Bless the XK, it’s been a firm favourite of mine for the past 5yrs, stunning to behold, powerful yet controllable and captivating to both drive and be a passenger in. I just love its low slung ‘on-the-prowl’ aggressive styling and punchy performance. You could be forgiven for thinking that the 2010 model line-up for XK hasn’t actually changed, but you’d be wrong, very wrong. In its wisdom Jaguar has decided to opt for a ‘less-is-more’ approach to the restyling of the exterior, opting for more subtle ‘enhancements’ (after all, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!). The range of cars also jumps from 4 (XK, XK Convertible, XKR, XKR Convertible) to 6 to including the new mid range ‘Portfolio’ model I tested.
So having sent the XK under the surgeons knife (thankfully they didn’t use Joan Rivers guy, can you imagine!) what are the actual changes? Design revisions include; new front bumper, new mirrors with integrated LED side repeater, rear valance, rear LED lights and colour-coded side power vents, you also now get two rear lights instead of just the one, this gives the rear a more distinct look at night.
Inside, there’s upgraded tweaks and more new Geekery than can be found in your average PC World, as well as new handling and performance gadgets to scare the technophobe’s silly. The first huge change and dollop of tech-wizardry is found with the inclusion of the acclaimed JaguarDrive Selector™ (first seen on the XF). This is the ultra-cool Jaguar automatic gearbox, instead of a normal old gearstick, a silver cylinder raises gracefully out of the console between the seats and invites you to change gear by twisting the knob (how apt for us gays to have the ability to increase performance, direction and pace by twisting a knob lol). Then we come to the new Adaptive Dynamics system (the latest in computer-controlled suspension) (with Active Differential Control on the XKR). Activating the Dynamic driving system does totally change the Jag into a raring-to-go agile predator with a killer exhaust note, from its normal stance of graceful sweeping Grand Tourer, further enhancing performance, driving dynamics and the XK’s luxury sporting character
How has all huge improvement (in places where you didn’t think it needed improving) happen just with a few gadgets and gizmo’s? Well Jag have face-lifted one other major factor of the new XK… the engine. Out goes the old 4.2 and in comes an all new 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 delivering 385bhp, and a mighty 515Nm of torque. This new engine absolutely sings when you drive hard and propels XK coupe to 60mph in not to shabby 5.2 seconds.
It also improves the CO2 emissions and fuel economy comparable to the less powerful 4.2-litre engine it replaces. The naturally aspirated XK fuel economy improvements are a welcome bonus, with an average consumption of 25.2mpg combined. Yes it still drinks like Britney on a bad day, but what do you expect from a 5L sports car!
So it goes like Paris Hilton (on a camera set to night vision, in a hotel room). It’s the epitome of style and luxury. The handling on sweeping bends and sharp corners is outstanding. So it’s pretty much faultless, the other major bonus is its price, at just under £65,000 it’s a steal, well when compared to the rest of the market!
Standard kit is somewhere else the Jag excels, my ‘Portfolio’ test car comes with 16-way seat adjustability for both driver and passenger seats, with heating and memory functions, adjustable side bolsters and new cooled seats all as standard. A seven-inch Touch-screen also comes as standard and provides access and control for; Climate Control and Audio systems, the Sat Nav, Bluetooth (which just didn’t work ever!), and for Jaguar’s Portable Audio Interface (iPod dock lead – which really worked and offers full control of your pod) – all standard equipment on the ‘Portfolio’. The other major standard feature on the Portfolio is the high-end Bowers & Wilkins sound system. This 525-watt system with Dolby® ProLogic®II Surround Sound, three-channel stereo with unique amplifier, Kevlar mid-range speakers with high output and low distortion, and specially designed aluminum tweeters, sounds sweeter (and more genuine) than a Chris Brown apology.
I love the new XK; it’s worth every single penny. From its superb drive, great performance and sheer kerb-side sexiness, it’s a beautiful motor that just grabs attention wherever you go.