By NITISH S. RELE, Automotive columnist, The Tampa Tribune
Published: April 5, 2008
Updated: May 31, 2013 at 11:06 PM
THE RIDE: Two-door, four-passenger 2008 Jaguar XMR luxury convertible.DOWN THE ROAD: 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds. Electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. In short, power at all times. A carryover from 2007, the XKR displays a breathtaking performance that would be the envy of its competition. Punch it and the rear-wheel-drive car takes an instant liking for the road ahead, whether it's merging quickly into peak-hour traffic or strolling along on the highway.TECH & PERFORMANCE: The XKR convertible is equipped with a 4.2-liter V-8 engine that blasts off with 420 horsepower at 6250 rpm and 413 pounds-feet of torque at 4000 rpm. Yes, it is supercharged and watercooled, which play a vital role in its tremendous performance capabilities. The 6-speed automatic transmission is responsive to each throttle thrust. A four-wheel fully independent front and rear suspension lends sure-footedness to the brisk ride. The speed-sensitive, rack-and-pinion steering is razor sharp at every turn. Fully aware that such power would require impressive stopping abilities, Jaguar has equipped the XKR with ventilated disc brakes of 14 inches in the front and 12.8 inches in the rear.LOOK & FEEL: Based on an aluminum monocoque body structure, the steeply raked windshield tapers off to join a long hood that shows off color-keyed louvers and a fascia of aluminum-finish mesh upper and lower grille and side vents. Step inside and numerous luxury conveniences greet you warmly. The 10-way power front seats, dual automatic climate controls, 7-inch DVD touch-screen navigation system and keyless entry and start are only a few of the creature comforts. We liked the appearance of the burl walnut veneer wood trim on the center console and instrument and door panels. Also, noticeable are the stainless-steel pedals. That this is the racing version of the XK is obvious from the R logo on the steering wheel, headrests, tachometer and gear shifter knob. For all you open-air motoring lovers, the power-operated soft top takes only 18 seconds to come down.SAFETY FIRST: Standard features include dual front and side thorax airbags, Jaguar's advanced Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS), automatic rollover bars, four-wheel antilock brakes, antiskid system, Dynamic Stability Control, traction control, front seat active-head restraints, tire pressure monitoring system, daytime running lights and a rear-obstacle detection system.OUT THE DOOR: $92,035, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges.BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, 245/40 ZR19 front, 275/35 ZR19 rear; wheelbase, 108.3 inches; length, 188.6 inches; weight, 3,924 pounds; fuel capacity, 18.8 gallons; highway, 23 mpg; city, 15 mpg.WHY DIG IT: With its incredible power-at-all-times capabilities, this is one vehicle you want to take to the beach top down on a sunny day. The catch, of course, is the $100,000-plus tag.