Jaguar XKR GT3: the lowdown
The Jaguar XK coupe has been sent on a course of steroids for its race-car transformation. The XKR GT3 was unveiled at the Autosport International Show and will compete in this season's FIA GT3 European Championship. It keeps the 4.2-litre supercharged V8 of the Jaguar XKR road car, but has been tuned to produce at least 475bhp in race trim. Matched to the standard car's aluminium bodywork, it should prove very competitive.
The XK looks great in race-spec. What else is new?
Out goes the roadgoing XK's auto gearbox replaced by a Hewland six-speed sequential transmission, driving through a triple-plate carbon clutch. The chassis has come in for a series of changes, too: four-way adjustable dampers and 18in OZ rims turn the car from boulevard cruiser to race-track bruiser. As you'd expect in a racing car, there's a full steel roll cage and upgraded brakes, with Alcon six-pot callipers at the front and four-pot grabbers at the rear. Oh, and in case you hadn't noticed, there's a bed-sized rear wing for maximum downforce.
Who's behind this race car?
The XK has been prepared by Apex Motorsport, which prepared the Bentley that won the 24-hour race at Le Mans in 2003. Although approved by Jaguar, the race programme is independent of the Coventry firm. Its first outing will be testing at Monza on 22-23 February. GT3 racing has proved a popular formula in Europe, with race versions of recognisable road cars. Will there be a roadgoing version of the GT3? Well, Jaguar is plotting a hard-core, lighter-weight XKR-R, but there are no plans for a giant wing to be offered on the XK options list any time soon.