2003 Jaguar XKR Convertible Road Test

2003 Jaguar XKR Convertible Road Test
Country Gentleman with a Vengeance

For a decade or two in the 20th Century, the name Jaguar was at the top of the exotic sports car field. In the 1950s, the legendary C- and D-Types thrilled red-blooded race fans at LeMans, and in the late 1980s the Cats returned to the LeMans winner circle twice.

The awesome, awe-inspiring supercharged XKR is one of the best cars to roll out of the Jaguar factory in years.(Photo: Ford Motor Company)
Despite that great racing lineage, over the past 30 years or so the British marque has suffered a fall from grace of sorts as other luxury car manufacturers moved ahead with innovations and technology. It didn't help Jag's image when Ford bought up the British firm, but in fairness it was probably the best thing that could have happened to Jaguar. The feeling at the time of the purchase was that the storied U.K. manufacturer might close the Coventry shop forever if a suitor could not be found.

Exclusivity is what this convertible in particular, and Jaguars in general, are all about. (Photo: Ford Motor Company)
Under Ford's guidance, Jaguar has produced some of the best cars to roll out of its production line in years, and the most notable of the 2003 crop is the awesome, awe-inspiring supercharged XKR. Available in a coupe and convertible model, the XKR also comes with two engine choices, a base 4.2-litre V8, pumping out a respectable 294 horses, and the supercharged version of the same displacement, adding a whopping 100 or so ponies to that number.

With a sticker price cresting $100,000, it goes without saying that not too many of these sublime convertibles will be tooling around your neighborhood, but exclusivity is what this convertible in particular, and Jaguars in general, are all about.

By Andrew McCredie,

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