Jaguar XKR-S convertible

This big cat’s wild and wicked – but so is the price

Price: £103,430
Engine capacity: 5.0-litre supercharged V8
Top speed (mph): 186  (electronically limited)
0-60 mph (seconds): 4.2
Fuel economy (mpg): 23
CO2 emissions (g/km): 292

If you like your wheels with more power than grip and enjoy the wind in your hair, then the new Jaguar  XKR-S convertible is the car for you. The drop-top version of the  manufacturer’s most powerful sports car gets 550 horsepower and a tweaked and stiffened sports  suspension to play with, plus an  aggressive body kit and carbon-fibre spoiler for you to look at. That’s enough to satisfy even the highest octane of petrol heads, so what’s the catch? You’ll need just over £100k to part one from the hands of a of Jaguar. That’s a lot of cash and begs the question; can a Jag ever be worth such a huge sum?

The heart of the XKR-S is its 5.0-litre V8 engine which roars, groans and then whines with delight as you work the flappy-paddle gearbox up to the red line. The power it delivers is simply staggering and testing it on the bendy lanes of Berkshire’s stockbroker belt during the wettest June on record certainly gave me some squeaky bum moments. Feathering the throttle gently is essential to avoid impromptu pruning of the area’s well-maintained privet hedges and caution is required coming out of bends unless you want to panel-beat a passing banker’s Bentley. In the dry it goes like a rocket and grips solidly to the road, but in the wet it struggles to find traction to make the use of its conveyor belt of power. It’s only off the public roads that you can truly open up the R-S and see what it’s made of without feeling like you’re the warhead of an out of  control Tomahawk missile.

Simply put, it’s monstrously fast and will collect speeding tickets faster than a quick-witted accountant collects tax dodges. Don’t get me wrong, the XKR-S is a wonderful  car and because it was originally  designed as convertible, not as a coupe, the handling is agile and  responsive, the ride is smooth and the brakes are sharp. It’s just that there are so few places where you can push it to its limits without the fear of becoming raspberry jam.

Not that this will bother many buyers though. Jaguar is booming as rich Chinese buyers and the rest of the global 1 per cent flock to its blend of hi-tech engineering prowess and performance wrapped in a luxury blanket. The XKR-S is its flagship and shows that British factories  (albeit Indian-owned ones) can match what the best of the rest of the world has to offer.

There are some niggles though. The dash is plasticky and rather dated and some of the dials and switches look like they came from a mid-Noughties Saab. My biggest complaint, though, is that the six-speed automatic gearbox lags some way behind the best of Jaguar’s rivals.

When the sun comes out though, the R-S is magical and its wicked side  endearing. Perfect for cruising along sedately taking in the world, you just have to stop yourself from entertaining the madness too often. Truth be told though, you could save £30k, get the standard XK, enjoy it just as much and still have more power than you could eve user. And next year the new F-Type launches with a price tag expected to be just over half of the XKR-S. Still not attainable for most of us in the 99 per cent, but the dream will be just that little bit nearer.

News
people Ex-wife of John Lennon has died at her home in Spain
News
Nick Clegg on the campaign trail in Glasgow on Wednesday; he says education is his top priority
peopleNick Clegg remains optimistic despite dismal Lib Dem poll ratings
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Telemarketing / Sales Co-ordinator - OTE £25,000+

    £10000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of staffing and r...

    Recruitment Genius: Kitchen Porter

    £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the four inns of Court is seeking...

    Recruitment Genius: Chef De Partie

    £20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the four inns of Court i...

    Ashdown Group: Graduate IT Support - Surrey - £24,000

    £20000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate IT Support Helpdesk / 1st L...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

    War with Isis

    Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
    Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

    A spring in your step?

    Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
    Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

    Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

    Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
    Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

    Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

    For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
    Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

    Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

    As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
    The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

    UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

    Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
    Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

    Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

    Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
    Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

    Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

    If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
    10 best compact cameras

    A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

    If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
    Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

    Paul Scholes column

    Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
    Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

    Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

    Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
    Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

    Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

    The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?