Jaguar unveiled its new supercharged sports car ? the Jaguar XKR Convertible. Building on the excellence of the all-new XK introduced in late 2005, the XKR Convertible takes the Jaguar experience to new heights.
Like the normally aspirated XK model, the new Jaguar XKR Convertible makes intelligent use of practical, modern technology such as its industry-leading aluminium monocoque body structure. In addition, an uprated 420 bhp supercharged V8 engine and class-leading calibration of its state-of-the-art, six-speed automatic transmission bring it a level of accessible, real-world performance that makes the XKR Convertible the most impressive, everyday, sporting convertible.
And the Jaguar XKR Convertible?s powerful statement of intent is emphatically reinforced by enhanced sporting styling cues such as a unique front bumper, aluminium-finish grilles and bonnet louvers; unique 19 and 20-inch alloy wheel designs and a quad-exhaust system add to its overall presence.
Supercharged 4.2-Liter Engine
The ability to call upon impressive reserves of power and acceleration in an instant is the hallmark of every great Jaguar. The new Jaguar XKR Convertible ensures this by using a remarkable 4.2-liter supercharged AJ-V8 engine. Producing 420 bhp at 6250 rpm and 413 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm it is capable of propelling the Convertible to 60 mph in 5 seconds and onto an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
In comparison to the previous generation XKR, the new engine produces 7.7% more power and 3.3% more torque. Combined with the significantly stiffer and lighter aluminium monocoque body structure of the new XKR, these performance improvements lead to a significant leap in the power-to-weight ratio of 12% over the previous XKR and an equally useful jump of 7.7% in the torque-to-weight ratio. To achieve the equivalent improvements in power and torque-to-weight in the outgoing XKR would have required nearly 50 more horsepower.
The heart of these significant performance improvements is the XKR?s lightweight eight-cylinder engine with an Eaton supercharger. The water-cooled cylinders are arranged in a 90-degree V configuration and the crankshaft is supported by five main bearings. Each of the two cylinder head assemblies incorporates twin camshafts operating four valves per cylinder. One of the reasons for the engine?s impressive output is the continuously variable valve timing which helps to deliver a wide spread of torque. The engine uses an Electronic Return-less Fuel System (ERFS) and a three-way catalyst exhaust system.
The increase in power and torque over the outgoing XKR model is down to two significant additions to the engine. The air intake supply to the engine has been significantly enhanced thanks to the use of twin air inlets and a Variable Inlet Camshaft Timing system is used for the first time on the XKR. By continuously adjusting the timing of the inlet camshaft on both banks of the V8 depending on the engine speed and load, Jaguar?s engineers have ensured large improvements in torque, particularly at lower revs.
Chassis, Suspension and Brakes
To ensure optimum ride and handling the Jaguar XKR Convertible?s springs and dampers are uprated compared to the normally aspirated XK Convertible. The front spring rate is increased by 38% and the rear spring rate by 24%. Allied to the Servotronic steering system, which has also been tuned both mechanically and electronically to give the steering more weight and even greater response, the uprated suspension ensures confidence-inspiring handling without any loss in refinement and comfort levels.
The Computer Active Technology Suspension (a two-stage adaptive damping system that ensures the optimum balance between ride and handling) and new switchable Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control System (Trac DSC) have also been recalibrated to cope with the additional power of the supercharged engine.
The new XK Convertible?s interior design has been just as highly praised and the XKR Convertible?s cabin represents arguably the most sophisticated yet driver-focussed environment of any car in its class. The XKR Convertible has class-leading ergonomics, user-friendly in-car technology and simple, clear information displays in the instrument panel and main dashboard area.
A unique sports seat design with additional lateral support for both the driver and front seat passenger has been added, with an ?R? badge on the headrests, tachometer, steering wheel and gear selector. The design of the standard aluminium interior veneer is also unique to the XKR, featuring a ?weave? pattern from the Advanced Lightweight Coupe showcar.
XKR customers can also specify the Luxury Sports interior option which features softgrain leather on the 16-way adjustable seats, instrument panel, door trim and centre console.
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