Having just spent the week on vacation, I arrived at Detroit Metro airport to find the new 2010 Jaguar XKR Coupe waiting for me. How lucky we are. The car looks amazing from all angles and is attractive to a wide range of people. I got two compliments on the car before I even got out of the parking lot. The rear hatch area is surprisingly spacious, easily accommodating three pieces of luggage: one large bag and two carry-on pieces. Once inside the car, you can see the new “JaguarDrive Selector” that was adopted from the XF for 2010. As you would expect from Jaguar, the front seats are very comfortable and offer electric bolster adjustments that can be operated by a button on the interior door panel. Although rear seats exist, they are much too small for an adult to fit comfortably.
The new 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 is an outright animal. What with 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque, it definitely has the ability to plant your torso into the seat. And unlike the 2010 XFR we tested several months ago, the XKR lets out a nice growl from the tailpipes under acceleration that then disappears at highway cruising speeds to cut down on cabin drone.
Mike Ofiara, Road Test Coordinator
With its long nose and shapely, swept-back body, the XK is still a stunning design after several years with only minor updates. It looks even better after the “R” beauticians primp and bejewel the coupe by pumping up the wheel size, carving intakes in the hood and front bumper, and apply a significant but tasteful helping of chrome. It may be a stunner, but the best place to experience this car is from the inside, preferably from the driver’s seat where the 510-hp, supercharged V-8 moves the XKR with authority. And the 461 lb-ft of torque is available early so this Jag leaps from stoplights, although because the throttle is not easy to modulate at low speeds, it often does so even when you’re trying to go easy.
The interior is basically a cozier version of what you’ll find in the XFR, except the rear seats in the XKR are made exclusively for young children. Rear-seat legroom is nearly nonexistent even with the front seat adjusted for my 5’4″ frame. Especially in this R model of the XK, Jaguar should consider offering an optional shelf in place of the rear seats. Since many people probably won’t use the rear buckets as seats, a flat surface behind the front seats would give owners additional useful storage space.
Jennifer Misaros, Production Editor
With the XKR, Jaguar has taken what was already a pretty impressive car and turned it up a notch both in luxury and performance. It’s noticeable almost from the moment you sit down in the car as you reach for the seat adjustment controls and find that they are no longer hard plastic but are now finished in an attractive brushed metallic. Fine, french-stitched leather and the pop-up gear selector dial also add to the feeling of opulence. Unfortunately, the familiar Jaguar touch-screen interface, which is actually fairly intuitive to use, still has a slow reaction time and sometimes necessitates navigating to several submenus to perform certain operations. Of course, the XKR is really about the engine. The previous model didn’t exactly seem underpowered at 420 hp, but it now has 510 horses raring to go at the merest touch of the accelerator pedal. Power delivery is almost instantaneous and is delivered smoothly through the six-speed automatic. And, it still manages to get 22 mpg on the freeway.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
2010 Jaguar XKR Coupe
Base Price (with destination): $96,000
Price as tested: $102,000
20 in. Nevis wheels – $5000
Radiance Red paint – $1000
15 / 22 / 17 mpg
Size: 5.0L Supercharged V-8
Horsepower: 510 hp @ 6000-6500 rpm
Torque: 461 lb-ft @ 2500-5500 rpm
Weight: 4729 lbs
20 in. Nevis wheels
255/35 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx