2015 Jaguar XKR Coupe Review
2015 Jaguar XKR Coupe at a glance
BODY STYLE: premium two-door sports coupe.
DRIVE METHOD: front-engine, rear wheel drive.
ENGINE: 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine (510 hp, 461 lb/ft of torque) with a six-speed automatic transmission.
FUEL ECONOMY: 13.9/9.2/11.8 L/100 km city/highway/combined.
CARGO CAPACITY: 331 litres.
2015 Jaguar XKR still an exciting ride
As Neil Sedaka sang decades ago, ?Breaking up is hard to do.?
Today, I?d like to change those lyrics to, ?Saying goodbye is hard to do.?
That?s how I was feeling as I handed in the keys to what I considered an old friend? a sleek and sexy 2015 Jaguar XKR Coupe that I?d driven for a week for review purposes.
I?ve driven the XKR a number of times over the years and it?s always been one of my favourite rides.
This time, handing off the keys was doubly difficult, not just because my week with the car was over. It?s also because Jaguar is discontinuing the XK line after this model year following the introduction of the successful F-Type Convertible and Coupe within the past couple of years.
I was thinking back to a couple of other reviews I had written on this generation of the XK over the years. I remember in 2010 writing that it never ceases to amaze me how many heads turn when a Jaguar rolls by.
While this particular XK design is getting a bit long in the tooth, turning heads is still something it does with regularity when this sleek cat is on the prowl, not unlike most other Jaguar models.
There?s just something about the styling of the brand, particularly since Ian Callum became design chief. In fact, this generation of the XK was the first Jaguar vehicle designed under Callum?s watch.
I also think back to when I got involved in this side of the automotive business nearly two decades ago.
A Jaguar XJ was the first vehicle I reviewed and I remember the feeling I had when I first sat behind the wheel. Now, even after test-driving hundreds of cars over the years, I still find it a thrill to drive a Jaguar.
For this final run of the XK, Canada gets exclusively Jaguar XKR and XKR-S models in both Convertible and Coupe formats.
Our tester was a Status Grey XKR Coupe, which continues in 2015 with the 510 hp 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. According to Jaguar it can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds and reach a top track speed of 280 km/h with the optional Dynamic Pack that includes a number of performance and suspension upgrades.
For the 2015 Jaguar XKR, the Dynamic Pack bolsters performance with special suspension tuning and Adaptive Dynamics that operates in tandem with Active Differential Control (ADC) to optimize available traction at each rear wheel, improving acceleration on low-grip surfaces while enhancing cornering ability.
The system is designed to monitor body movement 100 times per second and wheel position 500 times per second and automatically increases the suspension damping rate as suspension approaches the limits of its travel.
It?s all about optimizing handling agility and ride comfort.
There are different driving modes that can be selected such as Normal, Winter, Trac DSC and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) Off.
The package also includes 20-inch alloy wheels and a number of ?black? features like black brake calipers, a gloss black finish to the upper and lower mesh grilles.
The high-performance XKR-S, meanwhile, gets 550 hp 5.0-litre V8. Both also have undergone chassis upgrades for this model year.
The XKR is interesting in that it is a blend of old and new ? traditional, classic Jaguar design combined with modern lightweight, yet highly rigid aluminum construction.
The touches of luxury and the classic design of the XKR are important, but it?s what?s under the hood that sets hearts a flutter.
You just have to tromp the throttle to see what I?m talking about. Yet the XKR is more than a one-trick pony (or cat) for that matter. On all but the roughest of tracks, the XKR is comfortable and fairly quiet. The low-profile tires don?t always help the ride quality, but they do make this one agile and slick-handling kitty cat.
Jaguar has called the XK a ?sophisticated grand tourer with the heart of sports car? and that description hasn?t changed over the years.
This is simply a spectacular car for long drives on country roads or even on high-speed expressways for that matter. There is power to spare when you need to overtake slower vehicles or merge into high-speed traffic.
Yet at speed, the XKR is docile and surprisingly, not as much of a gas-guzzler as one might expect. During my time with the car we averaged 9.4L/100 km which is not bad for a 510 hp supercharged V8.
The cabin is beautifully finished with fine-grade leather and lots of soft touch materials. There is certainly the feeling of luxury when you slide yourself down into the seat and park yourself behind the wheel.
Despite all its positive attributes, the XKR is not without its negatives.
My wife calls this a ?low rider? and as such, getting in and has become more of a chore the older we get.
However, it all seems worthwhile in the end when you touch the start button, the engine roars to life and the chrome hockey-puck style gear selector magically rises out of the centre console. When the engine is stopped, the JaguarDrive Selector lowers automatically.
And while the XKR is classified as a 2+2 Coupe, the back seat is useful for little more than transporting children or as additional cargo space.
The seven-inch touch screen interface for climate, audio, phone and navigation is not that difficult to master, but the graphics are not terribly attractive or colourful.
These minor quibbles aside, the 2015 Jaguar XKR is loaded with standard items like dual zone automatic climate control system, auto dimming electro-chromatic power-folding exterior mirrors and front and rear Park Assist with touch-screen visual indicators and rear backup camera. The XKR gets both heated and cooled front seats with 16-way power adjustment and memory. A 525-watt Bowers and Wilkins audio system with Sirius satellite radio is also standard.
Our tester, priced at $117,825 ($109,125 base price) included the Black Dynamic Plus Package ($8,700). The XKR Convertible starts at $116,125, while the XKR-S Coupe is $139,000 and the XKR-S Convertible is $146,000.
The XK may be long in the tooth, but it?s still one of the most exciting cars to drive on the planet in my opinion. And even seven years into this particular generation, it still turns heads just as easily as it did when it first hit the road.
Goodbye old friend. It?s been good to know you.