The fastest and most powerful series production car in the marque's history, the 2012 Jaguar XKR-S made its debut in Geneva along side of the original 1961 Jaguar XK-E model that debuted there 50 years before. Packing a 5.0-liter supercharged AJ-V8 tuned to make 542 horsepower, this new Ultra Cat of the XK line also amps its appearance and handling to match its even-higher-velocity character.
The first street Jag to be able to touch 300kph (186 mph), the new XKR-S received a number of aerodynamic enhancements to help it remain stable at speed. The most prominent are seen up front where the bespoke fascia with a smaller main air intake, vertical side "power vents" and a carbon-fiber splitter/lower spoiler set off by slimmer LED headlamps. Wider side sills help channel air more effectively along the side of the car's body while the rear features the first-ever separate wing and a new lower venturi diffuser, both made of lightweight composite material. Jag says the rework netted a 26 percent reduction in overall lift at speed.
Hardly a slouch in standard XKR form, the supercharged V8 in the Jaguar XKR-S gains its extra 32 ponies courtesy of tweaked fuel mapping and a freer-flowing "active" exhaust system. Also developing 502 lb-ft of torque and backed by a six-speed automatic transmission, it rockets the 3,968-pound XKR-S from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and still returns 17 mpg on the EPA city cycle and 22 mph on the highway.
The same kind of driver-focused upgrading is evident in the car's chassis modifications. Stiffer springs, recalibrated programming for the Adaptive Damping, Active Differential Control and Stability Control systems, redesigned front suspension bits and revised geometry all around work with even wider 20-inch wheels that mount 255/35 and 295/35 Pirelli P Zero tires front and rear respectively, to make this the most agile and responsive Jaguar ever.
Inside, the Jaguar XKR-S boasts several bespoke trim touches, including optional Dark Linear Aluminum in place of wood. It also gets unique 16-way Performance sport seats covered in distinctive carbon leather accents, a sport steering wheel and a stainless steel pedal set.