The all-new Jaguar XKR convertible is sleek, elegant, hugs the road like itís on a rail and itís super fast.
That said, let me begin this review with a criticism: With a base price starting at $92,500, the 2007 Jaguar XKR Convertible is out of my price range.
While ownership is a very unlikely scenario on the salary of a mild mannered reporter, testing the XKR sure has been a week to remember.
Constructed on an aluminum monocoque body structure ó which makes for a lighter, stiffer vehicle for improved agility and handling ó the XKR is powered by a supercharged 4.2-liter V-8 engine that cranks out 420 horses and a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds.
Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted ďpaddles,Ē the XKR is absolutely flawless in terms of performance.
Utilizing upgraded springs and dampers and a recalibrated Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) system, there are few vehicles on the road that can match the prowess of the XKR on the curves.
Without question, this vehicle was built for a sports car enthusiast. Just pushing the button to start the engine and hearing that supercharged V-8 roar to life gets the blood pumping a little faster.
And once you get it on the road, the thrill doesnít stop.
Sure, itís a premium luxury sports car filled with all kinds of bells and whistles such as keyless entry and start, advanced touchscreen control and active front lighting.
But hey, for $92,500, what else would you expect. The actually MSRP of the test vehicle was $96,010 (which included the optional Alpine premium audio system, Denso DVD-based navigation and Bluetooth wireless connectivity telephone system).
While the extra amenities were nice ó and the super plush luxury appointments and soft grain leather seats were very nice ó we canít lose focus on the fact this is a high-performance, great handling sports car.
Sure, the back seat is a back seat in name only and Jaguar isnít fooling anyone by claiming the XKR Convertible seats four, but who cares?
If youíve got the dough, this car is the way to go ó as long as you only want to take along one other person.
The back seat does make a nice place to stow a few more pieces of luggage.
The XKR comes with a four-year/50,000-mile new vehicle warranty with Jaguar Assistance benefits which include Roadside Assistance, trip interruption/emergency travel expense benefits and complimentary scheduled maintenance throughout the first year of ownership.
And I almost forgot, the rear-wheel drive XKR is also available in a coupe.
I was having so much fun with the top down I nearly forgot.
Standard safety features on the XKR Convertible include security system with remote central locking; front side, head-chest, seat-mounted driver and passenger airbags and dual front airbags; whiplash reduction system; and roll-over protection system, to name a few.
When it comes to top down performance, the XKR convertible is an absolute must test drive.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 15 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. Comments may be sent to Neal at email@example.com.