Showing posts with label Jaguar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jaguar. Show all posts

Monday, 4 April 2011

Review: 2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible

I know you’re probably here to read all about how the 2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible stacks up against other six-digit luxury sports cars, but I’ve got a confession to make. Before we get down, dirty and up to our elbows in power figures, you need to know that this is my first real brush with luxury performance of this caliber. As we speak, the ruling houses of auto journalism are likely sending laptop-wielding assassins my way for breaking the seventh sacred tenet of our craft – “Always pretend you know more than you do” – but I can’t accurately convey my time with this big cat without first giving you a taste of my perspective.

Get the mouthwash ready, this may be unpleasant.

My office is headquartered in a beautiful part of East Tennessee, where $30,000 will happily buy you seven acres of wooded hill country. Around here, I’m pleased to say that I’m more likely to hear a Massey-Ferguson lumber past my window than a Maserati, and as such, most folk have neither the use for a high-horsepower 2+2 convertible nor the ludicrous kind of coin it takes to call one your very own. As one neighbor remarked, “You can buy a damn nice home for as much as that thing costs.”

And for the majority of the country, he’s dead right.

Receiving word that you’ll be the sole custodian of a 2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible for a week and actually meeting the beast in the sultry flesh are two entirely different things. When the machine arrived, it announced its presence with a low rumble that snaked its way through the pine, gypsum and hardwood of the house and into my ears long before it showed its face in the driveway.

Intrigue, thy name is the 5.0-liter, supercharged V8 planted behind this kitty’s headlights.

I mark the third generation of my clan to call this particular house my own, and while there have been some true curiosities parked in this driveway over the past few decades, there’s never been anything quite like this topless supercharged wonder. Approaching the XKR Convertible from the rear, you’re met with the kind of knee-shaking aesthetics that few vehicles possess. Tall, rounded flanks work their way into a concise aft dominated by LED taillamps, a steep rear deck spoiler and four menacing exhaust outlets. Vast 275-series tires the size of a pair of small continents peek out from below the rear valance, and from this angle, there’s no mistaking this convertible’s true purpose.

2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible side view2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible front view2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible rear view

Move down the sports car’s side and you’re introduced to a full 188.7 inches of sprawling bodywork. With a lengthy 108.3-inch wheelbase, Jaguar’s designers had plenty of space to ply their art. From the sides, prominent haunches define the XKR Convertible’s profile before transitioning easily into a low-slung nose that rolls on for a country mile. It’s the kind of look that could induce labor or stop your heart if you aren’t prepared for what you’re seeing.

Don’t be surprised if you leave a trail of newborns and cardiac arrest in your wake.

At least, that’s the case with the top down. Crank the soft shell up with a merry push of a convenient, windshield frame-mounted button and the spell’s handily broken. Jaguar has done an excellent job of incorporating a smooth top structure, but the mechanism draws undue attention to the massive proportions of the rear deck. While everything looks squared away with the car slinking around topless, you can’t help but think there’s enough sheetmetal out back to set up a regulation badminton court with the roof in place. Fortunately, the top stows in around 17 seconds, so you don’t need to waste any time should the sun start shining.

Jaguar was kind enough to supply the XKR Convertible with a set of heated and cooled ventilated leather seats up front that are fully capable of boiling up a cup of Earl Grey should you become stranded far from a kettle at tea time. With the seats set to incinerate and the heater dialed to blast furnace, mother nature was no match for this kitty’s open-air motoring.

In addition to being able to tan your hide, the front seats are also nearly infinitely adjustable. That includes bolsters that can be tweaked to squeeze you tighter than your one true love. That little trick joins the standard portfolio of fore/aft and up/down wizardry to serve up seating custom tailored for nearly every size and shape.

2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible interior2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible seats2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible seat controls2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible steering wheel

The rest of the cabin swaddles you in no less comfort. The leather dash is double-stitched with contrasting thread, and a lumber yard’s worth of polished burlwood accents adorn those surfaces that aren’t already covered in hide. It’s a beautiful place to spend an hour or three, so long as you don’t have to fight the touchscreen infotainment system. Commands to change the radio station are seemingly sent by first-class air mail to an overburdened worker in Coventry where they must be approved before taking effect. Don’t expect anything to happen quickly.

The thermometer bobbed at around 40 degrees my first night with the XKR Convertible, but with stars peeking through the bud-laden branches and no clouds in sight, there was no way in this life or the next that I was going to leave this cat in the driveway. I stowed the top and headed for the snaking asphalt of Union County. From the first press of the glowing start button, it was clear I had stumbled into an alternate universe of propulsion. This is no sewing machine, and at no point did I have to check to see if the engine was running.

2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible steering wheel2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible gauges2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible instrument panel2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible center console controls

Jaguar has made damn sure that you feel the supercharged 5.0-liter V8 come to life, and it does so with a bark that serves as a harbinger of all sorts of naughtiness. If the starting sequence is the gateway drug of Jaguar love, the first punch of the accelerator is straight methamphetamine. You can forget fighting this addiction. The automaker’s engineers have managed to wring a full 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque from the eight force-fed cylinders, and every dash to 60 miles per hour clicks off in a claimed stammer-inducing 4.6 seconds. That’s shorter than the time it took you to read that last sentence, which is an impressive feat given that the XKR Convertible tips the scales at a whisker under two tons.

The six-speed automatic gearbox is a work of art, dispatching upshifts with quicker-than-thou precision and serving up rev-matching downshifts with a click of a paddle. An extra cog or two would likely go a long way toward bettering the vehicle’s 15 miles per gallon city and 22 mpg highway EPA rating, but really, who’s counting?

2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible engine

In order to keep all that momentum-building glory in check, Jaguar has bolted on a traction control system that must have been programmed by a panel of ruler-wielding nuns. No matter how desperately you mash buttons or turn dials, get too happy with the accelerator and you’ll get your knuckles rapped in a hurry. Even with the gearbox set to Sport, Competition mode on and Dynamic Stability Control off, I was barely able to get a few decent revolutions of wheel-spinning heaven before being made to submit to she-who-rules-all-nannies. I don’t even want to talk about attempting to ply the throttle in anger with the parameters adjusted to more sane settings.

Still, the chaperone under the hood wasn’t enough to quell my lust for this car. Even with 3,968 pounds of heft to scoot along, the dynamic suspension is perfectly firm for a series of apexes while turning buttery supple to accommodate imperfections in the tarmac. Mix in a brake system fully capable of pulling your eyelids from your face and you’re delivered a grand tourer that can go 10 rounds with lighter sports cars all night long. The machine is just as happy to consume mile after mile of rolling highway as it is darting from one mountain corner to the next.

Pulling into the driveway after a full hour of sampling all the talents the XKR Convertible has to offer, I was convinced that Jaguar had managed to build a vehicle that was worth every copper cent of its MSRP.

That was the honeymoon.

2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible headlight2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible vent2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible hood vent2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible taillight

With the sun shining after work the next day, I was looking forward to dinner out with the wife followed by a long ride home via some of the area’s more desolate roads. We hopped in, I hit the key and was instantly rewarded with a glowing check engine light. Having suffered through the hazing associated with English vehicle ownership in the past, a few dozen Lucas jokes buzzed through my brain before I could so much as mutter a curse.

For the uninitiated, Joseph Lucas founded the company behind nearly all of the electrical components under the hood of hardware from jolly old England. His gear had a reputation for reliability that was about as spotless as a pair of polka dot socks. There’s a reason they say the company holds the world’s only patent on the short circuit.

Still, check engine lights are nothing new or special, even on a vehicle with 2,200 miles on the clock. We piled back out and the next day I got the pleasure of spending some time with the experts at Harper Jaguar. The problem stemmed from a faulty evaporation system sensor, and in no time the techs at the dealer had the XKR Convertible up and running again. There was much rejoicing.

2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible, top up side view

Or at least there was until two days later, when the light reared its head once again. Having precious few days before having to leave town, I wasn’t interested in carving out any more time to have the vehicle addressed. I parked the cat in the driveway and defaulted to the familial fleet for the remainder of my transportation needs.

Jaguar’s current owner, Tata, inherited an entire British brand that was on its way up. From beautifully-styled XF, XJ and XK models to vastly improved reliability records, Jaguar is heads and shoulders above its old self. In fact, the automaker routinely scores well in J.D. Power and Associates surveys. Unfortunately, those scores are based largely on the company’s previous generation hardware, not the new kit that mostly fills Jag showrooms now.

Granted, the poor vehicles submitted to the vicious hands of the average automotive journalist endure acts banned by the Geneva Convention, but by and large, most automakers manage to serve up products that can at least manage three days without needing attention from a qualified service professional.

2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible rear view

I can’t help but imagine what would happen if Kia, Toyota or Chrysler began cranking out vehicles with the kind of reliability woes that recent Jaguar models have come to be known for. Whereas the big cat is more or less given a pass for its luxury pedigree and history of foible-ridden vehicles, other brands are held to continuous scrutiny.

Having been completely wowed by an excellent interior and heavenly drivetrain, I’m more than a little soured by my run-in with the ghost of Lucas’ past. Until Jaguar can get its reliability house in order, I have to imagine there are better places to spend your $103,375. A nice house on a few dozen acres in Tennessee, perhaps…

[Source: autoblog]

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Report: Jaguar passes on Bertone’s B99 concept

Italian design studio Bertone came to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show with the B99 concept, a design study for a prospective Jaguar rival to the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The sleek show car fostered rumors that perhaps Jaguar itself, which has been considering a successor to the discontinued X-Type, had commissioned Bertone to design the purple machine that graced the Geneva stage. According to new reports, however, Bertone was apparently on its own with this one.

Speaking with Jaguar’s global brand director Adrian Hallmark, Automotive News reports that the British automaker is passing on the concept car. “We appreciate the fact that Jaguar is interesting enough for people to do a concept around,” says Hallmark. “It is just not for us.”

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Jaguar C-X75

Jaguar C-X75 was a pretty favorable car in the present market and Jaguar also intends to release a production version for the recently launched 780 HP supercar. At time of started making this car they decided to produce the electric car,
Jaguar also publicized that they offering up 2000 units in a year, also there are a pretty high number in terms for the anniversary vehicles, this car is one of them that Jaguar wants to release for their 75th anniversary.
The C-X75 looks like a concept car that is manufactured by two 96-horsepower micro gas turbines that has the ability to force fuel into a plug-in. Also the car contains four electric motors , one motor for each of the wheel, all this delivered together an outstanding 778 HP and 1600Nm that means 1180lb ft of torque. The top speed of this car is 205 mph.

Paris 2010: Jaguar C-X75 Concept

Jaguar C-X75 Concept

Yesterday's big surprise at the Paris Motor Show was the range-extended electric supercar from Jaguar, the C-X75 Concept. Built to celebrate the marque's 75th anniversary, the concept looks forward to the future while honoring Jaguar's heritage and design. Featuring four electric motors producing 195 horsepower at each wheel, along with two micro-gas turbines that – in theory – charge the batteries, the C-X75 can top 205 mph and has a projected combined range of 560 miles. Jaguar says it has no plans to produce the car, although it would be more than a worthy successor to the notorious XJ220.

From our vantage point, we're split on the looks. While most of us think it's stunning – especially in person – there's a vocal minority that doesn't think it looks "Jaguar" enough. Truth be told, it doesn't necessarily look like any Jaguar road car ever built, but it's easy to see that inspiration was taken from the 1966 Jaguar XJ13 race car.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

RM Auctions sells 1952 Jaguar C-Type for record $2,530,000

RM Sports & Classic of Monterey Auction

After selling off the Nick Alexander Woodie collection on Thursday, RM continued with their Sports & Classics of Monterey auction this past weekend. The sale was highlighted by a 1952 Jaguar C-Type that was originally owned and raced by the late Phil Hill. The legendary driver's son, Derek Hill, drove the car up on stage where bidding immediately passed $1,000,000 on its way to a $2,530,000 final selling price.

Despite the downward trend of the collector car market, RM managed to sell 85% of the 239 cars it offered last weekend. In addition to the C-Type, several other notable cars found new homes, including a 1955 Aston Martin DB3S that sold for $1,980,000 and a Duesenberg Model SJ Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe with a final sale price of $1,430,000. Some of the no-sales included a 2006 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 with a top bid of $900,000, a 1938 Talbot Lago T120 that went unsold at $950,000, and a 1953 Ferrari 166MM Spider Scaglietti that didn't meet its reserve despite being bid to $1,100,000.


MONTEREY, California –The legendary Phil Hill's son, Derek, drove the historic 1952 Jaguar C-Type, s/n XKC-007 to an auction world record last night, selling for $2,530,000 at RM's Sports & Classics of Monterey event in California.

XKC-007 was one of the first C-Types delivered to North America. In 1952, a young Phil Hill – then just 25 – drove the car at Elkhart Lake to claim the C-Type's first North American victory, before going on to achieve further success at Torrey Pines that same year.

"With over 85% of the 239 cars sold, including the very exciting 1952 Jaguar C-Type, and a current sales total exceeding $34 million, we are pleased with the weekend's results which reflect our consistently strong sell-through performance year to date," said Ian Kelleher, President & Chief Operating Officer of RM Auctions.

"The global interest and enthusiasm in our 2009 Monterey event led to a packed sales room of active bidders each of the three evenings, and RM is confident that throughout the course of the next few days several other major transactions will take place and continue to elevate these numbers in excess of the anticipated pre-sale expectations," Kelleher added.

Additional top-sellers at RM's Sports & Classics of Monterey event included two other million-dollar cars - a race-bred 1955 Aston Martin DB3S, which brought an impressive $1,980,000, and a stunning 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe for $1,430,000.

A further highlight was the sale of a factory-original 2005 Ford GT super car, offered on behalf of the Ford Motor Company and selling for $181,500 with a portion of the sale proceeds benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). To coincide with the offering, Mr. Edsel B. Ford II, Board Director, Ford Motor Company and his son, Henry, joined a group of local Monterey JDRF youth ambassadors to witness its sale.

"Once again the Ford Motor Company's long-standing relationship with RM Auctions proved to be a wonderful opportunity to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation amidst a crowd that appreciates all the great things our employee driven Ford Global Walk Team does for children around the world," said Mr. Ford following the auction. "We were thrilled to work with the team at RM Auctions once again in this capacity to continue our support of JDRF and its mission to find a cure for diabetes and its complications."

A 1939 Ford Deluxe Station Wagon, the final lot of the Nick Alexander Woodie Collection reserved for Saturday night's sale, exceeded its original high estimate to bring $215,000 hammer price. This amount will be donated to the Midland School in Santa Barbara, California by Nick Alexander, in addition to the 10% buyers premium of $21,500 and other monies raised which will be donated by RM. This lot capped off the extremely successful single-owner offering of $7.3 million.

"I am thoroughly pleased with the overall sales results and consider the auction to be a true success," said Nick Alexander. "RM Auctions did an amazing job representing all 52 cars consigned from my collection and I am delighted that all are going to such great new homes," he added.

RM will return to California, September 26th for the highly anticipated Icons of Speed & Style event at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. This single-vendor collection will present an eclectic range of historic American racing cars, vintage hot rods and custom show cars, along with 'kustom kulture' memorabilia - all offered without reserve. For further information on this exciting event, please visit

Official results from this weekend's Sports & Classics of Monterey event will be posted online at

Monday, 3 August 2009

All future Jaguars and Land Rovers to feature aluminum construction

2010 Jaguar XJ

Jaguar has been touting the aluminum-intensive construction of the XJ sedan since the previous-generation model was introduced back in 2003. According to the automaker, the use of aluminum in lieu of steel can lead to an impressive 40 percent reduction in weight. That's bound to have positive effects on driving dynamics, performance and efficiency.

With its latest redesign, Jaguar claims to have improved its aluminum architecture even further, so it's not surprising that the company plans to extend the technology to the rest of its line. According to Ratan Tata, chairman of the company that now owns Jaguar Land Rover, "JLR is planning to have all its future cars constructed with light weight aluminum bodies resulting in considerable savings in weight, and reduction in CO2 emissions."

To go along with their new diets, Jaguar and Land Rover are known to be experimenting with hybrid powertrains. A kinetic energy recovery system may be in the cards for the XJ line in 2011 while Land Rover has been working on an Electric Rear Axle Drive that could debut in the upcoming LRX compact Range Rover.

[Source: Motor E Magazine]