Since the iconic XKE went to cat heaven some four decades ago, its spirit lives on in a newer breed of sleek Jaguar coupes and convertibles. The latest Jaguar XK maintains classic design cues like the oval grille, but adds a modern all-aluminum body and high-tech features designed to better appeal to today's premium brand car buyers.
Provided you are looking at the 2010 and later versions, the Jaguar XK boasts substantial performance capabilities that don't come at the cost of luxury or charm. Although it's certainly not perfect, Jag's much-improved XK deserves serious consideration.
Current Jaguar XK-Series
The Jaguar XK, XKR and XKR-S are all available in two-door coupe and convertible body styles. The standard XK comes with a 5.0-liter V8 good for 385 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The XKR offers a supercharged version of that engine with 510 hp and 461 lb-ft. In the supercharged XKR-S, output is pumped up to 550 hp and 502 lb-ft. All come with a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters for manual shift control. As 2014 will be the last year for the XK, Jaguar will produce 50 units of the XK Final Fifty Limited Edition: 25 coupes and 25 convertibles.
Standard features of the base XK include 20-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, bi-xenon headlights, keyless ignition and entry, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a navigation system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a Bowers & Wilkins sound system with an iPod/USB audio interface. The XKR adds retuned suspension and steering, larger front brakes, different wheels, an aluminum mesh grille and different interior trim. In addition to its more powerful engine, the XKR-S sports unique wheels, firmer suspension tuning, more aggressive styling, front sport seats and its own interior trim. Based on the XKR, the Final Fifty Limited Edition features unique wheels, black paint, a body kit, a sport-tuned exhaust, a more aggressively tuned suspension and upgraded upholstery.
After you press the pulsating start button, a rotary shift knob rises out of the center console, adding a bit of charm to starting off. Any XK will provide awesome straight-line thrust, with the supercharged versions being ridiculously quick. And all XKs exhibit impressive composure in high-speed corners thanks to lightweight aluminum architecture and an automatically adjustable suspension that prioritizes ride comfort or handling depending on the situation. With its suspension biased toward a plush ride, the base XK isn't as responsive on a twisty road as, say, a Porsche 911, but is more comfortable on straight ones. The XKR-S is another animal entirely: a taut, dedicated driver's machine that boasts a lot more than robust power. Sitting between these two extremes, the XKR is likely the best choice for most luxury performance coupe and convertible buyers, as it provides an impressive balance of sports car athleticism and touring car comfort.
Read the most recent 2015 Jaguar XK review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Jaguar XK page.