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More than three decades since the iconic XKE went to cat heaven, its spirit lives on in a new 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 luxury car buyers.
Thanks to recent upgrades, 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.
Used Jaguar XK Models
The current-generation XK dates back to 2007. The most significant changes since then involve what's under the hood. For 2007-'09, the standard XK came with a 4.2-liter V8 churning out 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, while the XKR's supercharged version of the same engine pumped out 420 hp and 418 lb-ft of torque. Also for that period, the six-speed automatic transmission was attached to Jag's quirky and mostly lamentable "J-gate" shifter.
For 2010, a major boost in power arrived as, in addition to minor styling tweaks, the XK and XKR received the more powerful 5.0-liter V8 engines used currently. The rotary-style gear selector debuted that year as well. The following year brought the XKR175 coupe to celebrate Jaguar's 75th anniversary. This limited-edition (yes, 175 of them) XKR included special black paint, unique exterior/interior trim and an increased top speed. Apart from lacking the new-for-2012 XKR-S model and some minor styling updates, these XKs are similar to today's lineup.
In road tests and reviews of the 4.2-liter V8-based cars, we found the standard XK a little disappointing; the coupe's 0-60-mph time of 6.4 seconds is about a second slower than some competitors' times. The XKR model was naturally much quicker, going from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. With the 5.0-liter V8s, the base XK's 0-60 time drops to 5.2 seconds, while the XKR's improves to 4.5 seconds.
For more information on older, first-generation XKs, please see our review of the XK-Series.
If you are looking for newer years, visit our new Jaguar XK page.