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First look: Jaguar rolls out another XKR stunner

More power: The Jaguar XKR 75 special edition celebrates Jaguar's 75th anniversary.

Jaguar boosts XKR coupe performance, handling, attitude with stunning 75 edition

Jaguar logo25 Jun 2010

By TERRY MARTIN

JAGUAR has rolled out another awesome limited-edition model in celebration of the famous British brand’s 75th anniversary, this time with a higher-performance ‘XKR 75’ coupe that will make its world debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 2.

As well as marking Jaguar’s anniversary, the 75 nameplate also signifies the number of examples the company will build for the UK and other markets.

However, Jaguar Australia has confirmed to GoAuto that it will not be coming to Australia.

Indeed, outside its home market, Jaguar has determined that the special XKR – which is dubbed “one of the most exclusive and exciting” XK’s the brand has ever produced, with increases in power and torque, and uprated suspension – will only be sold in Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and The Netherlands.

Other than opting for one of the 10 XKR Special Edition versions heading Down Under, Australian XKR enthusiasts will be forced to wait and see if the improvements to the 75 will filter through to other editions or the mainstream line-up.

According to Jaguar, engine and transmission recalibration to the supercharged 5.0-litre quad-cam direct-injection Gen III R AJ-V8 and ZF 6HP28 six-speed automatic have seen power increasing 15kW to 390kW and torque climbing 30Nm to an impressive 655Nm.

 center imageLeft: Jaguar XKR 75 interior. Below: Jaguar XKR Special Edition.

The ZF gearbox now has an upgraded torque converter to handle the increased grunt, while in acceleration terms the improvements enable the 75 coupe to reach 100km/h from standstill in 4.4 seconds – two-tenths quicker than the regular model.

Top speed for the 75 is listed at 280km/h, which is 30km/h over the standard XKR but the same mark as the XKR Special Edition (which continues with the regular 375kW/625Nm outputs).

A ‘semi-active’ sports exhaust featuring a new crossover pipe and larger exhaust outlets provides a “pulse-racing growl” to match the increase in performance.

Handling-wise, Jaguar chassis engineers have increased spring and damper rates – the front springs are 28 per cent stiffer, the rears 32 per cent – and lowered the ride height 15mm at the front and 10mm at the rear.

New fully machined aluminium front and revised rear suspension uprights also see camber stiffness increased 25 per cent, while electronic Adaptive Dynamics damper control software has been retuned.

Complementing the changes is a revised aerodynamic body pack comprising a front splitter, side sill extensions, a rear diffuser and larger rear spoiler, the sum of which is said to provide increased balance and reduced lift.

Other external highlights on the 75 include ‘active’ front lighting, 20-inch Vortex forged lightweight alloy wheels (diamond turned with a dark grey finish), red brake callipers and a new Stratus Grey exterior paintwork.

Also available will be an optional graphics pack which runs from the front bumper to the rear haunches.

Inside, Jaguar designers have fitted out the 75 in charcoal grey leather upholstery (with ivory stitching), a piano-black dash facia, jet-black suedecloth headlining and unique ‘XKR 75’ scuff plates.

Jaguar Cars managing director Mike O’Driscoll said: “The XKR 75 will provide owners with exclusivity, excitement and a hint of Jaguar's great heritage. This is a fitting way to celebrate the sporting credentials of the XK marque in the 75th year of the Jaguar name.”

Chief engineer of vehicle integrity Mike Cross added that the 75 was created to deliver higher levels of racetrack-oriented performance over the regular XKR – but not at the expense of “Jaguar traditional values of refinement and comfort”.

“We conceived the XKR 75 as a sportscar with a duality of character that makes it perfectly suited to driving across Europe to the Nurburgring, completing some very fast laps, and then driving home again,” he said.

As GoAuto reported last week, Jaguar Australia has also secured 10 examples of an exclusive new 75th Anniversary Edition version of its XK Coupe, which continues with a 283kW/515Nm normally aspirated AJ-V8 but features a host of cosmetic enhancements – and a price reduction of more than $30,000.

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