The upcoming 2007 Jaguar XKR coupe and convertible will bring to the table a potent V8 engine with rear-wheel drive transmission, as well as nicely sculpted exterior and refined interior with lots of aluminum and expensive leather upholstery. Will the mix be enough to make the British car competitive in the niche, which is dominated by BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin?
The first set of high-quality photos of the soon to be revealed 2007 Jaguar XKR has just hit the Web. Is it just another PR-disaster or was the leakage actually planned to spur media interest?
Although the 2007 Jaguar XKR coupe and convertible models were planned to be officially unveiled only next month during the upcoming 2006 British Motor Show, the worst has happened and the pictures surfaced in the Auto Motor und Sport magazine, as well as on some other automotive blogs (now including the one you are reading just at this moment).
I am not sure whether the editorial staff of the German car magazine simply broke the embargo in order to get more hits or somehow acquired the photo set by other means, but what happened, happened: the photos are now in the wild.
Accompanying them is some info regarding the technical specs of the new performance vehicle.
According to the source, the new model is quite predictably based on the 2005 Jaguar XK sports coupe and will feature a supercharged 4.2-liter V8 engine, which is capable to produce a maximum of 416 horsepower and 560 Nm (413 lb-ft) of torque available at 6000 rpm and 4000 rpm respectively.
All this power will be transmitted exclusively to the rear axle, which means that the car will be especially fun to drive, if you know how to handle a RWD monster and don’t plan to have fun after a snowfall.
Mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox, the engine is powerful enough to accelerate the Jaguar XKR coupe from zero to 62 mph in just 5.2 seconds (the 0-100 km/h spurt takes about 0.3 seconds less,) which is nothing to sneeze at for a car that tips the scales at impressive 1732 kilograms.
Of course, the cabriolet version is a trifle more sluggish taking 0.1 second longer to cross the 62 mph mark. Its top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
Judging by the photos, the interior of the vehicle is quite comfortable and also quite ergonomic with controls on the multifunctional steering wheel placed in order to be easily operated by thumbs.
I can’t say whether the huge colorful LCD screen of the entertainment center is fast enough to work with while driving, but the rest of the central stack seems to be quite easy to reach, although I would clearly prefer the separate buttons of the air conditioning unit to be replaced with more informative knobs that would click at every 0.1 of a degree: again, no need to take your eyes off the road while adjusting temperature.
Designed to compete against the new Audi R8, BMW M6, Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG, and Aston Martin DB9, the coupe and cabriolet will possibly come at a steep price, starting at €94,990 and €102,990 respectively.
See also: 2007 Bentley Continental GTC Convertible