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Geneva show: Jaguar lights XKR’s wick

Catch me if you can: The XKR-S is the most powerful production Jag ever.

Quickest, most powerful Jaguar ever emerges as XKR-S appears ahead of Geneva debut

25 Feb 2011

JAGUAR has turned the volume of its sexy XKR coupe up to 11 by creating the XKR-S, the British brand’s most powerful production model ever.

Revealed ahead of its world public debut at next week’s Geneva motor show, where Jaguar will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of its legendary E-Type, the XKR-S is therefore the wildest ever version of the two-door XK sportscar – and its supercharged V8.

The XKR-S eclipses the standard XKR’s already-epic 375kW/625Nm engine, which also does duty in the XFR and top-shelf variants of the XJ limousine, by belting out a whopping 405kW and no less than 680Nm of torque.

Apart from raising the XKR bar by a significant 30kW and 55Nm, which enough to propel the big coupe to 100km/h four-tenths sooner in 4.4 seconds and to increase top speed to no less than 300km/h, the XKR-S is blessed with reworked suspension and revised “aerodynamically driven” exterior cosmetics.

Jaguar claims that not only makes the XKR-S the quickest model it has ever produced, but also the most agile, responsive and driver-focused, despite the fact it is also billed as the only car in its class to emit less than 300g/km of CO2.

However, the company claimed the same 4.4-second 0-100km/h acceleration time for the limited-edition XKR 75, which was revealed last June and is powered by a 390kW/655Nm version of the XKR’s blown V8 that generates a top speed of 280km/h, but will not be sold in Australia.

Instead, Jaguar Australia last October imported 10 examples of the XKR Special Edition coupe, which was revealed last February ahead of its 2010 Geneva debut and also boasted a 280km/h top speed for $272,000 - $17,000 more than the regular XKR.

Instead of producing more power than the standard 375kW/625Nm XKR, which sprints to 100km/h in a claimed 4.8 seconds on its way to a 250km/h top speed, the XKR Special Edition employed a unique transmission and engine calibration for the supercharged 5.0-litre quad-cam direct-injection Gen III R AJ-V8.

As with the XKR 75, the Indian-owned luxury car-maker says it has exploited the aluminium chassis architecture of the XKR to its maximum potential with the XKR-S by applying bespoke changes to the car’s front and rear suspension, and reprogramming its Adaptive Dynamics variable damping system.

Full details of the XKR-S won’t be revealed until after its global premiere in Switzerland and local pricing is yet to be confirmed, but it’s understood an unspecified number of Jaguar’s ultimate XKR will arrive Down Under late this year.

“The XKR-S is a bold and exciting new model for Jaguar,” said Jaguar’s new global brand director and ex-Saab marketing chief Adrian Hallmark.

“We expect to attract both loyal and new Jaguar driving enthusiasts who still want the comfort, opulence and class only a Jaguar can offer, combined with inspirational performance.” As part of a series of events to celebrate 50 years of its elegant E-Type in 2011, Jaguar will host drives of the 1960s icon at the Parc des Eaux Vives in Geneva, where the original car was launched by the company’s founder Sir William Lyons half a century ago.

“It is impossible to overstate the impact the E-Type had,” said Jaguar design director Ian Callum. “Here was a car that encapsulated the spirit of the revolutionary era it came to symbolise. We’re looking forward to celebrating achievement and looking forward with our all-new sportscars in Geneva.”

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