Any supercar enthusiast would crave ownership of Jaguar’s astonishing XKR-S, but the convertible version holds special appeal.
Think wind in your hair and sun on your face as you cruise in the most powerful and fastest convertible the Jaguar brand has ever built.
But if you need a single excuse to opt for the open-top XKR-S over its Coupe sibling, it’s this: the sound.
With the convertible top of the XKR-S top lowered - an impressive 18-second piece of mechanical ballet - the sound of the Jaguar supercharged, 550-horsepower V8, breathing hard under foot-to-the-floor acceleration is one of life’s great aural treats. Blood will curdle, jaws will drop, neck hairs will stand to attention.
This is not by accident. Jaguar engineers toiled long and hard to make the XKR-S sound as wicked as it does. It starts with special sound filters that actually pipe engine noise into the cabin. Then there’s an active exhaust system, which features a series of flaps buried deep in the car’s exhaust pipework that open and close depending on the aggressiveness of the driver’s right foot.
Yes, the XKR-S Coupe offers up the same soundtrack, but with the Convertible’s three-layer cloth roof stowed and the side windows lowered, you hear so much more. Find yourself a long tunnel, drop two gears using the right-now paddle shifters and floor it; it might just bring you to tears.
The XKR-S is the ultimate expression of performance and luxury; the fastest, most powerful GT that Jaguar has ever built. Here’s a supercar that can lunge from standstill to 60mph in a mere 4.2 seconds and lap the Nurburgring in under eight minutes.
Not that there’s anything too serene about the way it looks. This is a machine designed to do one thing, and one thing well - go hellaciously fast. Its front end has been re-sculpted with aerodynamic addendum to streamline the airflow over its sinuous, curvaceous body.
The most dramatic and instantly differentiating elements are the vertical feature lines that descend from the edges of the grille, framing the carbon fiber splitter, and the twin racecar-inspired side intakes. Along the sides, widened sills are flanked by menacing, coal-black 20-inch forged alloys, barely concealing the red-painted brake calipers and humongous rotors. At the rear, a racecar-like wing with carbon fiber insert stands proud from the trunk lid.
Compared to the standard XKR, the suspension has been revised from top to bottom. A new, fully-machined aluminum steering knuckle in the front double wishbone suspension is the highlight, increasing camber stiffness by 23 percent. The result is even greater surgical precision to the steering.
These changes, plus a seemingly never-ending list of tweaks, allow the hot-shoe experienced driver to really explore the outer edges of performance.
That’s the beauty of this convertible XKR-S; it offers a true duality of roles. Even with its spring rates stiffened by 28 percent and suspension lowered by 10 mm, the ride never feels anything less than totally comfortable and totally refined. After all, this is a Jaguar.
What the $138,000* XKR-S Convertible delivers is a truly mesmerizing blend of exclusivity - only 200 examples will be offered in the U.S. between 2012 and 2014 - and out-of-this-world performance and handling.
*Price shown is MSRP. Excludes destination/handling, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Dealer price, terms and vehicle availability may vary.