Test Drive: 2012 Jaguar XKR-S Coupe & Convertible

?Jaguar?s 2012 XKR-S Duo: The pinnacle of British exclusivity?

I would be willing to bet the Queen?s castle that Sir William Lyons never imagined that his automotive creation would reach the level of exclusivity and performance capability that is represented by the extremely limited production 2012 Jaguar XKR-S Coupe and Convertible. Only 25 XKR-S Convertibles were scheduled to come to market on our shores, but all sold out within one week of the debut at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, and the Coupe version, which was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show, and had an allocation of only 100 vehicles slated for the U.S. has already sold out as well. Fortunately, even though all of the 2012 examples have been sold, this special iconic sports car is a halo vehicle for Jaguar, and is scheduled for a three year production run at this point, so if you missed out this year, 2013 models will total 200 vehicles, with an even split between coupes and convertibles, and the 2014 production run is currently calling for 75 convertibles and 100 coupes to be built.

Both XKR-S models are propelled by an AJ ? Gen III, 5.0-liter DOHC, 32-valve Roots-Type twin-vortex Supercharged V8 engine with spray guided Direct Injection. The modified V8 engine produces 550 horsepower in a range from 6,000 to 6,500 rpm, while also generating 502 pound feet of torque from 2,500 to 5,500 rpm. It is positioned longitudinally up front, and the extra power (40 more horses represents an 8 percent increase, while the additional torque amounts to 41 pound feet more for a 9 percent increase).

This additional power is made possible by a combination of elements: the Performance Active Exhaust system; the supercharger that?s 20 percent more thermodynamically more efficient;? revised Adaptive Dynamics; Active Differential; and Dynamic Stability Control. The revised aerodynamics were optimized via Computational Fluid Dynamics, with overall aero lift reduced by 26 percent with no increase in drag. Both cars sit 10mm lower than the XKR, with increased spring rates fore and aft. The forged alloy wheels and aluminum suspension componentry and bodywork make for a lighter, more stable vehicle. Both cars share the same mechanicals and fuel economy (15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway), but the Coupe weighs 200 pounds less than the Convertible.

The engine?s driving force is delivered to the rear wheels through an?electronically controlled 6-speed revised ZF? automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters controlling Jaguar Sequential Shift function.

The XKR-S Convertible happens to be the most powerful and fastest convertible or ?Open Top GT? that Jaguar has ever built. It can rocket from 0-60 mph in a mere 4.2 seconds and has a top speed capability of 186 mph.

To test and prove the capability of the new XKR-S, Jaguar arranged for high speed test runs made on the same runway used by the U.S. Navy?s crack Blue Angels precision flying team at El Centro Naval Air Facility in California, where portions of the movie ?Top Gun? starring Tom Cruise were filmed. Lunch was served in Hangar number 7, where costar Kelly McGillis held a flight school briefing in the movie. Each journalist participating in the program was afforded the opportunity to make one pass down the runway with the pedal completely to the metal. Only one hour was allotted for the high speed runs, in between the Blue Angels? practice sessions orchestrated by base officials and staff. An interesting factoid here?.. The Jaguar XKR-S actually out accelerates the F-18 fighter jets on the ground over a distance up to 4,000 feet, depending upon wind conditions. The runway measured 9,500 feet in length and 200 feet in width, so lifting at the proper time to allow making the turn at the end of the run was essential. The Naval facility also serves as training base for the RAF with Prince Harry training there recently.

The XKR-S Coupe and Convertible differs in appearance from the XKR in several ways: the XKR-S features functional twin hood scoops and twin hood vents; side quarter gills are horizontal rather than vertical; lower rocker panels are pronounced and extended; a functional four stanchion rear spoiler, with an integrated carbon fiber panel perches atop the rear deck lid; a special lower front?diffuser also showcases exposed carbon fiber; and the wheels are specific forged 20-inch alloy 6-double-spoke units (9.5- inches front and 10.5-inches rear), shod with staggered Pirelli P-Zero rubber 255/35 ZR20 front / 295/30 ZR20 rear.? Out back is a blacked out, straked diffuser with cutouts for the twin dual exhaust outlets. There is also special badging front and rear, and special vertical vents appear at the leading edge of the front wheel well, to facilitate brake cooling.

The XKR-S convertible top, which comes in a standard black color, is also available in a variety of other hues and lowers and raises in a mere 18 seconds, even when moving at up to 15 mph.


Both my test Coupe XKR-S coupe and Convertible sported Polaris White exteriors. The Convertible had a Black cloth top and featured a Bright Pack option that provided Polished wheels and a chrome upper body surround, as well as bright side gills with the Jaguar name (the only place that ?Jaguar? appears). The interior was executed in Warm Charcoal and London Tan, while the Coupe came with a Black Pack option, which substituted Black trim in place of chrome, and an interior done ion Black and Charcoal with White piping. The Coupe was priced at $32,000 with the Convertible upping the ante by $6,000. Add $875 for Destination and Handling for each.

SUMMARY:? The coming XKR-S models will actually be available in a choice of several body colors, along with choices in interior treatments. In essence, any consumer who orders an XKR-S Coupe or Convertible may take advantage of Jaguar?s special Engineered To Order (ETO) division to customize and personalize their vehicle to specific tastes and content.

?The XKR-S is more than a car ? it is actually a brand ambassador for Jaguar as well as a Premium performance vehicle? stated Frank Klass, Global Head of Communications for Jaguar/Land Rover.

Simply stated, the Jaguar XKR-S is phenomenal high performance Grand Touring automobile (make that luxury Grand Touring automobile) that seemingly wants for nothing. Acceleration is blistering, handling characteristics are spot on, stability is incredible, braking is positive, and the ride quality though firm, is also quite comfortable. Changing gears via the paddle shifters is both smooth and rapidly responsive, but take my word for it, the automatic mode is considerably quicker and much more efficient than the reaction time delivered by mere mortals.

If you weren?t among the first responders to purchase one of the 2012 XKR-S models, now would be a good time to place your order for a 2013 production issue if you have the desire to claim ownership and happen to possess the financial wherewithal.

Bottom line, the Jaguar XKR-S truly represents what may well be the pinnacle of British exclusivity, and promises to become an iconic collectible vehicle for years to come, no doubt making Sir William Lyon proud beyond measure were he still with us today. Did I mention that the exhaust note delivers a distinctive and authoritative soundtrack all its own, guaranteed to make any autophile worth their salt grin from ear to ear.



Jaguar XKR-S Coupe & Convertible ? ?12


Base Price:?????????????? ??????????? $132,000. Coupe / $138,000. Convertible

Price as Tested: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?$132,875. Coupe / $138,875. Convertible


Engine Type and Size:??????????? AJ ? Gen III 5.0-liter DOHC, 32-valve Roots-Type twin-vortex Supercharged V8 with spray guided Direct Injection.

Horsepower (bhp):??????????? ??????????? 550??????????? @ 6,000 ? 6,500 ??????????? rpm

Torque (ft./ lbs.): ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 502??????????? @ 2,500 ? 5,500??????????? rpm


Transmission: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Electronically controlled 6-speed revised ZF? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? automaticwith steering wheel mounted paddle ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?shifters controlling Jaguar Sequential Shift function.

Drive Train:??????????? Longitudinally mounted front engine / Rear-wheel drive.

Suspension:?????????Front ? Revised R-tuned for S with uprated Adaptive ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? Dynamics,enhanced Computer Active Technology ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? Suspension (eCATS). Fully independent twin ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? wishbones. Coil springs with telescopic dampers. ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? Anti-dive geometry providing longitudinal stability ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? under heavy braking. Anti-roll bar.

Rear – ?Revised R-tuned for S with uprated Adaptive ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? Dynamics, enhanced Computer Active Technology ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? Suspension (eCATS). Fully independent with lower ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? wishbones and driveshafts acting as upper links. Coil ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? springs with telescopic dampers. Anti-roll bar. ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? Dynamic Stability Control with Trac DSC Traction ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? Control System.


Brakes:??????????? Power-assisted Teves Mk25 electronically controlled four-wheel discs (15? front/14? rear) with 4-channel Anti-lock Brake System with yaw control, passive brake booster, independent front/rear split hydraulic circuits incorporating fluid loss warning sensor, electronic parking brake.





Pirelli P-Zero ? 255/35 ZR20 front? / 295/30 ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ZR20 rear mounted on 6-double-spoke, silver ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? painted alloy wheels.


Wheelbase:??????????? ??????????? ??????????? 108.3??????????? inches

Length Overall:??????????? ??????????? 188.7??????????? inches

Width:??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ? 80.0??????????? inches with mirrors (74.5 ? mirrors folded).

Height:??????????? ??????????? ??????????? ? 51.6??????????? inches ? Coupe / 52.3 ? Convertible.

Curb Weight:??????????? ??????????? ??????????? 3,968??????????? lbs. ? Convertible / Coupe 3,768 lbs.


Fuel Capacity:??????????? ??????????? ? 18.8??????????? gallons

EPA Mileage Estimates:??????????? ? 15??????????? mpg city / 22??????????? mpg highway


Drag Coefficient:??????????? ??????????? 0.35 – 0.38 (Coupe/Convertible)

0 – 60 mph:??????????? ??????????? ??????????? 4.2??????????? seconds ? Top speed=186 mph.


More from Our Auto Expert