Image credits: © Jaguar.

MSRP: $84,500-132,000
Invoice: $77,740-121,373

2012 Jaguar XKR news, pictures, specifications, and information

The 2012 Jaguar XK : At-A-Glance

• Dramatic front and rear styling gives the XK a dynamic new appearance.
• New intelligent LED technology incorporated into slimmer headlamps.
• New XKR-S model is the ultimate expression of Jaguar's GT duality: intelligent performance wîth everyday drivability.
• XKR-S achieves 186mph (300km/h), 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds and emits fewer than 300g/km of CO2.
• Strong, lightweight advanced aluminium body architecture to maximise performance, agility and economy.
• Revised interior enhances the contemporary luxury feel of the XK's cabin.
• Performance sports seat option offers 16-way adjustability, heating, cooling and memory functions.
• New XKR Dynamic Pack for enhanced driving characteristics.
• Expanded range of option packages allow a greater degree of personalisation.
• New paint colours pay homage to Jaguar's racing heritage.

XK DesignThe XK was the first car created entirely under the aegis of Design Director Ian Callum. Dramatic and purposeful, yet as sensuous as only a Jaguar can be, the XK now receives a number of revisions that reinforce its contemporary, assertive character.

The latest lighting technology has allowed the front headlamps to be made slimmer and at the same time incorporate LED signal functions and running lights. Combined wîth a larger grille and new bumper design, this gives the XK instant ‘rear-view mirror' recognition. Únmistakably a Jaguar, each model in the range gains unique styling attributes that distinguish it from its siblings. Chrome mesh grilles on the XK are replaced wîth matt black detailing on the XKR while the flagship XKR-S receives a unique front bumper underlining its sense of purpose.

The power vent along the front wing has been altered from a vertical to horizontal design wîth a mesh insert. Emblazoned wîth the Jaguar name, it serves to emphasise the potential inherent in the XK's design. To the rear, the boot lid has been revised wîth a slimmer chrome finisher which allows the car to be graced by the famous Jaguar ‘leaper', bringing it into line wîth the rest of the company's products.

Complementing the design changes are 17 paint colours, five of which are new and a range of alloy wheels that now total 11 different designs ranging in size from 18 to 20 inches. A further opportunity for owners to express their individuality is available through the ‘Black Pack', now also available as an option on the naturally aspirated cars as well as the XKR. This replaces exterior chrome wîth a matt black finish, complemented by 20-inch gloss black alloy wheels. On the XKR, the package also includes body coloured aerodynamic enhancements and optional side graphics.

XK Powertrain and Dynamics

Jaguar sports cars have a reputation for blending athletic high-performance wîth effortless cruising comfort. Nothing exemplifies this dual character more clearly than the XK's 5.0-litre AJ-V8 engine.

Now in its third generation this offers not only tremendous power but also great efficiency by incorporating the very latest technology including spray-guided direct injection (SGDI) and dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT). Like the car itself, the engine is constructed from high-grade, lightweight aluminium, which in the cylinder heads is recycled to reduce the environmental impact of manufacture.

New 186mph XKR-S
Available in both naturally aspirated and supercharged forms from the beginning, the engine is now offered in a third variant in the XKR-S. Based on the supercharged unit in the XKR, revised fuel mapping and an active exhaust have boosted power and torque to 550PS and 680Nm respectively, creating the most powerful Jaguar road car ever. This allows the car to reach 60mph in just 4.2 seconds and join the exclusive ‘300km/h' club wîth a limited top speed of 186mph. Not only extremely powerful but also efficient, the XKR-S emits just 292g/km of CO2.

All variants of the XK use the six-speed ZF automatic gearbox wîth §teering wheel-mounted paddles to control the Jaguar Sequential Shift function for greater driver control. In the XKR-S the transmission has been revised in line wîth the increased power and torque to optimise upshifts and allow for the increased top speed.

The XK's exhilarating driving dynamics are the result of the latest generation of Jaguar's Adaptive Dynamics technology that provides a continuous and seamlessly variable damping strategy to negate the traditional trade-off between ride comfort and handling.

Luxury and performance duality
Adaptive Dynamics performs three main functions; controlling vertical body movement, roll and pitch rates. One hundred times every second, Adaptive Dynamics analyses the thousands of inputs and variables which determine ride and handling characteristics. By also monitoring wheel position 500 times every second, the system is able to achieve the famous Jaguar duality between comfort and sporting appeal. Should the driver wish to alter these characteristics, there is the option of Dynamic Mode, which increases body control, sharpens throttle response and reduces gearshift times.

The two supercharged variants of the XK also benefit from Jaguar's Active Differential Control technology. This uses a multiplate clutch to vector torque to the driven wheel wîth the most grip. Allied to the ABS and stability control, this allows for the ultimate in traction and precision both mid-corner and at its exit. Non-supercharged models use a mechanical differential, which delivers outstanding levels of grip and stability under power.

All models benefit from the Dynamic Stability Control system which offers four modes: normal, Winter, TracDSC and DSC Off, allowing the enthusiastic driver to choose the level of intervention dependent on road conditions.

The XKR-S model enhances both these electronic systems and the inherent stiffness of the lightweight aluminium architecture to create the most dynamic and exciting Jaguar yet.

Úprated suspension
The double wishbone front suspension has been comprehensively revised wîth a new fully-machined §teering knuckle. This significantly increases camber and castor stiffness by 0.13 degrees per kilonewton to transform the accuracy and weighting of the §teering for greater levels of connection, feedback and precision. Rear suspension geometry has been revised wîth rear wheel steer optimised for maximum agility while spring rates have been increased at both ends of the car by 28 percent.

The Active Differential has been programmed to reduce §teering sensitivity at the very high speeds of which the car is capable, increasing stability and driver control. Bespoke software for Jaguar's Adaptive Damping has been written for the XKR-S, ensuring both total body control and maximum traction and grip. Changes to the TracDSC mode alters intervention levels to allow the experienced driver to explore the outer edges of the performance envelope, rewarded by the motorsport inspired soundtrack from the exhaust, which features an active pneumatic valve.

The suspension changes and Performance exhaust system are available as part of the Dynamic Pack option for the XKR model.

'The XKR-S encompasses everything a performance Jaguar should be; as capable, precise and thrilling on your drive home as it is at the Nürburgring. Every response delay has been minimised in order to give the car a more connected feel in the manner in which it steers, handles, stops and goes.'

Source - Jaguar
By the early 2000s, cars were evolving at an unprecedented pace. Every year manufacturers seemed to be eking out more power, more efficiency, and more performance, all backed up by more computers and more electronic driving aids. Emerging technologies were bundled into the automotive package, creating cars that could double as cell phones and MP3 players.

Yet at the dawn of this technological revolution, Jaguar was out on a tea break. That proud jungle cat, the producer of some of the world's finest and most advanced sports cars in the 1950s and 1960s, had grown lazy and set in its ways under foreign (read: Ford) control.

Ford was by no means incapable of running Jaguar well, and the American giant at least helped improve Jag's reputation for unreliability and poor quality control. The approach to running Jaguar was conservative, though, and aimed to keep a few traditionalists happy at the cost of potential new buyers. The advanced performance and styling that had once defined Jaguar had grown stale, leading to quaint caricatures of the brand's past legends. The XJ-series looked like the XJ-series always had—since 1968. The XK-series followed the controversially-styled XJS with a design that borrowed heavily from the original E-Type—of 1961. Jaguar had successfully established a model lineup that effectively looked 30 years behind the times.

That's not to say that Jaguar's cars weren't still beautiful—they were. But the design language had grown far too stale to attract new buyers, and, with dangerously low sales, change was needed to save the company from financial ruin.

Enter the 2005 Jaguar Advanced Lightweight Coupe concept, Ian Callum's ingenious interpretation of what a modern Jaguar should be. This concept, with refreshingly few changes, formed the basis for the Jaguar XK that would be released in 2006 for the 2007 model year.

Though it retained enough design DNA to remain unmistakably Jag, the 2007 XK was a thoroughly modern car. Its design was many years ahead of the outgoing model's, styled by Callum with respect for Jaguar's past but eyes towards the brand's future. The Advanced Lightweight Coupe concept's name was well-founded, and its advanced and lightweight use of aluminum made it into the production XK. The production car was built on a remarkably rigid platform that used aluminum extrusions extensively to reduce weight and increase rigidity. The XK was designed from the beginning as a convertible (Ian Callum considered it easier to make a coupe of a convertible than the other way around), and that fact meant that the XK convertible not only looked as good as the coupe but was also impressively stiff.

The XK debuted with a 4.2L, 32-valve V8 that made 300hp and was coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The supercharged XKR version made 420hp. This was ample power for both cars, but, in an effort to keep up with the competition and avoid the problems witnessed at the outset of the millennium, Jaguar gave the XK and XKR brand new engines for 2010. With displacement increased to 5.0L, the new V8s now produce 385hp in naturally aspirated form and 510hp in supercharged guise.

The XK, now complemented by the impressive XF and brand-new XJ, helped to revitalize Jaguar's ageing image. It represents the sporty car in Jag's small, cohesive lineup, and is a thoroughly modern piece that has earned the right to call itself by those two famous letters that first established Jaguar as a builder of benchmark sports cars in 1948.

Sources:

'2010 Jaguar XK / XKR Coupe and Convertible - Auto Shows.' Car and Driver Jan 2009: n. pag. Web. 15 Jul 2010. http://www.caranddriver.com/news/car/09q1/2010_jaguar_xk_xkr_coupe_and_convertible-auto_shows.

MacKenzie, Angus. 'First Look: 200 Jaguar XK.' Motor Trend Oct 2005: n. pag. Web. 15 Jul 2010. http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/112_0510_2007_jaguar_xk/index.html.

By Evan Acuña
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