2012 jaguar xkrs
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2012 Jaguar XKR-S

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Arab Today, arab today 2012 Jaguar XKR-S

London - Arabstoday

Jaguar calls the XKR-S the company’s “most responsive, powerful, agile, and driver-focused production car.” It’s also the quickest ever. Yes, it’s quicker and more potent than even the 1992–94  XJ220 supercar. Stout claim, but the numbers back it up. The twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 in the XJ220 we tested 18 years ago [November 1993] ­generated 542 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. The supercharged and direct-injected 5.0-liter AJ V-8 propelling the XKR-S huffs up 550 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 502 pound-feet of torque between 2500 and 5500 rpm. Throttle response is instantaneous and linear, and the aural accompaniment is habit-forming. Like the other XKs, the XKR-S employs a responsive six-speed automatic (with paddle shifters for manual operation). Jaguar expects the car to reach a mile per minute in 4.2 seconds (the XJ220 did 4.4), with a governed top speed of 186 mph. Equally impressive, the S achieves the same EPA ratings as the XKR—15 mpg city and 22 highway—just above the gas-guzzler threshold. After a day herding this quickest of all cats over mountain roads, we’re inclined to doubt Jaguar’s performance claims. Unless something goes terribly wrong, the XKR-S will be much quicker to 60 than the company forecasts. Hell, last time we tested an XKR, it did the deed in 4.0. Thanks largely to revised exhaust plumbing—which allowed attendant tweaks to the fuel mapping—the S version of the engine tops the XKR’s output by 40 ponies. Applying the old dollars-per-horsepower formula, the XKR-S price premium may look a little steep. The 2012 XKR coupe will start at $97,500; the XKR-S coupe (a convertible may come along later) will be $132,875 when it reaches showrooms in October. That’s about $884 per additional filly. But there’s much more to the package than mere muscle. Let’s start with the functional. The suspension features new aluminum knuckles, stiffer springs (by 28 percent, front; 32 percent, rear), active dampers, revised rear geometry, and an active (read: torque-vectoring) differential. The active diff allowed the chassis team to raise the stability-control threshold. Static ride height is 10 mm (0.4 inch) lower, and the S rolls on 20-inch forged aluminum wheels wearing a set of Pirelli P Zeros (255/35 front, 295/30 rear). Remarkably, its ride quality is supple. Grip is barnacle-like, and when the driver exceeds the car’s limits—which requires determination—he’ll feel the diff helping to keep the front of the vehicle ahead of the stern. Aerodynamics are another stability enhancer. Besides reduced ride height, the S sports a new carbon-fiber front splitter and rear wing, rocker-panel extensions, and a rear diffuser. The aero doodads reduce high-speed lift by 26 percent, says the company. Interior furnishings are distinguished by a pair of supportive leather-clad bucket seats, more aggressively bolstered than their XKR counterparts; elegant needlework; pewter-anodized aluminum trim (nary a splinter of wood); and the expected infotainment electronics, including premium audio and a somewhat finicky nav system. Color choices include two that supposedly celebrate Jaguar’s racing heritage—Italian red, and French racing blue. No BRG? What’s up with that? Never mind. This is the most satisfying XK yet—handsome, comfortable, and meticulously assembled, as well as seriously fast. The luxury GT game has a compelling new player.

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