2003 Jaguar XKR
8-cyl. 4196cc/390hp Supercharged
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Jaguar’s XK8 was a gorgeous and comfortable car. It was sporty enough with the XJS-derived platform also used by the Aston Martin DB7, but there was room in the lineup for more performance and for 1998 the company introduced a supercharged version of the XK8 called the Jaguar XKR. With a 4.0-liter V-8 and Eaton Roots-style blower (the same powerplant from the XJR sedan), the XKR could do 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds and the quarter-mile in 13.8 seconds at 105 mph. Top speed was electronically limited to 155 mph. An automatic was still the only available gearbox, but it was a Mercedes-built 5-speed unit rather than the ZF gearbox in the XK8.
Visually, the Jaguar XKR was more aggressively styled than the standard XK8 with hood louvers, a small rear spoiler and mesh grille. The interior was signature Jaguar with ample leather and burled wood trim, but the large transmission tunnel and wide sills meant that interior room was a bit tight, and the back seats were laughably small by anybody’s standards. In 2003, the engine grew to 4.2 liters and a new ZF 6-speed automatic made its way across the XK range. In 2004, the grille design was further revised.