The most track-focused road car in Jaguar’s history – the new Jaguar XKR-S GT – is a chance to reach Australia despite production initially being limited to just 30 left-hand-drive vehicles.
Jaguar product public relations manager Jonathan Griffiths admitted the hardcore Jaguar XKR-S GT coupe was designed primarily for North America (25 destined for the US, and five for Canada), but said the British manufacturer would build additional vehicles for other markets if there was demand.
“If we get orders [from other regions], then yes,” said Griffiths, who also confirmed there was nothing stopping Jaguar from building the XKR-S GT in right-hand drive for markets like Australia and the UK.
An evolution of the XKR-S (itself an uprated version of the XKR), the Jaguar XKR-S GT features a host of aerodynamic components and suspension developments designed to increase downforce and optimise the car’s high-speed cornering ability.
Enhancing the XKR-S GT’s aerodynamic efficiency is a racecar-style wraparound carbonfibre front splitter and wheel arch extensions, aggressively styled twin dive-planes, bonnet louvres, and an optimised aluminium front valance to smooth airflow under the car.
The massive carbonfibre rear wing extends the XKR-S GT’s aerodynamic performance, generating up to 145kg of downforce at the car’s electronically limited 300km/h top speed.
Despite the Jaguar XKR-S GT’s 404kW/680Nm 5.0-litre supercharged V8 being no more powerful than the tune found in the regular XKR-S, the aerodynamic enhancements and some other weight-saving measures see the GT’s 0-100km/h sprint time fall around three-tenths of a second to 4.1secs.
The XKR-S GT is equipped with a fully active performance exhaust system with valves that open under load, which is designed to enhance gas flow, optimise power output and enrich the car’s aural character.
The front and rear suspension arms, uprights, wheel bearings, sub-frame and bushings are all new. Featuring a motorsport-derived twin-spring system, the front and rear spring rates are 68 per cent and 25 per cent stiffer respectively than those of the XKR-S.
Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics system has been specially tuned to deliver higher levels of body control providing improved traction, with a focus on optimising on-track performance.
The front track is 52mm wider, while the steering rack – inherited from the new Jaguar F-Type – has a faster ratio, giving a more immediate response to driver inputs.
The XKR-S GT also becomes the first production Jaguar to be fitted with carbon-ceramic brakes. The internally ventilated, cross-drilled lightweight discs measure 398mm at the front and 380mm at the rear, and combine with six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers finished in bright yellow.
The carbon-ceramic brakes cut 21kg from the car’s weight and sit inside 20-inch gloss-black forged alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli Corsa performance tyres.
Priced at US$174,000, the GT is around 32 per cent more expensive than the standard Jaguar XKR-S in the US. Applying the same premium to current Australian prices would see the Jaguar XKR-S GT start from $394,000, making it roughly $95,000 more than the XKR-S.