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may 2012 Auto India 43

testrack jaguar xkr

44 Auto India may 2012



Do you think supercars are impractical? Think again! Text: Cyrus Dhabhar Photos: Makarand Baokar

may 2012 Auto India 45

testrack jaguar xkr


hat is the point of a sportscar in Mumbai? They are unpractical, uncomfortable and where will you use the power anyways?”…If I had a rupee for every time I heard this line, I’d probably have a small fortune. And a supercar! 46 Auto India may 2012

When we picked up the Jaguar XKR from the showroom in south Mumbai, we probably thought we were in for a weekend of slow crawls on speed breakers, gentle pondering over potholes and an agonising traffic driving experience; this was after all a genuine thoroughbred supercar with over 500 jaguars, sorry horses, and a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 rear-wheel-drive configuration. We thought it would have the same stiff ride every supercar has and would drink fuel in a gulp large enough to power a family hatchback for a month. Oh how wrong we were!

The second you get into a Jaguar, there is this uncanny sense of comfort that you would just never get in something comparable. The way the leather is stitched, the way the switches are laid out and the general ergonomics make you want to

go for a drive for no apparent reason whatsoever. The first thing that does strike you though after you have turned the XKR is the V8 orchestra blaring loud and clear from the customary ‘R’ quad pipes – enough to put the Berlin

Philharmonic to shame. We could go on and on about how the Supercharged, 5-litre V8 which produces 510 horsepower is actually a small nuclear reactor from a submarine and how you can light the rear tyres up when you really step on the loud

pedal, but then this is something that is expected from an ‘R’ Jaguar in any case. What we would really like to talk about instead is how ridiculously comfortable the XKR is on the considerably bumpy and sometimes non-existent roads of Mumbai, and trust us when we say this, we took her over quite a bit of rough stuff and we came out impressed with how well she could handle it. And she is no slouch softy in the corners either. Even with the car on ‘D’ or the general Drive mode for maximum comfort, the jag does not feel lazy in corners and puts down its power surprisingly well. If we had to nitpick about something, it would be the brakes, which do get very soft after they heat up and lose that solid robust feel that makes you confident about putting the cat through its paces. We have saved the best for last, though. We know the way someone perceives a car’s looks is subjective, but we genuinely may 2012 Auto India 47

testrack jaguar xkr

believe that this is one of the most beautiful cars ever made and certainly one of the most beautiful cars in its price range. Jaguar has always made beautiful cars over the years. Whether it was the XK120s of the 50s or the awe inspiring E-Type of the 60s the family lineage has continued down to the current generation of the XK. To the untrained eye, however, the differentiating factors between the normal XK and the XKR are the details like the twin scoops on the bonnet, the small but efficient lip spoiler on the boot 48 Auto India may 2012

lid and of course, a generous sprinkling of ‘R’ badges. The result is surprisingly subtle for such a striking looking car and if you drive one in a colour that doesn’t attract attention, the public would probably pass it off as just another car. So then, if you are looking for a jaw-droppingly-beautiful coupé which can resurrect the dead with its V8 symphony and one that is comfortable enough to use every day but will still give you a driving sensation par excellence, the XKR is possibly the bargain of the century!

spec check Price: 1.2 crore ex-showroom Mumbai Engine: 5000cc, V8, supercharged petrol 510bhp @ 6000-6500rpm, 625Nm @ 2500-5500rpm Drive: Rear-wheel drive Gearbox: 6-speed auto Brakes F/R: Ventilated disc with ABS / ebd Tyres F/R: 255/35 ZR20 / 285/30 ZR20 Dimensions L/W/H (mm): 4794/2028/1322 Wheelbase (mm): 2752 Kerb Weight (kg): 1753 Equipment Alloy wheels Anti lock brakes Airbag Audio system/MP3 Central locking/remote Climate control/rear A/C vents Electric mirrors/retracting Electric seats Parking sensor Tilt steering Traction control

✔ ✔ ✔ ✔/✔ ✔/✔ ✔/✔ ✔/✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

Jaguar's mighty XK-R  

Jaguar's XK-R. GT and supercar all rolled into one superb package.