The original XK was beautiful, comfortable and fast, but as far as driving appeal was concerned the Jaguar coupe left a lot to be desired. With the latest model, developers at the British marque focused more on improving the chassis and dynamics rather than boosting the engine alone. In this way they have emphasized the sporty character of the car without distorting the basic formula of a big British GT. This is immediately apparent after driving just a few miles. The direct feel of the steering, faster gearshifts of the automatic transmission, improved sensitivity of the brakes and the more tractable engine all come together to form one sensational package.
Styling and Interior
Sign up for our Daily
Get daily news, spy shots and more!
Designers have gone a little overboard with the aesthetic characterization of the performance ‘R’ theme, to the point that some of the car’s elements are too audacious for the marque. Though we’re sure many readers would disagree, we found, for example, that the quad tailpipe arrangement was a tad too much as was the garish mesh used for the front grille and intakes. A shame really, because the basic XK is one sexy beast. Graceful and muscular from most angles, the new design ticks all the right boxes and is very difficult to fault.
More elegant instead is the interior, whose performance theme is emphasized by sporty bucket seats embossed with the ‘R’ logo on the headrests and the same labeling used on the tacho, gear-knob and steering wheel. Brushed aluminum panels are used to highlight much of the cabin, covering most of the center console and transmission tunnel but this can be replaced with wood trim for those with more conservative tastes. The rest of the surfaces are covered in rich leather including most of the door panels and the fully adjustable electronic seats.
Designers couldn’t avoid using some plastics for the interior. The choice of material for the switchgear and the rear parcel shelf doesn’t match the quality you’d expect for a car in this price range, and calling this GT a genuine 2+2 is a bit wishful. Don’t for a second think you’ll fit anyone taller than a small child in the back because the rear pews are better suited to carrying groceries rather than holding passengers’ backsides.