If you needed one model to sum up everything that’s right about the current management and design team that’s at Jaguar, then the 2011 Jaguar XK would be it. The car, in any of its forms, is arguably one of best looking creations on four wheels currently in production. It doesn’t hurt that the XK, especially in its XKR trim, is a stunning performer too.
Ranging from about $80k up to 100 large, the Jaguar XK is a luxurious British grand tourer that’s comparable with models much more expensive than it. Things like the Aston Martin Vantage, Mercedes-Benz SL-Class and even the Maserati GranTurismo are all equal, if not subpar, to the Jaguar, which is why we think the XK is a bargain despite it being one of the most expensive models in Jaguar’s lineup.
You have your choice of coupe or convertible, both of which come powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 with 385 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque in standard trim.
Opt for the 2011 Jaguar XKR, however, still available in either coupe or convertible bodystyles, and you get a supercharged version of this engine spitting out no less than 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. While the standard models will get you from 0-60 mph in the 5.0 second bracket, the XKR models will see you do it in 4.6 seconds or less.
All models come fitted with a ZF six-speed automatic, though paddle shifters are attached to the steering columns so that you can have manual adjustment for the gears.
Note, for the 2011 model year Jaguar has introduced a special edition XKR dubbed the XKR175
. It comes with the same 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque supercharged V-8 as the regular XKR but it has a new top speed of 174 mph thanks to some adjustments to the car’s ECU. Regular models are electronically limited to 155 mph.
The XKR175 also gets a host of aero mods and upgraded brakes to match the increase in top speed, but sadly, only 175 have been brought to North America, and 15 of these have gone to Canada, so getting your hands on one will be tough.
If you miss out, never mind as Jaguar is introducing a facelifted version of its XK range
for the 2012 model year and this time there will be an even better performer than the XKR. We’re are talking about the new 2012 Jaguar XKR-S
, which sports a unique 550 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque version of the venerable supercharged 5.0-liter V-8.
For an in-depth look at the 2011 Jaguar XK, head over to TheCarConnection
for the full review.