Jaguar XKR-S at the New York Show

Also on display at the Jaguar Land Rover stand at the New York Auto Show was the hard-core variant in the XK model line-up, the XKR-S.
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Jaguar’s Nurburgring performance and handling guru Mike Cross says, “The XKR-S encompasses everything a performance Jaguar should be; as capable, precise and thrilling on your drive home as it is at the Nurburgring. Every response delay has been minimised in order to give the car a more connected feel in the manner in which it steers, handles, stops and goes.”

That’s something we’ll know soon enough, when CarAdvice takes a seat behind the wheel of this bona fide tarmac muncher at ‘The Ring’ in a couple of weeks time.

It looks hard core even when it’s not moving; that’s another Callum design trait, and again, he’s got this one just right with the a lower and more aggressive stance than the standard XKR although, after our recent test session at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the words ‘standard’ and ‘XKR’ don’t mix at all.

You’ll like the two air scoops at the front of the bonnet, and the carbon fibre splitter and front side air intakes send a clear message of purpose, and at the same time are entirely functional and necessary for cooling brakes and engine.

The twenty-inch matt black wheels, shod with the 295/30 series Pirelli rubber at the rear – leave will undoubtedly leave a serious footprint on the tarmac, and I doubt it will matter what sort of load you put them under, there will always be plenty of grip from these monsters.

There are a bunch of dynamic improvements that come together to turn an XKR into an XKR-S but none more important that what’s under the bonnet. It’s the third generation 5.0-litre supercharged AJ-V8, but with revised fuel mapping and an active exhaust, which when combined, produces close enough to 405 kW and 680 Nm of torque. It’s the most powerful Jaguar road car ever built and means that it is a privileged member of the 300km/h club. Off the line acceleration is in the ‘quick’ department too with 0-100km/h coming up in just 4.3 seconds.

That’s not all, rumour has it, that the XKR-S can lap the famed Nordschleife at the Nurburgring (14.8 km) is less than the benchmark eight minutes.

The XKR’s six-speed automatic transmission has been retained, but revised to handle the increased torque output and top end speed, along with quicker shift times.

Jaguar’s Dynamic Stability Control System allows for various degrees of slip, and can be switched from Normal, winter, TracDSC and Off. The XKR-S gets the benefit of an enhanced version of these systems for a more explosive driving experience. Even the Adaptive Damping has been re-written for more grip and traction.

It’s not just the changes under the bonnet that makes the XKR-S an extra special version of the XK model, inside the cabin is just as rewarding. The hand stitched leather sports seats are a work of art; with superb bolster to hold your torso in a vice-like grip, but in complete comfort with some very supple leather, which in this show car, was stitched in a contrasting blue thread.
The leather itself is actually Jet Poltrona Frau from Italy, which has been treated with a carbon-pattern. It’s a perfect match for this fast and furious bit of Jaguar kit.

While the focus of XKR-S is very much about on road/track day performance, Jaguar bosses are quick to point out that this is not a sports car, but a grand tourer. That being the case, we can’t wait to see what Callum can do with a fully-fledged Jaguar sports car.