Jaguar 25 litre sports cabriolet

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Keywords: Jaguar 25 litre sports cabriolet
Description: Want to know what a grand tourer really is? Just drive one of these

The car that single-handedly turned around Jaguar’s fortunes, the XK is an icon of the company’s new-found confidence, capability and verve. The big cat is a sublime GT car with looks far eclipsing its rivals and dynamics that can stick it to the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and Mercedes-Benz SL. Yes, a Jaguar GT as good as an Aston Martin. Even the slightly confused XKR-S sports brogue is astonishingly good, complete with that semi-muscle car 550bhp soundtrack.

More is better. Jaguar pays homage to this classic and oft-quoted TopGear adage by fitting a decidedly anti-downsized 5.0-litre eight-pot, available in three guises: 385bhp in the standard car, 510bhp in the XKR and 550bhp in the XKR-S.

And make no mistake, no company in the world makes a better supercharged engine than Jaguar. While the XKR’s 510bhp takes it firmly into supercar territory (0–62mph in 4.6 seconds, limited top speed of 155mph), the car’s lightness of touch is disconcerting. It’s only after you’ve glanced down at the restyled instruments that you clock just how fast you are actually travelling. Add a dose of raucous muscle-car style violence when you trade up to the XKR-S. The sensation of the chassis and steering through the seat of your pants and the palms of your hands is taut, alive and eager.

And Jaguar hasn’t signed up to the largely German class of How To Make Your Car Sporty By Making It Rock Hard. No, the XK is firm but pliable, delicate, even. Superb ride quality for something so athletic.

Photogallery Jaguar 25 litre sports cabriolet:

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