Making its world debut in Los Angeles, the limited-production 2012 Jaguar XKR-S Convertible is the most powerful and flat-out fastest drop-top in the automaker's storied history. Based on mechanicals culled from the Jaguar supercharged XKR-S Coupe, this new limited-edition will become the ultimate XK variant. Jag says only 25 copies will be sold in America during the upcoming year, and each will open at a heady $138,875 -- about $35,000 more than a standard XKR Convertible model.
With a top speed of 186 mph, aero optimization was a critical concern when it came to exterior styling modifications on the XKR-S Convertible. To that end, designers relied on the same kind of computational fluid dynamics used in Formula One to recast the bodywork in a way that would minimize both drag and lift at triple-digit velocities. The revised front fascia has lower, wider air intakes, a carbon-fiber splitter and side nacelles that help channel air more smoothly along its revised side sills. Beyond a carbon-fiber enhanced wing that helps trim rear lift by 26 percent, the tail of this exhilarating Jag features a redesigned functional diffuser framed by chrome dual-paired exhaust outlets.
Like the XKR-S Coupe, the Jaguar XKR-S Convertible is fitted with a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine that makes 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. That force heads to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission and a traction-maxing Active Differential, and is sufficient to take the XKR-S Convertible from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds. A comprehensive suspension retune and reprogramming of the car's Dynamic Stability Control elevate its sporting character well beyond that of its XKR counterpart. To take full advantage of those high-performance chassis enhancements, the XKR-S Convertible also is fitted with the Jaguar High Performance Braking System and 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in super-sticky Pirelli PZero performance tires, 255/35s up front and 295/30s in the rear.
Despite its clear enthusiast orientation, the cabin of the Jaguar XKR-S Convertible brings the full roster of luxury touches that are a hallmark of the brand. Like the rest of the passenger compartment, the car's 16-way power adjustable, heated Jaguar Performance seats are covered in carbon leather and feature contrast micro piping unique to the model. A leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel and stainless steel pedals complete the XKR-S Convertible's dedicated enhancements. As a final high-performance flourish, wood trim gives way to either standard Dark aluminum or optional Piano Black interior accents. And in case you were wondering, the soft top on this super-fast transformer rises and retracts in just 18 seconds at the push of a button, a process that can be done when the car is traveling at speeds of up to 15 mph.