WITH the arrival of Spring it was stimulating to say the least to test drive Jaguar’s really big cat the supercharged XKR Coupe with its muscular styling thunderous exhaust and a top speed of 175mph writes Bryan Longworth.
I hate winter and the mighty XKR with its 510bhp 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine and zero to 60mph time of just 4.6 seconds provided just the right tonic to get the adrenalin flowing with some exciting driving on my favourite country roads where it showed just why Jaguar cars have such a fine sporting reputation.
To many Jaguar admirers the XKR is the daddy of all Jags and the white test car with its luxurious leather clad interior showed just why it is so highly rated with its stunning performance, magnificent handling and that awesome growl from the four rear exhaust pipes.
The XKR Coupe costs £78,550 on the road but the test car had the optional Dynamic Speed Pack costing £4085 which changed the electronic 155mph top speed limit to 174mph plus another £1600 for a reverse camera kit and several other bits of extra equipment.
I know that a top speed of 174mph is really academic unless you are driving on unrestricted roads in Germany but it will impress your friends in the golf club bar when you let them know you are driving such a mighty beast.
I suppose the only downside is the fuel consumption which is 23mpg combined although in reality it is nearer 18mpg - but when you can afford such an expensive car the price of petrol is not likely to be a problem.
The XKR has been updated for the current model year with a few styling tweaks and it really cuts the mustard with its muscular body attracting admirers wherever it was parked.
The most obvious body changes are the slimmer headlamps that incorporate LED daytime driving lights which make the front more impressive and noticeable and at the rear are LED lights to make them easier to see for following traffic.
It is a dream car for the owner who really appreciates top performance and handling - floor the accelerator and the rear wheel drive car accelerates like a jet plane on take-off with the six speed automatic gearbox smoothly coping with the changes as the car gathers speed.
There are paddles on the steering wheel for the owner who prefers DIY gear changes but overall I preferred to let the automatic system do the job because it was so smooth and effective.
There are two back seats but this is basically a two seater with a large load area under the huge hatchback but there is no spare wheel in the recess underneath which was handy for storing fragile shopping although I would not fancy changing one of the huge 20 inch alloy wheels.
The supercharged XKR provides exhilerating motoring with breathtaking acceleration and is a car that maintains the impressive worldwide reputation of Jaguar as a manufacturer of high quality sporting cars.
My Verdict: A splendid supercharged supercar.