Experiencing Art in Motion with Jaguar XKR   

Table of Contents

Are you a big fan of luxury and aesthetics in a sports car? Do you like exploring high-performance sports cars evolving with technological changes? If that is the case, Jaguar XKR is just the perfect vehicle for you as it evolved through the years. Spanning through two generations and dramatic shift in performance, it really is the car you should explore more about. Continue reading to find out more details.

Overview of Jaguar XKR

Jaguar is a popular worldwide vehicle company owned by Tata Motors. It is one of the largest automotive manufacturers and produces outstanding performance SUVs, sports cars, and luxury saloons.

When it comes to convertibles and coupes, the Jaguar XJS remained quite popular as a luxury grand tourer from 1975 to 1996. However, this model was later replaced by the XK, which lasted for another two generations, from 1996 to 2014.

XK was a front mid-engine, rear-wheel drive car available in hatchback coupe and convertible. While its initial models were marketed as XK8, the XKR remained the most popular supercharged variant.

But what was so different about the XKR, and did it really perform as amazing as it was claimed? Let’s find that out in this article.


The Jaguar XKR was introduced for the first time in 1996. This vehicle remained in production for two generations until 2014. The XKR is essentially a supercharged variation of the Jaguar XK, which is a two-door grand tourer. It was available both in a convertible body and hatchback coupe.

The first generation of the XK was marketed as XK8, and it was introduced for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show. The XK8 essentially replaced the XJS, which was the first ever 8-cylinder vehicle ever produced by Jaguar after the Daimler 250. As for the platform, the XK8 shared it with the Aston Martin DB7.

As mentioned earlier, XKR was its high-performance variant and spanned both the first and second generations. Moreover, an even more powerful variant called the XKR-S was also introduced in the second generation.

The table shows the summary of the engine, performance, and other features of the two generations of Jaguar XKR.

GenerationYearsEnginePerformanceSpecial VersionFacelift
First1996-20064.0L V8 Supercharged276 kW (375 PS; 370 hp), 387 lb-ft torqueXKR itself was a supercharged variation of XK8.Mechanical update in 2002. Revamp again in 2004.
Second2006-20144.2L V8 Supercharged420 hp, 413 lb-ft torqueXKR-S (5.0L V8)2009

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The first generation Jaguar XKR featured a 4.0-liter V8 engine with a supercharger. This engine was capable of delivering 370 horsepower and 387 lb-ft of torque. This was mated with a smooth-shifting automatic transmission that gave the best riding experience to the drivers. The second-generation XKR underwent significant updates and came with an enhanced 4.2-liter V8 with a supercharger. It was an extraordinary engine that was capable of generating 420 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque.

This vehicle turned out a lot smoother than most others of its class and had an exceptional 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. At the same time, its second-gen increased the top speed to 174 mph. As for the gearbox, it is a six-speed that could be either automatic or manual.

The 2009 facelift included some extraordinary changes both in the style and performance aspects. The Jaguar featured a high-performing XKR-S variant with a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine, producing an impressive 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque.


The XKR is usually considered an evolution of the Advanced Lightweight Coupe (ALC), and it features a bonded aluminum chassis. You will see the iconic Jaguar grille at the front and distinctive headlights in the first-generation XKR. However, the second-generation models had a revised grille and updated headlights that gave the car a more modern look. Some of the notable changes include pronounced wheel arches and a slightly revised rear end. Furthermore, alloy wheels that complemented the overall exterior look were added.

You will find more dramatic exterior styling in XKR-S. However, it was presented in Rhodium Silver with the 20″ Vortex Alloys. Other exterior features include a gloss black tailgate, SVR carbon fiber rear spoiler, exhaust pipe, gloss black side vents, and black gloss grille. Its sills are also wider compared to the XKR models.

Inside the Jaguar XKR

Step inside the Jaguar XKR and see how differently the cabin treats you compared to others of its class. It is truly comfortable and fulfills all the requirements of being an excellent grand tourer. The second-generation models of XKR were particularly crafted by the chief designer, Ian Callum. The controls are all placed in considerable space, making it convenient to use them. Out of all, the thing that makes XKR stand out is a big red button, which starts the car.

The premium leather upholstery in the first-generation models created an inviting atmosphere. Several technical amenities and excellent seating support contributed to the overall comfort. Both the coupe and convertible styles feature plenty of headroom and legroom, making the long rides super comfortable.

Since cargo space is not the primary focus of grand touring cars, you only get 327 L or 11.5 cubic feet of space. This space turns out sufficient for luggage and other essentials for a weekend getaway and even for longer journeys. As for the interior space, you get a light, manually lockable glove box and sunglass compartment. Cup holders and back pockets are optional.

The first generation XKR typically offered a premium audio system, climate control functionality, and a CD changer. Since touch screens were not as prevalent during those days, there were none in the Jaguar XKR. However, there were significant improvements in the second generation, like standard AM and FM radio, auxiliary input, CD Player, HD Radio, CD Changer, Satellite Radio, and premium sound system.

The XKR Convertible was originally priced at $104,395 at the time of launch, while the XKR Coupe was available for $98,395.

Driving Experience

If you want to have that comfort and the perfect performance experience in a single elegant car, you can definitely get the Jaguar XKR. Its active suspension ensures the vehicle adapts well to different conditions. No matter whether you run on the highways or cruise around the towns, its gearbox remains smooth at all speeds.

Moreover, the adaptive cruise control allows this vehicle to keep its distance on the motorways. As you reach the twisting roads and sharp corners, the responsive engine and its steering do their job well with the amazing grip.

Though it is a super-fast vehicle, the engine noise is barely noticeable in the cabin, even on highways. The presence of an active exhaust system in the XKR amplifies the engine sound further, particularly during hard acceleration.


The Jaguar XK spanned two generations from 1996 to 2014 as a classic yet elegant vehicle with two high-performing versions called the XKR and XKR-S. They were equipped with potent supercharged V8 engines that incorporated advanced technology in the later models in addition to high-performance engines.

Whether you talk about its interior or the appealing, precisely crafted exterior, everything is up to par for such a grand touring car. The sportiness with sophisticated design and occasional special editions really solidified the XKR’s place in automotive history.

Jaguar XKR is just rightly priced, but overall, it’s an expensive car to drive. Though it’s not an eco-friendly vehicle, no major problems have been reported by XKR consumers. That said, it is a pretty great car with some outstanding features that satisfy a good amount of drivers all around the world.


  • Super composed handling
  • Powerful engine
  • Stylish and appealing looks
  • Comfortable seating


  • Small trunk space
  • Poor rear visibility

Automotive Journalist Verdict

Critics have praised the XKR for its unique styling and super comfortable interior. The inclusion of an active exhaust system adds an extra layer of excitement to long journeys. Automotive experts have criticized the cargo space, but it is very well compensated with the open-air experience in the convertible option.


What does the letter “R” in the XKR indicate?

The “R” indicates the high-performance and racing designation. It signifies this particular model is more powerful compared to other non-R variants.

Why did Jaguar stop make XKR?

Its production ended in July 2014 as only less than 4000 XK were sold, and car enthusiasts lost interest in its latest models.

How is the XKR-S variant different from the Jaguar XKR?

The XKR-S is a high-performance version of XKR, having more appealing exterior features and better engine powers. It gives a more fun driving experience at high speeds than the standard XKR.

Are there any specific driving modes in the Jaguar XKR?

The XKR is equipped with sport mode and dynamic mode. Shifting to the sport mode requires clicking to the right with the Drive Selector, while a checkered button needs to be pushed to switch on the dynamic mode.     

Written by: Motorcardata

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