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2008 Jaguar XK

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2008 Jaguar XK Review

By KBB.com Editors

Sleek, sporty cars pay dividends to an automaker's lineup in ways that go beyond the bottom line. Cars that turn heads on the street build brand recognition and boost showroom traffic. Even high-end companies understand the need for halo cars. For Jaguar, that role is filled by the XKR Coupe and Convertible. Completely redone in 2006, the 2008 Jaguar XKR continues as a major player with only minor changes.

You'll Like This Car If...

Athletic, assured and graceful, the XKR is equally at home on a cross-country ramble or at a downtown premiere. If you're as much about pedigree as performance, the sleek XKR has few rivals.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The XKR is a refined exotic car and turns heads wherever it goes. If you're uncomfortable attracting attention to yourself, you may prefer something more sedate.

What's New for 2008

A limited-edition Portfolio trim is added for 2008, as are new convertible top colors, polished stainless-steel pedals and available 19-inch run-flat tires.

Driving the XK
Driving Impressions

Jaguars used to be marketed under the banner "Grace and Pace," and the description fits as comfortably on the XKR as a favorite tweed sport coat. Despite its heft (3,814...

... pounds), the XKR is sneaky fast, capable of zero-to-60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds and a top speed that's electronically limited to 155 mph. Underneath the XKR's aluminum body is an aluminum chassis, fitted with a stiffer suspension and bigger brakes than the normally-aspirated XK's. The hardtop body is more rigid than the convertible, with a wind-cheating, fastback shape. The XKR's ride and handling cut a tidy balance of both cushioned and composed, and the electronic stability control is calibrated to factor in the supercharged model's increased road handling capabilities. The Jaguar's fluid feel is matched by impressive quiet: Even at speed, the solitude of the interior is interrupted only by the occasional growl of the engine, which is silky, free of lag and well matched to the six-speed automatic transmission. Slide the shifter into Sport mode and you can change gears via steering wheel-mounted paddles.

Ride/Handling
A distinctive blend of supple handling and comfortable ride seems to be embedded in the DNA of all Jaguars. Nowhere is this "Jaguar-ness" more evident than in the XKR Coupe. Always eager to iron the kinks out of a twisty road, it also provides cushioned carriage for the occupants.

Classic GT
Responsive, handsome and comfortable, the XKR Coupe is a Grand Touring car in the classic sense. It's refined, entertaining to drive and can cover great expanses of highway with only minimal effort.

2008 Jaguar XK Details
Interior

The XKR's cabin is equal parts sports car and English pub. The driver sinks into a well-padded leather seat, with a dashboard view of either handsome wood trim or a more technical-looking aluminum. A touch-screen DVD Navigation system, located at the top of the center stack, acts as the central access point for several functions, including some sound system and climate controls, while other operations require using buttons. Practically speaking, the XKR is a two-seater, with the back seats more suitable for pets or parcels. Cargo capacity in the trunk is generous for a sport coupe, with 10.6 cubic feet of storage space; enough room for a couple of standard-size roll-aboards and some soft bags, or a pair of golf bags.

Exterior
2008 Jaguar XK photo

Jaguar stylists have a rich history of design to draw upon, and the 2008 XKR bears more than a passing resemblance to the classic E-type Jaguars of the early '60s. Seen in profile, the XKR is low and lithe looking, with flared fenders and tall tires. Styling features unique to the "R" model include an aluminum finish for the front mesh grilles, side power vent and rear deck blade. Other cues include hood vents, quad exhaust, unique front and rear bumper treatments, model-specific alloy wheels and "R" badging. The beautiful exterior panels are aluminum for light weight.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The XKR Coupe is well-appointed. Among the standard features are adaptive, bi-xenon headlamps, DVD touch-screen navigation with Bluetooth wireless telephone technology, heated 10-way power seats, rain-sensing wipers, R-tuned sport suspension with enhanced Computer Activated Technology and reverse park control with ultrasonic sensors in the rear bumper.

Optional Equipment

Notable among the stand-alone optional equipment on the XKR are Adaptive Cruise Control and 20-inch Senta alloy wheels. Other extras are bundled in packages. The Premium Sound Package adds an eight-speaker, 525-watt Alpine premium sound system and SIRIUS Satellite Radio. The Luxury Package includes softgrain leather for the interior and instrument panel trim, 16-way power seats with adjustable bolsters and power folding mirrors.

Under the Hood

In the world of premium GT cars, nothing exceeds like excess. With 420 horsepower, 413 pound-feet of torque and the capacity to rip off a sub-five second zero-to-60 time, the big coupe meets all expectations. The supercharged V8 is uncommonly smooth and powerful and well matched to the seamless-shifting six-speed automatic transmission.

4.2-liter V8 Supercharged
420 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
413 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23

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