The Jaguar XKE, also known as the E-Type, was introduced in 1961 and grew to become one of the most lusted after and iconic coupes and cabrioles in automotive history. Although the XKE was discontinued, a Jaguar XK-Series revival occurred in the later part of the 1990's, combining classic design cues, such as the proprietary oval grille, with the more advanced automotive engineering techniques and materials of the time. Always the epitome of performance, style and luxury, this generation of XKR and XK8 coupe and convertible were produced throughout the 2007 model year.
The XK-Series was completely redesigned for the 2007 model year, sporting a new and beautiful all aluminum construction, more luxurious features and more interior room. The XK8 became known simply as the XK, while the XKR high performance version maintained its title. Manufactured to be much lighter and more capable and fun to drive than the previous generation, this exclusive Jaguar lineup held its own in terms of performance. The XK coupe and convertible came standard with a 4.2 liter V8 that produced 300 horsepower, while the XKR delivered 420 horsepower with a supercharged version of the same engine. Yet, its design was lacking the reminiscent look and feel of the previous generation and indicated a strong leap of faith for Jaguar. The new interior was much more modern, and although some Jag lovers missed the classic interior wood trim, the majority appreciated the more intuitively placed controls and updated chic finish.
The 2008 Jaguar XK Series is largely unchanged from the previous year, with the exception of a few rather insignificant cosmetic changes. The 2 trims-the XK and the XKR-are both available in coupe or convertible body styles. The XK comes standard with 18 inch wheels, xenon headlamps, adaptive suspension damping, rear parking sensors, power adjustable heated leather seats, Bluetooth connectivity, a navigation system and a 6 speaker audio system with in dash CD/MP3 changer. In addition to more horsepower, the high performance oriented XKR replaces the wheels with 19 inch rims and adds a firmer suspension, enhanced steering, larger front brakes, adaptive headlamps, an aluminum mesh grille, quad exhaust tips and more aggressively bolstered front seats.
The standard 300 horsepower, 4.2 V8 XK engine sends power to the rear wheels via a 6 speed automatic transmission with manual over ride. From a dead stop, the coupe achieves 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, while the convertible hits that mark in 6.3. The supercharged engine in the XKR delivers a thrilling 420 horsepower, enabling the XKR convertible to go from 0 to 60 in just 4.9 seconds, with the coupe getting there just slightly quicker.
Enough of the older Jaguar XK-Series prestigious styling cues are apparent in newer models to make them distinctively Jag, and recent automotive enhancements only emphasize the pleasure to own and drive factor.