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The 2014 Jagaur XK is unchanged from last year's model, except for the hyper-limited-edition XKR-S GT, a track-tuned scalpel that's still legal for road use. We're fine with the lack of updates to the rest of the line, however, because the XK's blend of elegant grand touring comfort and sports car spice is just about perfect. On top of that, it's all wrapped in a sleek and sexy shell, offering a uniquely British experience.
Redesigned and re-imagined in 2007, the XK is an all-aluminum, two-plus-two coupe or convertible that cuts a dramatic image, and sounds the part, too, thanks to its complement of V-8 engines. The standard XK gets a 5.0-liter V-8 rated at 385 horsepower. Rear-wheel drive delivers optimum handling dynamics, and a six-speed paddle-shifted automatic handles the gear changes. The supercharged XKR sports 510 horsepower, cutting zero to 60 mph times from 5.2 to 4.6 seconds. Stepping up even further, you'll find the XKR-S, with 550 horsepower and a sharper suspension, along with 4.2-second 0-60 mph times and a top speed of 186 mph.
New for 2014 is the XKR-S GT, explicitly track-tuned for street use, bearing both the most dramatic looks and the most forceful powertrain of the XK line. While power output is the same as the XKR-S, acceleration is slashed to 3.9 seconds to 60 mph thanks to the wider, grippier tires and track-tuned setup.
Jaguar isn't faking the performance aspects--with the new F-Type pushing boundaries in the size-down segment, and its own Nurburgring Racing Academy, the brand once legendary for its racing efforts has come full circle, bringing that knowledge and expertise to the streets.
The XK isn't all about power and speed, however, as without grace and comfort, a fast street car isn't a very friendly place to be. Fortunately, the XK offers an adjustable suspension to take the edge off the sportier side of life when desired, and a cockpit that's comfortable, elegant, and warm. Wood and metallic trim, natural leather hides, plush carpeting, and well-formed seats give the luxury look and feel you expect from Jaguar.
On the infotainment front, we find ourselves wishing for an upgrade to the firmware, with the touchscreen-driven interface lagging slightly behind inputs to the climate, audio, and navigation controls. A rearview camera is standard, and 2014 brings a range of new trim options. The XKR-S and XKR-S GT offer even more in the way of variations from the XK norm, including their own standard set of luxury and sport items. Depending on the model selected (and the depth of the buyer's pocket book) there are a host of upgrades available, including an excellent Bowers & Wilkins sound system for the audiophiles.
The agencies haven't crash-tested the Jaguar XK, which is common with low-volume, premium vehicles, but it is engineered for safety like any other new Jaguar, and comes with a full set of standard airbags, the rearview camera, and electronic stability and traction control.
As one of the highest-rated vehicles at The Car Connection, the Jaguar XK is undeniably a very good car, despite approaching eight years into the current model's run. If you're in the market for a stylish, sporty, and comfortable grand tourer, give yourself the benefit of a drive in an XK.
- Beautiful exterior
- Stunning cabin
- Balance of grand-touring elegane and sports car agility
- Rorty, smooth V-8 power
- The fastest paddle-shifted automatic around
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- Unresponsive touchscreen
- Sensitive throttle pedal
- No manual transmission for purists
- Back seats are better used as pacel shelves
- Steering is lighter than you might expect--or hope