I've made no secret of the fact Jaguar's XK, in all its iterations, is one of my favorite cars of all time. And while my most fervent XK adulation has been associated with the "R" versions of Jaguar's GT, now comes word of an even more potent version of the XK--the XKR-S.
Which brings to the fore an interesting observation I've been quietly harboring.
Not that I'm like a conspiracy theorist or anything, but in my opinion (and this is just my opinion, I've never had the following confirmed by any executive at either company), the best thing that could ever have happened to Jaguar--performance wise--was getting out of the triumvirate of English marques comprising Ford's now-defunct Premier Automotive Group (PAG).
Not that Ford's stewardship of the brand was a completely bad thing--after all, according to the results of several J.D. Power surveys, Ford made Jaguar's cars some of the most reliable on the market. However, when Jaguar was lumped in with Aston Martin and Land Rover as one of the PAG brands, it seemed the unspoken rule was since Aston was the more expensive nameplate Jaguar's cars could not be permitted to outperform Aston Martin's cars--even though the potential for them to do so was clearly there.
As evidence of this, I cite the observation that as soon as Jaguar and Aston were no longer under the same corporate umbrella, we immediately saw horsepower bumps for both the Jaguar XK and XKR, bringing them solidly onto par with Aston Martin's models.
Although, now, about to be shown at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1, is the XKR-S, the fastest production Jaguar ever built. Flaunting 550 horsepower, along with 510 pound-feet of torque, the Jaguar XKR-S is said to accelerate from rest to 60 miles per hour in just 4.2 seconds. Further, it is quoted to 100 mph in 8.6 seconds, and has a claimed 186 mph top speed.
And while I'm not terribly enamored with that wing, Jaguar representatives say the new XKR-S is their best handling model ever, thanks to the lightweight aluminum body and enhancements to the front and rear suspension systems. Bolstered by the freshly reprogrammed Adaptive Dynamics system, the XKR-S potentially stands to deliver outstanding performance.
On March 1st, we'll carry the Jaguar XKR-S press conference live from Geneva at 7:45 A.M. Central Standard Time.