Billed by its creators as the most "focused" R model the company has ever built, the 2014 Jaguar XKR-S GT makes its world debut in New York. Developed by Jaguar Land Rover's in-house specialty vehicle group, ETO, this limited-production ultra-coupe is a street-legal but track-ready variation of the already potent XKR-S that elevates the formula to a new level of performance proficiency. Only 30 XKR-S GTs will be built for North America, with 25 coming to the U.S. and five going to Canada. All will be finished in Polaris White with black racing stripes and have a "Jaguar R-S GT" script on their hoods.

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While retaining the basic all-aluminum structure and chassis design of the XKR-S, the GT's bespoke body enhancements and suspension/brake modifications sharpen its reflexes and give it even more tenacious cornering grip. Unique exterior bits on the GT include a deeper carbon fiber front splitter and dive planes, an aero-enhancing aluminum front undertray and a custom hood with shape-optimized functional louvers that improve engine cooling and reduce air-pressure buildup. Wider wheel arch spats more effectively house its ultra-sticky Pirelli Corsa tires -- 255/35s up front and 305/30s at the rear -- on 20-inch gloss-black forged alloy wheels, while a new elevated rear wing and a redesigned carbon fiber diffuser combine to deliver 320 pounds of downforce at the car's electronically limited top speed of 186 mph. 

Less visible but no less critical to the XKR-S GT's adrenalin-bumping mission are a series of modifications to its underpinnings. The chassis rework includes new suspension arms, uprights, bushings and bearings plus a stronger rear subframe coupled with substantially stiffer spring rates and racing-derived height-adjustable dampers that are fitted to a GT-specific version of Jag's Adaptive Dynamics system. Front track dimension also has been widened by two inches and a new faster-ratio steering rack installed to further enhance agility.

The XKR-S GT also is fitted with upsized carbon-ceramic brakes in a package that includes an Electronic Braking "Pre-Fill" system that maximizes the effectiveness of these super stoppers by slightly pressurizing the system whenever the driver lifts off the throttle. Although no changes have been made to the 550-horsepower/5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission used in a regular XKR-S, the GT does feature a revised active exhaust system that adds a bit more aural excitement to the mix while further optimizing efficiency.

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To give its cabin a bit more aggressive character, the Jaguar XKR-S GT is done in a warm-charcoal and red motif crowned with a black suede headliner. Ultra-supportive16-way power-adjustable performance seats wrapped in soft-grain leather and suede carry "Jaguar" and "R-S GT" script logos in their backrests while the black suede-wrapped steering wheel is fitted with custom aluminum-finish paddle shifters.

The first 2014 Jaguar XKR-S GT models will arrive here in August. Pricing will start at $174,000 plus destination, representing a $42,000 leap beyond current XKR-S pricing.


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