New Porsche 911 vs Jaguar XKR

The all-new Porche 911 goes up against the Jaguar XKR in its sternest test yet

New Porsche 911 vs Jaguar XKR

Age catches up with everyone – but not everything. The Porsche 911 can trace its roots back to 1963, but a process of constant evolution and development has maintained its status as one of the most desirable and capable sports cars that money can buy.

The latest incarnation promises to be the best yet; bigger, faster, more powerful and more economical than ever before. It has the potential to raise the bar even higher, but trying to improve on a winning formula is fraught with difficulties. Will the changes attract new customers or upset die-hards?

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We’ve been eager to find out, and see how the new 991 version rates on British roads. This test of the new Carrera S should provide the answers. Its rival has home advantage, as the Jaguar XKR Coupé is designed, engineered and built in the UK.

At £78,550, the Jag also has price on its side, as it undercuts the £83,629 Porsche. The XKR is the consummate grand tourer, with a supercharged V8 that delivers instant and effortless performance.

If the Porsche 911 has indeed grown up, this is the car it needs to beat.

Verdict

This was always going to be a bruising encounter. The Porsche 911 is a sports car legend, while the sleek and powerful Jaguar has the performance to humble much more expensive supercars. So, which one of our duo takes the spoils?

The Jaguar is certainly in with a shout. Its characterful V8 provides unrivalled real-world performance, while its sleek looks still have the ability to turn heads. Further boosting its chances are a classy and well equipped cabin, impeccable manners on the motorway and a hair-raising soundtrack from the exhaust.

Even a short drive in the 911 is enough to confirm that the rear-engined model’s magic remains. The iconic looks and familiar howl from the flat-six engine are both present and correct. But it’s the way the Porsche drives that sets it apart.

Its controls are beautifully weighted and full of feedback, while staggering grip and beautiful balance make it a rapid and rewarding choice for back-road blasts. But it’s the 911’s ability to mix this dynamic superiority with comfort, reasonable refinement and a dash of practicality that gives it the edge over the Jaguar in this contest.

It’s expensive, and we’d like more standard kit, but that isn’t enough to deny the Porsche victory.

Winner Porsche 911 Carrera S ★★★★★

Fans of the 911 can rest easy, as the latest model picks up the baton from its predecessor. It’s better than the car it replaces and its character has survived intact. While the PDK model is expected to account for the lion’s share of sales, we’d be tempted to stick with the manual – but the Carrera S is all the performance car you’ll ever need.

2ndJaguar XKR Coupe ★★★★

Dramatic straight-line speed is only part of the XKR’s appeal. The Jaguar matches effortless performance to a cosseting cabin and suprisingly practical hatchback body. It’s a fine GT, at its best cruising on motorways and sweeping A-roads, but it doesn’t provide enough B-road thrills to rival the Porsche as a genuine sports car.

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