My wheels for the week, the 2012 Jaguar XKR

Most people who know me, are aware of the fact that I like most British cars, and I have a rather big soft spot for Jaguar’s, especially the supercharged ones.

So hence I am extremely happy this week, since I have a 2012 XKR coupe at my disposal. I am lucky enough to have had these XKR’s many times over the years, in both coupe and convertible form, and I even got to test the new top of the line XKR-S version a few months back.

No matter how many times I get in these cars, they never cease to amaze me. I love the way it looks (especially the new nose on the 2012 model, its much nicer than last years model), I love the interior, which is both luxurious and high-tech, and I love the ride quality, which is soft on broken pavement and yet also tight enough for when you are handling twisty roads.

When you are out for a fun run, don’t expect it to change direction like a bee, the XKR is by no means a light and nimble sports car; this after all is a GT car, but thanks to its impressive oomph, it will still manage to put a big smile on your face.

The oomph comes courtesy of a 5.0-liter, supercharged V8 that produces 510-hp and 461-lb/ft of torque. According to Jaguar, 0-100 km/h is covered in just 4.8 seconds (actually feels like its even quicker than that), and top speed is limited at 250 km/h. Want to go even faster, than you can specify a Speed Pack, which not only adds a larger rear spoiler, a front splitter and special 20″ wheels, but also raises the speed limiter up to 280 km/h.

So, an amazing car from the sound of things. What is not to love? Well, if I nitpick, I have to single out the automatic gearbox. Yes for an auto, this 6-speed box is very smooth and quite quick. But it’s not quick enough for its amazing engine, at least not anymore. There are much faster shifting gearboxes that can be found in competitor cars, and I hope Jaguar is working on a dual-clutch system of their own to truly compliment its powerful motors.

If the current XKR appeals to you (if you have a heart and a soul, then it should), you’ll need to come up with $109,125 for the coupe (the convertible is $7000 more), which is quite reasonable when compared to its competition.

Would I buy one if I could? No, because I’d keep saving until I can afford the XKR-S version.

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