The Jaguar XK is available in three different trims, each defined by their engine. The basic XK comes with a 385 horsepower 5.0L V8, the XKR comes with a supercharged version of the 5.0L V8 making 510 horsepower and the XKR-S uses a tuned version of the supercharged engine to produce a staggering 550 horsepower. Performance from any of the models is good, but the XKR and XKR-S are capable of supercar-like acceleration. All three models can be equipped as either a coupe or a convertible, with convertibles costing about $6,000 more in each case. The only transmission available on any XK is a 6-speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddles.
The XK achieves its excellent tradeoff between ride and handling through an Adaptive Dynamics system which monitors wheel position 500 times a second and adjusts the suspension accordingly. Drivers can alter the programming by selecting a dynamic mode, which tightens things up for true high performance driving.
The base XK comes well equipped as would be expected of a luxury coupe. Automatic bi-xenon headlights with wipers and LED taillights handle exterior lighting and look good in the process. The interior comes equipped with heated and cooled leather seating surfaces, keyless entry and keyless start, humidity control, an auto dimming rearview mirror, a heated leather steering wheel, a 6-disc in dash CD changer, a 7" touch screen monitor, Sirius satellite radio and a navigation system. The sound system is provided by Bowers and Wilkins and is 525 Watts. It's capable of playing MP3's, WMA files and is Bluetooth compatible.
The XKR is a much more performance oriented vehicle than the base XK. With an additional 125 horsepower, it is able to accelerate with much more authority. This bump in power is accompanied by a bump in looks. The XKR gets a more aggressive exterior with revised bumpers and a new hood. Quad exhaust pipes poke out from under the XKR's rear bumper and the tailpipes are tuned for a sportier sound during acceleration. A computer controlled rear differential helps put all the power to the ground and rounds out the changes for the XKR.
Options on the XKR include a Dynamic pack, which tightens up the suspension and raises the top speed and a Black pack, which blacks out the exterior chrome work and adds mean looking 20-inch black wheels.
The top of the line XKR-S stands apart from the other two XK models in its nearly single minded pursuit of performance. Though the car still has the amenities available on the other two models, it is a different beast entirely. One look at the aggressive front end is all it takes to realize that the XKR-S is something special. At well over $130,000, the XKR-S is very nearly a different class of vehicle, competing more with Porsche than with BMW and Mercedes. The XKR-S is the choice for drivers who need a track ready car that is still able to perform like a luxury car in a pinch. The XKR-S is able to reach a top speed of 186 mph and can accelerate from 0-60 in 4.2 seconds.
Safety hasn't been neglected with front and side airbags, seatbelt pretensioners and whiplash protection for front seat occupants. A back up camera is standard to aid in parking and there is even a valet mode included to keep the car from being abused when someone other than the owner is driving it. A tire pressure monitoring system is also included.