First revealed at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the Jaguar XKR Speed and Black Pack are a further evolution of one of Britain’s best sports cars.
With more aggressive looks and a top speed extended to 174mph, the £3,500 Speed Pack is aimed at a new breed of XK owner, who are just as likely to head to the track as away on a weekend jaunt.
The wonderful 5-litre supercharged V8 remains the same – no bad thing – with 510bhp, 461lb/ft of pulling power and one of the best noises there is.
It sprints the refined XKR Speed from zero to 62mph in 4.6 seconds and its six-speed automatic gearbox changes gears with finesse.
The Speed Pack takes care of the business end of things, while the Black Pack de-chromes most of the car, replacing the shiny addenda with painted parts, to give the XKR Speed and Black Pack its sultry looks.
Now limited to 174mph,The engine and gearbox have been recalibrated to allow its 174mph top speed, up from a limited 155mph. With this new headline figure in mind, the XKR Speed has a revised front aerodynamic splitter and larger rear spoiler to reduce lift
Jaguar’s computer-controlled Active Differential Control also adjusts according to speed to reduce steering sensitivity and improve stability at high speeds.
Body-coloured side skirts, a rear diffuser, chrome window surrounds, mesh front grilles, red brake callipers with Jaguar ‘R’ logo and 20-inch alloy wheels complete the package.
Seven colours will be available – black, white, red, silver, grey and two shades of blue, and it’s the first three which Jaguar feel suits the harder nature of the XKR Speed best.
Jaguar’s take on the GT3
Customers who order both the £4,000 Speed and Black Pack will have a car with exclusive looks more closely prescribed by Jaguar. Available only in the aforementioned red, white or black with 20-inch gloss black alloy wheels and an optional ‘XKR’ side body graphic, this is Jaguar’s equivalent of the Porsche 911 GT3.
Interior finishes can be specified to the owner’s taste, with dark oak, dark mesh, aluminium and piano black available.
On the roads around Goodwood there’s only one word to describe the XKR Speed and Black Pack: ‘sublime’. If ever there needs to be proof a seriously fast car can be comfortable as well, this is it.
No matter what the speed or how bad the road surface, the Jag remains perfectly poised and composed, leaving driver and passenger unruffled. Amazingly, in its softest setting, it seems to ride just as comfortably as the recently-launched flagship Jaguar XJ.
Turn the dial to Competition mode and the suspension does get harder and gear changes are faster, but this mode is better suited to a track than Britain’s roads.
The cost of exclusivity
However, this is really a styling package at heart, and unless you regularly drive above 155mph a standard XKR is just as good to drive.
So, it’s the exclusivity and edgy looks which are really on offer, and at this end of the sports car market, £4,000 on top of the £74,955 asking price of an XKR Coupe represents good value-for-money.
The Speed and Black pack are available now, and to reflect their sporting focus, they can only be specified with the Jaguar XKR Coupe.
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