicles launched by Jaguar. Let’s take a closer look at five iconic Jaguar automobiles from the past decade.
It only makes sense to begin with the Jaguar XF, the mid-size sedan that signaled the beginning of Jaguar’s resurgence on the international luxury scene. Sporting a fresh design that boldly displayed the future of the automaker while shedding much of the original styling cues that had lingered on in other Jaguar models for close to 50 years, the Jaguar XF was an important statement from the luxury brand when it first hit the streets as a 2009 model.
It also helps that the current 2011 Jaguar XF has considerable bark to back up its sultry and aggressive good looks. The entry-level engine in the XF portfolio is a 5.0-liter V-8 unit that puts out 385 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. The Supercharged trim slaps a blower on this motor to squeeze out an additional 85 horses, while the XFR cranks up the boost and produces 510 ponies from the 5.0-liter motor. A six-speed automatic transmission handles the gear shifting duties for each Jaguar XF model, and the automobile’s available adaptive suspension system provides an exceptional amount of road holding ability through the corners.
The Jaguar S-Type might have ceased production in 2008, but this retro-flavored four-door represents an excellent value on the secondhand market. Styled to resemble the Jaguar designs of the 1960s, the Jaguar S-Type delivers very modern performance and comfort, with equipment such as leather seats, an Alpine stereo system, navigation and HID headlights included as standard, depending on the model selected.
Under the hood, in its final year the Jaguar S-Type offered the choice of either a 235 horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 or a 300 horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8 engine. Six-speed automatic transmissions were the order of the day for each motor, and this same gearbox was also found on the performance-oriented S-Type R motor, which added a supercharger to the V-8 engine in order to produce 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque.
The Jaguar XJR was radically transformed in 2011, shedding decades of design baggage that stretched back to the original incarnation of this regal full-size luxury sedan and adopting a completely updated chassis and body design. The result has been a thorough modernization of Jaguar’s flagship automobile. The Jaguar XJ Supersport represents the fine point of the brand’s performance technology, featuring Active Differential Control and Adaptive Dynamics. Each of these systems allows the XJ Supersport to hunker down and stick to the road like Velcro without sacrificing the ultra-smooth ride and phenomenal body control that Jaguar drivers have come to expect.
It also helps that the 2011 Jaguar Supersport has been gifted with the most powerful engine in the company’s sedan lineup. Purring between the Supersport’s fenders is a supercharged, 510 horsepower V-8 engine that displaces 5.0-liters and which is shifted through a six-speed auto gearbox. Also capable of generating 461 lb-ft of torque, the Supersport can leap to 60-mph in only 4.7 seconds, which places it in the company of several dedicated sports cars.
When the most recent generation Jaguar XK coupe and convertible first hit the scene in 2006, the evolution from the previous model was startling. The Jaguar XK had adopted a design that many equated with more exotic European GT cars, but at a price that made it a solid value for luxury shoppers. The XK has also served as one of the automaker’s most personal vehicles, providing custom options such as a heated windshield and exclusive piano black wood trim on top of standard features like heated and cooled leather seats and a touchscreen navigation system.
The Jaguar XK certainly doesn’t lack in the power department, either, with the 2011 model starting out with a 5.0-liter V-8 that provides 385 horsepower. Drivers can choose to step up to a supercharged version of the motor (found in the XKR trim) that grinds out 510 horses, with each motor mated to the same six-speed automatic transmission. The Jaguar XKR checks in with a zero to 60-mph sprint of 4.5 seconds, just a tick quicker than the heavier XJ Supersport sedan.
The 2011 Jaguar XKR-S is a limited edition model based on the Jaguar XKR that provides the utmost in performance and supercar-level styling. The Jaguar XKR-S is instantly recognizable thanks to the extensive aerodynamic adjustments and improvements that have been made to its body work in order to promote stability during high speed driving. Also notable are its unique 20-inch wheels and the presence of the Jaguar High Performance Braking System, whose red calipers peek out from between the XKR-S’ spokes.
The most powerful street car offered by Jaguar in more than a decade, the 2011 Jaguar XKR-S offers a special version of the XKR’s supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that has been tuned to provide 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. This output is sent through a six-speed automatic transmission and monitored by both Jaguar’s Active Differential Control system and Dynamic Stability Control system, offering a zero to 60-mph time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 186-mph. The Jaguar XKR-S is the luxury brand’s most driver-oriented car, and also its most exclusive.