First Drive: 2010 Jaguar XKR

What's better than an all-new, supercharged V-8 engine that makes 90 hp and 48 lb-ft of torque more than its predecessor while improving the Jaguar XKR's 0-to-60-mph time from a claimed 4.9 to 4.6 seconds? An all-new, supercharged V-8 that does all that without a concomitant increase in fuel consumption, that's what.

For 2010, Jag's two-door not only gets the AJ-V8 that increases power, its fuel economy is expected to remain at 23 mpg on the freeway, leading Jaguar engineers to boast that "we believe we have the most efficient 500-hp car in the world," one that will not be subject to the gas-guzzler tax. After a spirited day of driving both the XKR coupe and convertible under sunny Spanish skies, we'd add "one of the most fun and attractive 500-hp cars" to the XKR's list of superlatives. The throttle blipping as you shuttle among the lower gears of the paddleshift transmission is almost Ferrari-like in its metallic sharpness, an indicator that this car is finally playing in the big leagues. With maximum torque from 2500 to 5500 rpm, this cat is always ready to catapult you to the horizon. The same new electronic limited-slip rear diff that's in the XFR sedan is standard, and all XKs now have the twist-knob JaguarDrive gear selector from the XF.

The XKR coupe rises in price from $88,475 to $96,000, while the ragtop leaps from $94,475 to $102,000. Hey, those are only about 8 percent increases for 21 percent more power and 12 percent more torque. The numbers are in your favor.

On Sale: June
Price: $96,000
Engine: 5.0L supercharged V-8, 510 hp, 461 lb-ft
Drive: Rear-wheel

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