When it transplanted a big, bawdy 5.0-liter V-8 into the XK and XKR, Jaguar proved it was serious about declaring its independence from Ford--and in taking on Porsche, serious as a heart attack.
The big V-8 throbs with 385 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. It's only available in tandem with a six-speed, paddle-shifted automatic, but the combination is fierce. Jaguar quotes 0-60 mph times of 5.2 seconds for the coupe, and while it's running for time, the XK's 75 extra horsepower get more vocal and erupt in a more muscular, NASCAR-ish exhaust noise. Acceleration is beyond brisk, and poking the throttle is addictive, since the automatic snaps off gearchanges faster than any automated-manual clutch we know. The ZF gearbox also offers up Sport and Snow shift modes,but you'll want to be on guard with the Sport mode. The XK's quick reflexes mean even its big 19-inch Dunlops can break loose easily.
Multiply all that by itself, and you'll arrive at the XKR. It's like an XK with a few thousand more BTUs in its bank account. It's supercharged to 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque, and it can blast off 60-mph runs in just 4.6 seconds, on the conservative side of estimates. This is one...hell...of a fast car. It'll loaf around all day at 2500 rpm, too, with three-quarters of its maximum torque already at your toes. jaguar tightens the XKR's adaptive suspension a bit more firmly, all the better to use up its 20-inch wheels and tires. And make no mistake, the XKR will overpower its tires at every possible opportunity.