This is the Jaguar XKR-S Convertible – the fastest and most powerful open-top Jaguar ever, and the missing piece in the XK puzzle. It now means the XK, XKR and XKR-S are all available in coupe and convertible guises.
These stunning images are our first glimpse of the car, which makes its debut at the LA Motor Show this week. The XKR-S Coupe caused a sensation when it arrived earlier this year. It was the fastest Jaguar since the XJ220, carried a £97,000 price tag and, according to engineers, had the ability to hit 200mph if the limiter was removed. The XKR-S Convertible is an even more dramatic proposition, with an even more dramatic price tag.
Under the hood is the same 542bhp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 as in the Coupe, which gives 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds and a 186mph top speed. These figures are identical to the hard-top, despite the fact that this car weighs an extra 47kg. By remapping the fuel system and fitting a free-flowing active exhaust, 39bhp and 55Nm of torque has been freed up over the 503bhp XKR Convertible.
At the push of a button, the roof raises or lowers in 18 seconds, and the car has undergone extensive testing with the hood in place at top speed. To ensure stability at 186mph, Jaguar has added a range of aerodynamic improvements over the XKR drop-top, which double up as styling tweaks to create a more aggressive look.
Vertical lines run down from the edge of the oval grille into a new bumper with a wider air intake and a carbon-fibre splitter. Deeper side sills, a ride height lowered by 10mm and a rear wing with a carbon-fibre middle section all contribute to improving downforce by 26 per cent.
Gloss black paint is used instead of chrome trim, while 20-inch Vulcan alloys are standard and the brake calipers can be finished in bright red or gunmetal grey.
Inside are Jaguar’s grippy performance seats, complete with integrated headrests, holes for a racing harness and carbon-effect leather with white piping.
As the XK was designed from the outset to be a convertible, Jaguar claims that it was the perfect starting point for a high-performance model.
The aluminium underpinnings help to keep weight down to 1,800kg (that’s 180kg less than Maserati’s GranCabrio), and give the car excellent torsional rigidity. That means the beefed-up suspension components from the XKR-S Coupe can be carried over.
Front and rear springs are stiffer than those of the XKR Convertible, while unique Active Damping software has been applied to maximise body control and grip. A new thicker aluminium steering knuckle has been added to the front double wishbone suspension – designed to offer improved accuracy and feedback from the steering.
The brakes have also received an overhaul. Massive steel discs – 380mm at the front and 376mm at the rear – are clamped by larger aluminium calipers. The result is a 38 per cent increase in stopping power over the XKR.
In keeping with the car’s wild character, the three-stage DSC system has gone under the knife, too. The intermediate Trac DSC mode now allows a greater degree of slip, so owners can explore the car’s ability more easily.
The XKR-S Convertible is available to order now, commanding a small premium over the coupe – it breaks through the six-figure barrier with a price tag of £103,000.