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AIMS: Jaguar to debut wild XKR-S, frugal XF

300km/h Jaguar XKR-S to simultaneously tear up Goodwood and wow Melbourne crowds

27 Jun 2011

HEADLINING Jaguar’s Melbourne motor show display from July 1 will be the first Australian public outing of the brand’s most powerful production car to date – the $340,000 XKR-S.

On the other side of the world, the wild flagship of Jaguar’s V8-powered coupe range will be simultaneously making its UK debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

In Melbourne, the XKR-S will be juxtaposed by another Australian first in the shape of the redesigned XF sedan – due to go on sale later this year – fitted with a new 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that will create a new entry-level XF variant.

Also on show will be runout editions of the current XF and XFR sedans plus a limited edition of the supercharged XKR, due to be facelifted – along with its naturally aspirated XK stablemate – in October, when price cuts of between $4414 and $15,914 will be applied across the coupe and convertible range.

Specification and pricing for the special editions will be announced at the show, where the XJ limo will also put in an appearance in range-topping Supersport guise – which from $354,800 in short-wheelbase format will be the most expensive car on Jaguar’s stand.

The Indian-owned British premium brand unveiled the XKR-S coupe at the Geneva show in March to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its iconic E-Type, which made its world debut at the Swiss event in 1961.

6 center imageCapable of hitting an electronically limited 300km/h, the XKR-S is differentiated from lesser Jags by its aggressive-looking bodykit and 10mm lower suspension.

Also exclusive to the fastest Jag “in a generation” is distinctive ‘French Racing Blue’ paint, which will feature on the left-hand drive – but otherwise Australian-spec – Melbourne show car.

While the Aussie debut of the XKR-S will be a static display, British crowds at the Festival of Speed will see – and hear – the 405kW/680Nm supercharged 5.0-litre V8 coupe in action.

Jaguar has issued a video of the XKR-S powering up the famous Goodwood hill with Jaguar Land Rover chief engineer and ride/handling guru Mike Cross at the wheel in practice runs ahead of the annual event, which this year coincides with the Melbourne show from July 1.

At the opposite end of Jaguar’s pricing spectrum, the 2.2-litre diesel XF – with a price of around $80,000 to be announced at the show – is also the brand’s most fuel-efficient, returning a claimed combined-cycle 5.4 litres per 100 kilometres and emitting 149 grams per kilometre of CO2.

Along with new XJ-esque exterior styling and interior upgrades first unveiled at the New York show in April, the Australian-spec car in Melbourne will also feature fuel-saving idle-stop technology and an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

The eight-speed auto will also make its way onto the back of the XF’s 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, where it will reduce fuel consumption by a claimed six per cent and cut CO2 output by 5.6 per cent. The new gearbox should also enhance accelerative performance, as it has for the German luxury cars to which it has already been fitted.

The rage-topping supercharged XFR facelift will be subject to a price increase from $207,905 to $210,990. The 375kW V8 – good for 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds – will remain unchanged.

Along with the updated XF styling and sporty accoutrements befitting a performance sedan, the chassis has been tweaked to improve the balance.

Jaguar will also offer an optional aerodynamic package across the XF range to give lesser models a more sporting look.

Not at the Melbourne show but confirmed for Australian release is the stunning CX-75 hybrid supercar being jointly developed by Jaguar and Williams F1 to take the concept from last year’s Paris show to reality in a limited run of 250 vehicles, expected to command at least $1 million apiece Down Under.

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