A review in Car and Driver magazine pronounced the Jaguar XK “one of the sexiest cars on the road today.” To help enhance its allure, the 2012 Jaguar XK line of coupes and convertibles receives a freshening that includes new styling cues, advanced technology and more personalization choices.
This year, Jaguar introduced the revamped XK line up at the New York International Auto Show, showcasing a host of changes reinforcing the XK as the pinnacle of sporting luxury.
The most dramatic styling alteration on the new XK is found up front where slimmer headlamps are highlighted by a strip of LED signature lights. Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum has dubbed the LED strip “J-Blade” for its distinctive shape.
Dominating the front fascia on the XK is a larger oval grille featuring a chrome mesh center. The grille on the XKR receives black detailing. Larger vents in the lower fascia feed cooling air to the brakes and now feature chrome accents. On the front fenders, last year’s vertical power vents have been replaced by horizontal vents housing mesh inserts.
In back, a thinner spear of chrome housing a new rearview camera adorns the rear decklid, which also sports a new Jaguar Leaper badge. Four new color choices join the palette, and there are 12 aluminum-alloy wheel styles, ranging from 19 to 20 inches in size.
Inside, handcrafted luxury complements technology designed for the 21st century. New leather-and-trim color choices join additional headliner and veneer options. Drivers will appreciate the new leather-wrapped steering wheel, which features heat and multi-function controls. Ebony soft-touch paint replaces last year’s silver finish on the switchgear. The center console gets a gloss-black finish, and new phosphor-blue halo illumination and ambient lighting create an atmosphere of intrigue befitting a Jaguar.
The 385 hp 5.0 liter AJ-V8 remains the powerplant for the XK coupe and convertible. The 510 hp supercharged V8 returns as the motivation behind the XKR. The big engine news for 2012 can be found when you pop the hood on the new XKR-S where extensive recalibration of the supercharged V8 has delivered a power bump to 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. Jaguar estimates that its new performance icon will rocket from zero-to-60 mph in just 4.2 seconds and reach an air-bending top speed of 186 mph. That makes the XKR-S the quickest and most powerful Jaguar road car ever built.
The XKR-S receives unique design cues both inside and out. The performance flagship boasts a soft-grain, carbon-patterned leather interior with contrast stitching and micro-piping. New performance sport front seats (optional on the XKR) offer integrated head restraints, 16-way power adjustability, heating and memory functions. You also get a Jet black Poltrona Frau® Italian leather headliner and stainless-steel pedals embossed with the Jaguar script (both optional on other XK models).
On the outside, the XKR-S receives a carbon-fiber front splitter and rear diffuser, which houses four exhaust pipes. The fixed rear wing is the first ever used on an XK model and features a center section also made from carbon fiber. This combination of aerodynamic enhancements delivers a 26 percent reduction in lift at speed. Except for the Jaguar Leaper, exterior chrome gives way to detailing painted either body color (there are five to choose from) or gloss black. 20-inch forged alloy wheels are standard.
To create a track-worthy GT that also performs flawlessly as a boulevard cruiser, Jaguar equipped the XKR-S with an advanced driver-assistance system: The Adaptive Dynamics variable damping system with Dynamic Mode, standard on all XK trims, features XKR-S-specific programming to complement the car’s new suspension geometry. Active Differential Control (shared with the XKR) is configured to reduce steering sensitivity at the heady speeds the XKR-S can reach. Dynamic Stability Control, standard throughout the line, gets unique mapping for the TracDSC Mode, so experienced drivers can explore the outer edges of this supercar’s performance envelope.
The revised suspension includes front and rear spring rates increased by 28 percent, and all suspension modifications on the XKR-S can be fitted to the XKR when you select the new Dynamic Pack option. Engineers also mounted an active pneumatic valve in the Performance Active Exhaust system for more “basso profundo” when this big cat roars to life.
Hearkening back to a great icon of the past and featuring an instant classic that sets a new Jaguar performance benchmark, the 2012 XK family of GT cars is sure to satisfy a wide range of discerning drivers. You owe it to yourself to experience all the revisions made to the new XK lineup by contacting us to schedule a test drive.