First Look: 2011 Jaguar XKR Speed Pack

With 510 hp on tap and a top end of 155 mph, Jaguar’s XKR is certainly quick. But buyers hankering for a faster pussycat will love what the automaker has in store for 2011.

The 2011 XKR Coupe will be available with what Jaguar calls the “Speed Pack.” As its name suggests, the option is all about pushing the speedometer needle past 155. The secret, it seems, doesn’t lie with brute power -- output from the supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 remains 510 hp and 461 lb.-ft. of torque. Instead, Jaguar says it was able to push the top end to 174 mph simply by recalibrating both the engine and transmission controls.

In order to help keep the XKR glued to the ground at such speeds, the Speed Pack adds a unique body kit designed to improve the car’s aerodynamics. The tall front fascia gains a modified splitter, while the rear spoiler grows in size. 20-inch aluminum wheels are standard, as is an active rear differential, which Jaguar claims helps reduce steering sensitivity when at higher velocities.

In typical Jaguar fashion, the Speed Pack adds some cosmetic flair to the performance package. XKR Speed Pack models add a chrome finish to the window surrounds, mesh grille inserts, fender vent trim, and the trunk appliqué. Customers can choose from one of six colors, and if so desired, a side stripe -- somewhat reminiscent of those applied to the Porsche 911 GT3 RS -- is optional.

For those who desire a little more luxury within the cabin, customers can also spring for the “Black Pack,” available only on XKRs equipped with the Speed Pack. The Black Pack trims the window surrounds and grilles in a piano black finish, while adding charcoal leather to the interior.

Look for the 2011 XKR Speed Pack to make its world debut at the 2010 Geneva motor show in March. Although we’ve yet to hear from Jaguar regarding the Speed Pack’s availability in North America, at the very least, look for a slightly modified 2011 XKR -- complete with red brake calipers and run-flat tires -- to arrive this fall.

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