Jaguar XK and XKR facelift (2009): the spy photos

Published: 04 June 2008

Jaguar is readying a flurry of changes on its XK range of sports cars. Our spy photographers caught this pair of coupes out on test near the company's Coventry engineering HQ in Whitley, and closer inspection reveals what appears to be the subtly refreshed XK and XKR.

Jag's current XK range – codenamed X150 – was only launched in 2006 and is hardly needing major mid-life surgery, which explains why the model-year change is hardly revolutionary. Our spy photos prove the XKs will soon receive changes to the front apron and air ducts, hiding behind the silver body-coloured tape on this pair of pre-production prototypes.

Will the mini duck-tail spoiler present on these test vehicles make it to production? The limited-edition, 200-only XKR-S recently tested by CAR Online had a similar rear airdam and we hear that elements of that car's aero package are bound for the mainstream XKs.

The XK and the XKR, you say?

Oh yes. Spot them by the bonnet air scoops and quad exhaust pipes on the supercharged XKR, while the naturally aspirated XK makes do with a regular bonnet and twin pipes.

Engineering changes will be limited to chassis mods garnered from the XKR-S. That means the XK could potentially receive a quicker steering rack, revised suspension (do these cars look 10mm lower too?), Alcon brakes and up to 20in wheels with specially developed Pirelli rubber.

Click 'Next' to read more about the revised Jaguar XK modelsAnd – at last – the pop-up aerial has gone!

Thank goodness. The 1980s-style electric retractable aerial has been binned, to sighs of relief from the CAR team. How could Jaguar ruin such a sensual shape with such a shoddy detail? The new receiver sits on the bootlid, which is a pretty novel location for a radio/GPS aerial. We like.

The XK will also get the JaguarDrive rotary gearchange, like in the latest XF saloon. What we don't have confirmation on yet is the engine in the 2009 changed XK; it's most likely to receive the new 5.0 V8 in place of today's 4.2, but some insiders suggest the bigger bent eight isn't ready for production quite yet. Whichever engine is used, count on more than today's outputs of 298bhp (XK) and 416bhp (XKR).

Come on, so when will we see the new XK?

Good question. We hear the revised XK will be launched in 2009, probably at the Geneva motor show in March, with UK sales kicking off in time for the summer. Expect prices close to today's range, starting from £62,000.

By Tim Pollard

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