These are the first pictures of a very special Jaguar XKR. Caught testing in the UK, it’s thought to be a prototype of the production version of the Jaguar XKR Goodwood Special.
A highly-placed Jaguar source has made it clear to CAR that there's a strong desire within the company to make harder, faster versions of the XFR and XKR, and this vehicle looks like their wishes have come true.
The Jaguar XKR Goodwood Special? What’s that?
At the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year Jaguar unveiled the XKR Goodwood Special, and CAR had a (very sideways) ride up Lord March’s famous hill in the passenger seat next to Jaguar’s chief engineer Mike Cross.
'The regular XKR has a torque limiter to conserve the gearbox's life,' Cross explained to CAR. 'We've taken off the torque clamp, so torque rises from 625Nm to just under 700Nm, and power rises from 510 to 530PS.' That’s 523bhp and nearly 516lb ft. 'We've also lowered the suspension, tweaked the exhaust to be louder and crisper, and added 21-inch wheels and tyres,' added Cross.
And what’s happening now?
There was always talk of a limited production run, and now it seems this special XKR has been given the (ahem) green light - we caught it returning from a run around Jaguar's test track.
Cosmetics tweak to the test car include a new chin splitter, titanium grey trims around the fang-like intakes, the side and bonnet vents, and on the door mirrors. And to our eyes at least, the boot spoiler on the rear hatch looks a little larger as well. That’s not forgetting the garish green paintjob, too.
We've run the registration plate and this car is using Jaguar's brilliant supercharged 5.0-litre V8 found in the current XKR and XFR - if Jaguar's engineers can guarantee the reliabilty of the gearbox this special Jag should have the power upgrade. We also expect the 155mph speed limiter to be removed, and the XKR to get bigger wheels and tyres, suspension tweaks and a fruitier exhaust.
Jaguar has made a special XKR before, the XKR-S from 2008, which featured revised suspension and brakes, a higher top speed and bodywork changes. We hope this new XKR goes one step further - expect to see something official in the first half of 2010.
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