Jaguar XKR Goodwood Special (2009): first photos

Published: 01 July 2009

CAR was hanging out at Jaguar yesterday when we spotted this: the new XKR Goodwood Special – an XKR turned up to 11 to wow the crowds at this weekend's Festival of Speed.

Editor Phil McNamara was on hand to soak up the one-off XKR, which points to a harder, faster XKR. Power rises to 523bhp from the standard XKR's 503bhp and torque swells to an earth-rippling 516lb ft.

The new Jaguar XKR Goodwood Special: the lowdown

We were at the Whitley design centre on an, ahem, top-secret feature for a future issue of CAR Magazine, when design director Ian Callum and chief engineering type Mike Cross arrived unannounced in the XKR Goodwood Special.

Over to you, Mike: 'The regular XKR has a torque limiter to conserve the gearbox's life,' he explained. 'We've taken off the torque clamp, so torque rises from 625Nm to just under 700Nm, and power rises from 510 to 530PS.

'We've also lowered the suspension, tweaked the exhaust to be louder and crisper, and added 21-inch wheels and tyres. Goodwood is all about spectacle and noise, so we thought: why not?'

Sounds good! Why don't they build the maximum XKR?

Put it this way, the Jag bosses we spoke to yesterday were so excited they were standing around the car and talking about doing a limited run there and then.

'This is the new British racing green,' joked Callum. 'It's like Porsche's GT3 RS green, but with way more vivacity,' says Phil Mc.

Callum sent away one of his colour and trim team just six weeks ago, and they came back with four green samples, and this eye-popping shade is the one they selected for its festival outing.

What does it sound like?

Callum was like a schoolboy in a sweet shop. He couldn't resist jumping in, pressing the loud pedal twice, revving the V8 and glorying in the bark. Then Cross waved him round to the back, so he could get it full bore. 'It crackles when you lift off,' said Cross, and sure enough, after two deep presses and two deep bellows, it crackled on cue.

If you're at Goodwood this weekend, listen out for it charging up Lord March's driveway at full chat.

>> CAR will be reporting live from the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend. Come back for news, reports, photos and blogs

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet