2007 Jaguar XK Coupe Road Test
Options Fitted: Senta wheels - $3000.
- by Karl Peskett
It is beautiful. Yes, very beautiful to behold. Ian Callum deserves a huge pat on the back for this one. But is it the automotive equivalent of the proverbial bimbo? Very easy on the eye but with no personality and substance to back it up?
The Jaguar XK had been a long time coming. After numerous concept cars, showing us the direction that Jaguar was heading, finally pen was put to paper and the result is stunning. After the Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage, this is arguably one of the world's best looking cars.
In fact, in May 2006, Ian Callum received the Jim Clark award for his work on the XK. That is the second Jim Clark award he has received - the previous was awarded for his design on the DB7 - and makes him the only twice honoured recipient of the award.
In the case of the aluminium monocoque body structure, it delivers great advantages in terms of weight and strength." It still seems heavy at 1595kg, but then it's not exactly a stripped out track-day sports car. It still has lashings of leather, a hand stitched dashboard and centre console, plush carpeting and a spare wheel (albeit a space saver). And that all adds weight.
In fact, on a track this car can be a lot of fun, with drifting there for the taking. There’s a bit of wheel twirling going on, but for the most part, it’s predictable and controllable.
But it's disappointing in its acceleration. I mean, just look at it. It seems to be going a million miles an hour just standing still. Yet it still can't crack the 6 second barrier from 0-100km/h. Poor form...
A friend's 12 year old son managed to contort himself into the seat, but then couldn't fit his feet onto the floor. He had to lay across the two seats with feet on the cushion of the seat opposite (shoes off, naturally). What’s worse, is that the seatbelt goes from the centre out to the side of the car, making a medieval rack seem like a back massage. Please Jaguar, just give us more boot space or luggage space behind the seats and dispense with the ridiculous "+2" designation.
The sensors are also apparently smart enough to recognise the difference between a pedestrian and a concrete bollard. Again, I didn't try that either. By including this system in the XK, Jaguar is one of the first manufacturers to meet Phase One of new European safety legislation. Of course, that means that it costs more to produce. Which brings me to the cost of the car.
And then there's the resale/depreciation woes. Plus, if you pay just a little bit more, you get the XKR, whose engine makes it all seem worthwhile. Of course, your $200K is buying you a car which is far, far superior to the old XK and the RS4 isn't quite as good looking (in traditional proportions). But is that enough? When you're out driving the XK, and you get the stares and wonderment that come from onlookers, maybe.
To illustrate: After having a hankering for some fast food, we made our way through the tight driveway of the local golden arches. Upon emerging from underneath the sheltered drive-through, three young boys riding on their BMX bikes looked on in amazement.
"Cool", "Look at that," were some of the cries. One turned to me and shouted, "What is it?"
"A Jaguar XK" was my response. They pondered that for a moment. A question was fired at me.
"Are you rich?"
Then it all made sense.