There’s no need to introduce the Jaguar XK to loyalists and enthusiasts of the brand. Combining the X and K in this model’s name has doubled the vehicle’s power, enabling it to join the ranks of saloons that have been on serious car owner’s most-wanted lists for the last few decades. The XK has been consistent in delivering what it has been known for since 1948: a vehicle that doesn’t just captivate senses but also carries on the brand’s reputation for sports cars.
Expect even the latest XK to still sport the sensuous styling its predecessors have established. Some angles are handsome on the eyes, while other portions combine Jaguar’s strong features such as the ovoid intake mouth with classical coupe proportions. The latest XK takes the design further by replacing the fuselage shape with enhanced muscularity from a wider track and shorter overhands.
The interior employs the finest materials of wood and titanium décor. Save for the plastic in some portions, the overall effect exudes class and luxury all around. Like the exterior, several improvements have been made in the latest interior design. A gently sloping fascia has replaced the upright dashboard, enabling taller drivers to ease themselves behind the wheel. The driver’s position also provides enough leg and headroom, and also allows for easy access to the wheel and pedal adjustment. The latest gadgets are the most high tech of its kind, including an improved centre console that includes the XF’s rotary gear selector.
The 5.0-litre V8 comes out at the top of the XK’s engine range. Not just smooth and easy to rev, this powerful unit is able to accelerate seamlessly between gears. Acceleration from 50 to 70mph just takes 2.5 seconds. Going for the XKR with the supercharged V8 comes highly recommended for anyone that wants quick speed and quality transition: a 60mph sprint from standstill is achieved after just 4.6 seconds, while accelerating from 50 to 70mph under the XKR just takes 1.9 seconds. Acceleration is clearly relentless, with its 461lb ft torque going from 2500 rpm to 5500rpm. There’s also the XKR-S that is much quicker and freer in rev for the top end.
The interior isn’t without flaws. The rear is rather tight and difficult to get into. Expect your children to complain during long rides. Then there’s the limited capacity of the 330-litre boot. The space is still too small even with the hatchback making it easy to load baggage.
Steering is generally accommodating with the XK and the ride smooth thanks to the quiet nature of each ride. You can only hear noise when the rough surfaces end up roaring. Body control isn’t totally dominant, but it does make up for this via low-speed suppleness. Challenging roads are an easy feat for this car thanks to its less aggressive and more agile handling of road conditions. Steering may be light when going on straight roads, but the drive eventually builds resistance once the wheel’s weight and precision have been locked. Overall the ride and handling takes some getting used to but the wait is worth the patience.
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