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Jaguar XKR-S GT, XJR Revealed Ahead Of New York Auto Show

And now our keyboard is covered with drool.

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You’ve already seen the new Jaguar XJR in advance of its New York International Auto Show debut, and if you’re like us, probably shed a few drops of saliva over it. The Jaguar XKR-S GT, though, is new to you. And us. And now we’re drooling even more.

The XKR-S GT is more than just a reason to add more letters onto the XK’s name. Based around the 542 horsepower XKR-S, the XKR-S GT doesn’t gain any power over its shorter-named brother, but it does gain a host of dynamic changes designed to help it run a hotter hot lap. As is pretty obvious from a glance, Jaguar has greatly changed the car’s aerodynamics; a massive rear wing, dive planes, carbon-fiber front splitter, rear diffuser, aluminum valance and extended wheel arches help the XKR-S GT generate up to 319 pounds of downforce. New front and rear suspension components a like wider front track, increased camber, revised bushings, a new steering system and faster steering ratio, along with bespoke height-adaptive adaptive dampers with increased spring rates help improve the handling as well. Jaguar’s first carbon-ceramic brakes haul this cat to a stop from speeds up to 186 miles per hour, and the 0-60 mph dash goes by in 3.9 seconds. Only 30 examples will be made.

We’ll bring you more firsthand details tomorrow when we see (and hopefully hear) both cars in person, but in the meantime, we suggest you make like we do: flip through these pictures and imagine driving them. [via Jaguar]

Press Releases:

The XKR-S GT is the most extreme iteration of the Jaguar R Brand’s performance focus. Utilising race-car derived technology, all-aluminium construction and an uncompromised approach to aerodynamic efficiency, the result is a car as capable on the track as it is exhilarating on the road.”
Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar
Summary
The XKR-S GT has been developed by Jaguar’s ETO division to be the ultimate track-focused but road-going iteration of the XK coupe. Extensive aerodynamic and suspension changes, as well as the addition of carbon ceramic brakes, have combined to give the XKR-S GT race-car inspired connected feel and braking performance. Initial production will be limited to just 30 cars for the North American market.
A range of bespoke carbon fibre components, including an extended front splitter, dive-planes and elevated rear wing, all work to maximise the XKR-S GT’s aerodynamic downforce. Technical learning from the development of the new Jaguar F-TYPE two-seater sports car has also been applied to the XKR-S GT’s suspension and steering systems, optimising both immediacy of response to driver input and agility.
Stunning performance is provided by Jaguar’s proven 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine, boasting 550PS and 680Nm, driving through a six-speed transmission and active electronic differential. Combined with the aerodynamic and suspension changes, plus revisions to the traction control system’s calibration, the result in straight-line terms is a 0-60mph time of 3.9 seconds. Electronically limited top speed is 186mph.
The XKR-S GT is available in Polaris White with unique graphics and Jaguar R-S GT script on its louvred bonnet. The Warm Charcoal interior – with red accents – features 16-way electrically adjustable ‘Performance’ seats finished in soft-grain leather and Suedecloth with the Jaguar and R-S GT scripts integrated into the backrests. Jet Suedecloth headlining and a Jet Suedecloth steering wheel, with aluminium paddle shifters, are fitted as standard. Script to the treadplates and console highlight the exclusiveness of the XKR-S GT.
“The development of the XKR-S GT demanded an uncompromised approach to enhance aerodynamic downforce, with complementary suspension changes to maximise high-speed cornering ability. In combination with the use of a carbon ceramic braking system, the result is the most focused ‘R’ model Jaguar has ever built which delivers heightened levels of performance and driver reward.
Pete Simkin, Director, ETO Specialist Products, Jaguar
Aerodynamics and chassis
“The XKR-S GT has been designed purely by the laws of physics. It has been developed in the wind tunnel and on the racetrack with the sole aim of creating as much high-speed stability and downforce as possible. Nothing has been styled for the sake of it. It’s been an exercise in efficiency and the result is a car that’s raw, focused and devastatingly quick.”
Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar
The XKR-S GT features a carbon-fibre front splitter of race-car wrap-around type; extending forward by 60mm, it starts the optimisation of airflow around, over and underneath the car. Aggressive carbon-fibre twin dive-planes and wheelarch extensions further the efficiency of airflow around the car, while below the addition of an optimised aluminium front valance serves to smooth airflow under the car as well as enhancing engine and brake cooling performance.
A rear carbon-fibre diffuser ensures the smooth exit of air from underneath the car, while the elevated rear wing – also in carbon-fibre – works in combination with the decklid mounted spoiler to maximise rear downforce. At its electronically limited top speed of 186mph, the XKR-S GT produces 145kg (320lb) of downforce.Bonnet louvres serve as a further engine cooling aid while also helping aerodynamic performance by improving the airflow through the front end of the car.
Allied to the extensive aerodynamic revisions are detailed suspension changes.
The front and rear suspension arms, uprights, wheel bearings, bushings and rear subframe are all new and draw on hardware developed for the F-TYPE. The overall set-up works to increase lateral suspension stiffness for greater precision and responsiveness.
Integral to the revised suspension system is its new spring and damper module design. The XKR-S GT has a motorsport-derived twin spring system mated to Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics damping system – the dampers now being ride-height adjustable. Front and rear spring rates are respectively 68% and 25% stiffer than on the XKR-S, while the damper tune is much more track-focused, providing increased levels of body control and grip.
Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics have been specifically tuned for the XKR-S GT so that the suspension parameters change to deliver a higher level of body control with maximum traction and grip when the dynamic mode is deployed, offering optimum performance for focused track driving.
The XKR-S GT has a front track which is 52mm wider than that of the XKR-S while the rear remains the same. The steering rack is from the F-TYPE, with a correspondingly faster ratio and retuned steering valve. The result is immediacy of turn-in and response to steering inputs.
The unique 20-inch forged and lightweight alloy wheels – finished in gloss black – are shod with specially developed Pirelli Corsa performance tyres (255/35 and 305/30 front/rear), giving the XKR-S GT a more muscular stance and greatly increasing its grip and stability.
“The XKR-S GT is an uncompromised car, but one that inspires confidence and encourages the driver to push it to its limits, fully exploring its handling abilities. It’s a car that draws you in and is never intimidating, with performance that is both accessible and rewarding.”
David Pook, Technical Specialist, Steering and Handling, Jaguar
Brakes
The XKR-S GT is the first production Jaguar to be fitted with a carbon ceramic braking system.
The internally ventilated and cross-drilled lightweight brake discs measure 398mm and 380mm front/rear respectively. Combined with six-piston monoblock calipers at the front and four piston units at the rear – the yellow calipers being branded with ‘Jaguar Carbon Ceramic’ script – the XKR-S GT delivers race-car levels of fade-free stopping power and brake pedal feel.
Enhanced braking feel comes courtesy of the electronic Pre-Fill system. Working in conjunction with the car’s DSC system, Pre-Fill pressurises the brakes every time the driver comes off the throttle pedal, resulting in a very short and consistent level of travel on the brake pedal. This maximises braking response, reduces the car’s stopping distance and delivers increased levels of confidence during high performance driving.
The lightweight nature of the carbon ceramic system means a reduction in unsprung weight of 21kg – so further enhancing the XKR-S GT’s handling.
The XKR-S GT’s carbon ceramic braking system also has a significantly longer life span than a standard system.
“The brake disc and pad materials are specially tailored for Jaguar characteristics. Because the XKR-S GT is a road car as well as one suitable for customers to take on the track, we engineered it for race-car braking performance but with no compromise to cold or wet weather ability.”
Edward Nixon, Group Leader, Brakes, Jaguar XKR-S GT
Performance
Jaguar’s proven all-aluminium 5.0-litre supercharged quad-cam V8 engine, boasting 550PS and 680Nm of torque, delivers not only exhilarating performance but also tremendous efficiency thanks to the technologies incorporated into it, including spray-guided direct injection (SGDI) and dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT).
The high-pressure die-cast lightweight aluminium block is stiffened with cast-iron liners and cross-bolted main bearing caps, providing refinement to match its power. The four-valve cylinder heads are constructed from recycled aluminium, between them sitting the Roots-type twin vortex supercharger fed by two intercoolers, which feature their own water-cooling circuit to reduce the temperature of the pressurised air thereby optimising power and efficiency.
The XKR-S GT features a fully active performance exhaust system with valves that open under load, both enhancing gas-flow and the car’s aural character, while optimising power output.
In straight-line terms, the powertrain’s significant output, combined with the aerodynamic, suspension and traction control software revisions, mean the XKR-S GT can sprint from 0 to 60mph in 3.9 seconds and onto an electronically limited top speed of 186mph.

Technical changes over XKR-S
Carbon ceramic brake system with 398mm and 380mm discs front/rear, gripped respectively by six- and four-piston monoblock calipers
Electronic Pre-Fill system pressurises braking system and maximises braking performance
Addition of carbon-fibre front splitter, dive planes, extended wheelarch spats, an elevated rear wing, a rear diffuser and an optimised aluminium front valance contribute to a maximum downforce figure of 145kg (320lb) at the XKR-S GT’s electronically limited top speed of 186mph (300km/h)
The addition of race-derived, height-adjustable and retuned adaptive dampers with twin-spring system. Spring rates up by 68% at the front and 25% at the rear
New development of front and rear suspension from the F-TYPE sports car
The fitment of an F-TYPE steering rack for enhanced agility
New, wider 20-inch forged alloy wheels shod with Pirelli Corsa 255/35 front and 305/30 rear tyres for maximised grip
Bonnet louvres aid engine cooling and reduce under-bonnet air pressure

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The first ‘R’ model in the latest generation of the XJ range, and the latest in a long line of high-performance, luxurious Jaguar sports saloons, the XJR incorporates bespoke chassis and aerodynamic developments to create the most focused, agile and responsive member of the XJ family.
“This XJR is the flagship XJ and I’m delighted we’ve got it back into the range. This is a premium luxury supercar that also has an extremely purposeful look to it. This car will surprise, there’s no doubt about it.”
Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar
Seamless performance is provided by a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine that boasts 550PS and 680Nm. Subtle exterior styling cues, which also optimise the flow of air over and around the car, have given the XJR a distinctively assertive appearance. A front splitter, special ‘R’ bonnet louvres and quad tailpipes also add to the car’s stealthy yet purposeful demeanour.
Combined with an eight-speed transmission that extends the performance characteristics of the car, the XJR is capable of accelerating from zero to 60mph in 4.4 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds) and on to an electronically limited top speed of 174mph (280km/h).
The unique 20-inch lightweight forged alloy ‘Farallon’ wheels are shod with specially developed Pirelli rubber, giving the XJR a muscular stance and increasing its grip and stability. Allied to the tyre technology are tuned dampers and spring rates which both optimise the handling and stability of the car when driven at speed and increase the feeling of connectivity with the road surface, providing a controlled, supple ride which still retains the expected Jaguar XJ ride comfort.
The settings for the active electronic differential and Dynamic Stability Control system have been calibrated in order to allow the enthusiastic driver to make the most of the huge performance potential of the XJR. In addition, the steering hydraulics and calibration have been engineered to enhance steering feel, response and feedback under all driving conditions.
The car’s dynamic intent is underlined by the technical palette of materials used on the interior. This includes optional semi-aniline leather and veneers in either Carbon Fibre or Piano Black. Providing a further unique touch is a choice of contrasting colour stitching to bring out the design of the front and rear seats.
“The XJR is the sporting pinnacle of the XJ range. This car has been dynamically set-up from the outset to deliver stunning performance, while still retaining the luxury and comfort common to the entire XJ range. The XJR has all the breadth of capability you could wish for in a high-performance luxury saloon car.”
Andrew Dobson, Chief Programme Engineer, Jaguar XJR
Powertrain
5.0-litre supercharged V8
The XJR features Jaguar’s acclaimed 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine in its most potent form, matched to a responsive eight-speed transmission system. This all-new combination provides an exceptional blend of pure performance, driver involvement and exceptional levels of control.
“The challenge with developing the powertrain for this car was to place it in character with the rest of the vehicle. It needed to have the necessary refinement for use in town while giving all the performance anyone would need everywhere else, without being overwhelming. With the XJR we achieved that balance.”
Ron Lee, Director of Powertrain Engineering, Jaguar
The all-aluminium quad-cam engine delivers not only exhilarating performance but also tremendous efficiency thanks to the technologies incorporated into it, including spray-guided direct injection (SGDI) and dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT).
The high-pressure die-cast lightweight aluminium block is stiffened with cast-iron liners and cross-bolted main bearing caps, providing refinement to match its power. The four-valve cylinder heads are constructed from recycled aluminium, between them sitting the Roots-type twin vortex supercharger fed by two intercoolers, which feature their own water-cooling circuit to reduce the temperature of the pressurised air thereby optimising power and efficiency.
The result is a 0-60mph time of 4.4 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds) and an electronically-limited top speed of 174mph (280km/h).
Eight-speed Transmission
Maximising the benefit of the engine calibration is the eight-speed automatic transmission, which has been engineered based on learnings from the development of the high-performance XFR-S saloon. This transmission system brings out the sporting nature of the XJR while still maintaining the car’s composure in town and in low-speed driving environments.
When operating in automatic mode, the transmission can detect the manner in which the car is being driven by monitoring acceleration and braking, cornering forces, throttle and brake pedal activity, road load and kickdown request. On detecting a more enthusiastic driving style, the transmission will automatically make the gearshifts more aggressive and move the shift-up point higher in the rev range. Steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles also give the driver higher levels of control.
Corner Recognition senses when the car is negotiating a bend, the transmission holding the correct gear for the exit. The transmission will also recognise when the car is performing a series of overtaking manoeuvres requiring rapid changes in throttle position and, rather than change up, remain in a lower gear ready for the next demand for acceleration.
The eight-speed transmission also allows the XJR to be offered as standard with Jaguar’s Intelligent Stop/Start system. This automatically shuts down the engine when the car comes to a halt and the brake pedal is depressed. When the brake is released, the system will restart the engine in less time than it takes for the driver’s foot to move to the accelerator.
A twin solenoid system, it allows for ‘change of mind’ functionality, bringing the engine back up to speed even during its run-down phase if, for instance, the car is coming to a halt at a junction and the driver sees an opportunity to join the traffic flow.
Dynamics
“The XJR offers greater steering precision, higher levels of control and enhanced high speed stability, with the trade-off in refinement being very small. The increase in power and torque give this car truly effortless, seamless performance.”
Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity, Jaguar
The dynamic characteristics of the XJR have been informed by the engineering development of the XFR-S, the result being an incredibly agile, responsive and involving luxury super saloon.
Both front and rear suspension systems have been carefully tuned at Jaguar’s testing centre at the legendary Nürburgring, the high-speed Rockingham circuit in England, the roads around the Gaydon Research and Development centre and in north Wales.
In order to achieve the maximum benefit from the suspension, the XJR has new lightweight, forged 20-inch ‘Farallon’ alloy wheels. The tyres, developed in conjunction with Pirelli, are 265/35 and 295/30 front/rear and have been selected to deliver optimal cornering grip, traction and stability over a wide range of speed and performance parameters. The difference between the wheel rim and tyre width has the effect of pre-loading the sidewall to improve handling and steering response without adversely affecting refinement. The steering system has additionally benefited from the fitment of the valving developed for the F-TYPE.
Working in harmony with the suspension, wheels and tyres are electronic programmes controlling the Adaptive Dynamics, active electronic differential and Dynamic Stability Control systems.
Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics system actively controls vertical body movement, roll and pitch rates through the use of continuously variable dampers. The system monitors driver inputs and the road conditions, adjusting damper rates in response up to 500 times a second to optimise stability and agility. The driver’s selection of Dynamic Mode offers enhanced body control through moving the damping rates to the firmer end of the available range.
The Jaguar active electronic differential – which can apply full locking torque almost instantaneously when necessary – has been calibrated in order to exploit the high levels of grip offered by the wide rear tyres, the more precisely controlled suspension and the engine output. Working in parallel with the differential, the ‘Trac DSC’ setting of the Dynamic Stability Control system now offers the enthusiastic driver more opportunity to explore the outer edges of the handling envelope while nevertheless providing a discreet safety net.
Providing equal levels of confidence is Jaguar’s High Performance Braking System, which offers an unmatched combination of power, stability and fine modulation. The 380mm front and 376mm rear discs are internally ventilated for assured, repeated stopping power.
Design
“The Design Team wanted to create a graphic link to the performance credentials of this car, as well as delivering the optimal balance of aerodynamic down force front and rear. Hence the chrome-rimmed intakes on the front bumper have become an ‘R’ model ‘signature element’, acting as a visual reference to the car’s twin superchargers, while the front aero splitters are complemented by the rear spoiler. We really dialled up the visual content on the XJR, compared to its predecessors; it’s where our customers now expect it to be.”
Wayne Burgess, Studio Director, Jaguar Design
Reflecting the changes under the skin, the appearance of the XJR has been subtly modified in order to allow the car to achieve its full potential.
The ‘R’ spec side sills, unique to the XJR, serve to create a sharp break-off point between the bodywork and the road surface in order to keep the airflow attached to the car’s sides for as long as possible.
Rear lift is also reduced through the fitment of a bootlid-mounted lip spoiler to manage the airflow off the top rear surface of the car, while the special ‘R’ bonnet louvres aid in aerodynamics and engine cooling.
The five-spoke, lightweight Farallon forged alloy wheels provide the XJR with a purposeful, broad shouldered stance and come as standard in either Sparkle silver or Technical grey finishes. The assertive appearance of the XJR is further enhanced with a Sport pack grille with chrome surround and black mesh.
XJR customers can choose from an exterior palette comprising ten colours: Polaris White, Ebony, Ultimate Black, Stratus Grey, Lunar Grey, Rhodium Silver, Cashmere, Caviar, Carnelian Red and Black Amethyst.
This colour palette is complemented inside the XJR with a unique combination of colourways. Jet leather trim is available with a choice of either Ivory, London Tan or Red Zone inserts on the seat facings. The seats themselves are embossed with the ‘R’ logo and can be finished with a choice of stitching in either Red or London Tan. Jet suedecloth headlining comes as standard with an optional leather headlining in Jet to complement the XJR interior.
The XJR is fitted as standard with a 380W, 12-speaker surround-sound system from British audio experts Meridian. Recognised by audiophiles as a leader in audio reproduction and fidelity, the system uses digital signal processing to create a sound field that is second to none. An optional 825W, 18-speaker system features Meridian’s proprietary Trifield System which places every occupant at the centre of their own perfectly focused surround-sound arena.

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