Jaguar XKR GT3: the lowdown
This is the Jaguar XKR GT3, a 550bhp, race-fettled XK which will campaign in the 2007 FIA GT3 series. But the big news is that its uprated V8 engine is bound for a roadgoing XKR, to propel Jaguar up the power league and into the realm of Merc's 510bhp SL55 AMG and BMW's 500bhp M6. Apex Motorsport will design, develop and campaign the XKR GT3, shown here in an official artist's impression. But Jaguar is involved behind the scenes. Its powertrain team will offer assistance, as Apex upgrades the 420bhp, 4.2-litre supercharged V8 to kick out up to 550bhp. The reliability of the upgrade will be tested in the most demanding arena – the race track – giving Jag excellent feedback as it develops the 'XKR-R'. But don't expect the 500bhp-plus XKR anytime soon: its introduction is not expected until 2008-9.
Jaguar XKR GT3: the makeover
In the GT3 series, production cars are overhauled, with reduced weight and upgraded engines. The basic suspension design also remains the same. Power will be sent to the XKR's rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox, rather than the road car's standard slusher. The XKR will be pitched against its sister brand, Aston Martin, in the GT3 series. In 2006, Corvette ZO6, Ferrari F430 and Porsche 911 also made the grid. The Jaguar brand will get exposure across Europe, and in races in Australia and Dubai. The first official race is at Silverstone in May.