Bargain is a word of relativities.
For most of us, a paperback book at $4.99 instead of $22.95 is a bargain, just as a $14.95 compact disc is compared with a full-price $34.95 one.
And if you’ve got the thick end of $250,000 to spend on a high-performance car, Jaguar has just released a vehicle that has a price that’s at the no-brainer end of the bargain choice spectrum.
The new XKR sports coupe has been launched on the New Zealand market at $234,990. It’s hard to get your head around that being a bargain till you look at the premium you have to pay for the extra performance, uprated chassis and sharper feel that you get compared with the standard XK coupe.
The standard Jag XK Grand Tourer is $219,990, but the XKR has 87 more kilowatts of power, 36 percent more torque, uprated suspension and brakes and a more purposeful exterior.
On top of that, say colleagues who have driven it, the XKR has a more focused, more sporting feel where the standard XK – though no slouch – is aimed more at the luxury touring car buyer.
The bodywork gets an enhanced front bumper, bonnet louvres, aluminium-finish grilles and side power vents, 20-inch alloy wheels and a quad-exhaust system.
Jaguar XKR starts deliveries of the Coupe immediately, with the Convertible to follow in spring, with a $254,990 price, again a $20,000 premium over the XK.
The XKR’s 4.2-litre, supercharged V8 engine develops 306kW of maximum power, and 560Nm of peak torque.
Jaguar says it will accelerate to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds, and has an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
Its uprated braking system includes ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency brake assist.
The all-aluminium body construction delivers a lighter, stiffer car, with excellent agility. At 1665kg, the Coupe is 70kg lighter than its predecessor, while the 1715kg Convertible is 100kg lighter than the previous convertible XKR.
Uprated springs and dampers and recalibrated Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) provide enhanced ride and handling. Trac dynamic stability control is part of the total chassis package.
A six-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox option, with ultra-quick manual gearshifts available in milliseconds using steering wheel-mounted paddles.
The Active Exhaust System ensures refinement at cruising speed but purposeful V8 roar under hard acceleration.
There are rain-sensing wipers, parking aids and the automatic bi-xenon headlights have washers and automatic levelling. The door mirrors are heated and have electric adjustment.
The enhanced interior includes unique aluminium weave design on the fascia (other veneers such as polished burr walnut are available at no extra cost) and electrically-adjustable XKR sports seats with three settings for the memory.
Cruise control, automatic dual zone climate control air conditioning, electric windows, trip computer, six-disc stacker CD sound system with WMA and MP3 disc compatibility are also standard.
The remote control central locking includes deadlocks and drive away locking. There is an intrusion and perimetric alarm with a microwave intrusion sensor and engine immobiliser and locking wheel nuts.
There are six airbags, front seat whiplash protection system and the front of the car employs Jaguar’s pedestrian contact sensing to deploy the bonnet to lessen injuries.