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First look: Jaguar’s fastest-ever XKR blows in

Need for speed: Jaguar’s XKR Special Edition can pull an extra 30km/h, to a 280km/h maximum, with engine and transmission recalibration, and new aero aids.

Jaguar set to launch 280km/h XKR at Geneva, with new XF variants also on horizon

18 Feb 2010

JUST weeks after Jaguar commenced sales of its overhauled 10MY XK coupe and convertible in Australia, with a new 5.0-litre direct-injection V8 petrol engine headlining the range, the British sportscar marque has unveiled a special-edition XKR that can reach a phenomenal 280km/h.

To make its world premiere at the Geneva motor show on March 2 - and, alas, not to be released in Australia - the XKR Special Edition has received a host of exclusive exterior modifications and can reach the new maximum speed – up from the electronically limited 250km/h – with the addition of a Speed Pack.

Based on the $255,000 XKR coupe, the special edition has a unique engine and transmission calibration for the supercharged 375kW/625Nm AJ-V8 Gen III R engine and six-speed ZF 6HP28 automatic transmission.

To keep the lightweight aluminium-bodied coupe stable at such high speeds, the Special Edition uses a revised aerodynamic splitter and large rear spoiler for better balance and reduced lift.

Jaguar claims the increase in maximum velocity also benefits from the standard electronic Active Differential Control, which adjusts to reduce steering sensitivity at high speeds, further improving stability and driver control.

There is no change to other performance benchmarks for the blown coupe, such as 0-100km/h acceleration in a claimed 4.8 seconds.

“The car has always had the potential to reach speeds far beyond its original electronically limited maximum and many of our customers have expressed an interest in a car that can safely be driven faster where conditions permit,” said Jaguar’s XK Series chief program engineer Russ Varney.

“The new Speed Pack allows them to release some of that potential and give them control of the fastest Jaguar XK we’ve made to date.”

6 center image Left: Jaguar's new XF Diesel S.

More aesthetic elements of the special edition include the fitment of ‘Kasuga’ wheels (still on 20-inch rims), body-coloured side sills and rear diffuser, and a chrome finish to the window surrounds, upper and lower mesh grilles, side ‘power vents’ and bootlid garnish.

The range of body colours available were also specifically chosen to “complement the performance potential of the car” – Ultimate Black, Polaris White, Salsa Red, Liquid Silver, Lunar Grey, Kyanite Blue and Spectrum Blue.

Jaguar has also included an optional ‘Black Pack’ as standard on the special XKR, which includes piano black veneers on the dashboard and red brake callipers with a Jaguar ‘R’ logo.

Meanwhile, Jaguar has also boosted the XF range overseas with new colours across the range, new no-cost options (such as red brake callipers on XFR), standard fitment of black mesh grill inserts for XFR and a newly created Diesel S model variant.

The latter combines elements of the high-performance XFR with the 3.0-litre Diesel, including an XFR-derived ‘Performance Interior’ and two new option packs, one of which includes Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics continuously variable damping system that has, up until now, been restricted to the XFR and the XK range.

The so-called Dynamics Pack includes Adaptive Dynamics and 20-inch Volans five-spoke alloy wheels in a shadow or silver finish.

The other option pack is dubbed Aerodynamic and includes new black mesh grille and lower airdam inserts, LED daytime running lights and XFR-derived side sills.

The Diesel S interior upgrade includes leather sports seats (with driver/passenger 18/14-way adjustment), high-gloss piano black veneer and optional black suede headlining.

“We have applied the lessons learned from the XFR to bring more sophisticated, sporting driving dynamics to the Diesel S model,” said Jaguar’s chief engineer (vehicle integrity) Mike Cross.

“Fitted with the state-of-the-art Adaptive Dynamics system, the latest Diesel S provides driving enthusiasts with taut handling and superb body control, but without the noise and harshness often associated with ‘sports’ suspension packages.”

Jaguar Australia has also advised that the XF upgrades will not be introduced here.

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