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2014 Jaguar XKR Review

There are few manufacturers that can pull off a vehicle model that changes so sparingly over the years that one has a hard time distinguishing model year from model year. Porsche immediately comes to mind, their 911 is an automotive staple and one that’s seen very few changes in its shape over the years. Even Ferrari tends to stick to a certain “routine” when it comes to their vehicles.

However, can a company like Jaguar really pull it off with a model like the XKR?

I drove my first XKR in 2007. It was brand new then. Truthfully, it’s changed very little since then. I look at pictures of that red ’07 XKR, and have to do a double-take and remind myself that my 2014 tester was black.

Is this a bad thing? I struggled with that notion for the entire week, and I’m still not sure I’ve made a clear decision about it.

What is the Jaguar XKR?
Jaguar introduced the XK grand tourer (GT) car in 1996 at the Geneva Motor Show. From its introduction, the Jaguar XK has been available as a coupe or convertible. The XK8 was the first Jaguar to feature an 8-cylinder engine. In 1998 a supercharged version was introduced.

The XK didn’t see a redesign or upgrade for a decade until Ian Callum (also responsible for the Aston Martin DB7) took the helm and helped launch the XK into a whole new realm of sexiness for 2006. It’s remained largely unchanged since then, receiving an ever-so-minor facelift in 2009 along with the introduction of the current 5.0L V8.

2014 Jaguar XKR Price and Specs
There’s no denying there’s a certain amount of exclusivity that comes with owning a 2014 Jaguar XKR, but that exclusivity comes at a price, $109,125 to be exact. I’ve no problem with Jaguar charging that much for their XKR, until I realize I could snatch up a used version for a fraction of the price (half or less. But I digress…

I absolutely adore the engine the 2014 Jaguar XKR’s 5.0L V8 supercharged powerplant pushes out a fantastic 510 horsepower and 461 lb-ft of torque – and it all comes thundering out the rear wheels and out the quad exhaust pipes that love to gurgle, fart and pop. Handled via a 6-speed automatic transmission (which can be fiddled with via the steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters), the power can be quite shocking. But I’ll get to that.

You’ll see 100km/hr from a standstill in just 4.8 seconds. Jaguar claims the big cat will only sip 11.8L/100km but I was seeing numbers closer to 15-16L.

Driving the 2014 Jaguar XKR
Here’s where all aspects of design, interior looks, aging and all that other BS quickly slip away. Hit that heart-pulsing start/stop button, hear the V8 literally roar to life, dial it into “S” and go. Just go. Everything else will be forgotten, I promise you that.

For that reason alone, I think Jaguar can get away with having a largely unchanged vehicle like the XKR for nearly six years. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Well, it ain’t broke. Not yet. And sure they’re releasing phenomenal cars like the F-Type, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t stick to a staple model, like the XKR.

I absolutely adore how easy it is to swing the rear out with the 2014 Jaguar XKR. There’s something gloriously naughty about it all when you’re behind the wheel of a car that comes from such a posh lineage. Like taking a shot of JD at your grandmother’s tea party, the Jaguar XKR can be a brash hooligan when asked (and you’ll ask often, trust me).

Inside and Out of the 2014 Jaguar XKR
While it is outdated, it’s still quite pleasant inside the XKR’s cabin. Driver amenities are plenty, and the seating position is great.

I did manage to squeeze a baby seat in the suggestion that is a backseat, but no passenger (no matter how small) was comfortable in front of him, unless his legs were crossed and right up against the seatback.

Trunk space is cavernous thanks to the fastback design. The 2014 Jaguar XKR easily swallowed up the 4moms stroller plus all the bits and bobs needed for a weekend at the grandparents.

No one wants to hear me rant about Jaguar’s onboard entertainment and navigation system, again, so I won’t. It’s also largely unchanged (sadly) and just as useless as its always been. Enough said

Comparing the 2014 Jaguar XKR
As much as I adore the XKR, it has some pretty steep competition that I feel would win out more often than not. Take for example the newly redesigned BMW M6 or the (cheaper and more practical) Audi RS5. Each of these offers up the prestige, luxury and power of the Jaguar XKR in a much more updated and current design both inside and out.
 

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