Jaguar XKR-S 5.0 V8 Supercharged Coupe Review
Speed cat

Story and photos by Raymond Lai
23 May 2012

The XKR-S has the honour of being labeled as Jaguar’s most powerful road car ever. Raymond Lai checks out this rumbling speed cat.

Introduction, styling

Besides iconic road cars like the E-Type and so on, Jaguar has also produced some of the best racing cars of its time. The brand was synonymous with the Le Mans 24 hours endurance race in France in the 1950s and late 1980s. All in all, the British won Le Mans no less than seven times – with only Porsche, Ferrari and Audi winning on more occasions. Jaguar’s first win at Le Mans was in 1951 with the C-Type. Jaguar’s Le Mans tradition continued with the curvaceous D-Type and the blindingly fast XJR9 and XJR12 Group C machines. 

The brand last officially participated at Le Mans in 2005 with the stunning XJ220C. Since its unsuccessful foray into Formula 1 in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Jaguar has been off the motor racing radar, with the brand’s financial woes during the later years of Ford’s ownership not helping. Despite not being inactive in racing in recent years, Jaguar hasn’t forgotten about the art of making a sports car though. The brand showed off the superb looking C-X75 concept to celebrate its 75th anniversary two years back and recently announced that it will be putting last year’s C-X16 concept car as 2014’s new F-Type. With the highly anticipated F–Type still two years away and no word about series production for the C-X75, Jaguar’s sports car fans will have the XKR-S to satisfy their appetites for a fast, beautiful cat for now.

Jaguar touts the XKR-S as its fastest and most powerful series production road car ever. It seemed like ages ago that the brand from Coventry boast to have the limited production XJ220 as the world’s fastest road going car. The XKR-S isn’t bespoke like the XJ220 but it is still one special Jag nonetheless. The British car maker also says that the XKR-S’s harder edged character allows keen drivers to explore the outer limits of the car’s dynamics without losing the refinement and usability for which Jaguar is famous for, which means that the XKR-S isn’t a hardcore, lightweight track day special in the mould of the Porsche GT3 RS or Lamborghini Superleggera.  

 It might be based on the XKR but from the outside, the XKR-S certainly looks special thanks to its aggressive looking go faster bits like the various louvres and air scoops as well as the tasteful carbon fibre body addenda. Up front, the XKR-S is most different from the standard XKR via the aggressive looking carbon fibre chin spoiler as well as the vents on either sides of the bumper. Expectedly, there’s a ‘R-S’ badge sitting on the satin black wire mesh radiator grille. The sizable fixed carbon rear spoiler sitting on top of the rear hatch not only compliments the carbon front splitter but also the aggressive looking carbon fibre rear diffuser. Sitting within the carbon diffuser are generously sized quad exhaust tailpipes.  The XKR-S’s go faster bits do give the XKR body that bit more purposefulness and aggression in its stance while the lowered suspension and dark grey coloured 20-inch ‘Vulcan’ alloys give it that squat and muscular look that is worthy of its half a million dollar price tag.

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Engine Capacity 5000cc Supercharged
Engine Type V 8
Power 550bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 680Nm @ 2500rpm
Power to Weight 313.7 bhp per ton


Acceleration 4.4s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 300 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 8.1 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type FR


Body Type Coupe
(L x W x H)
(4804 x 2028 x 1312) mm
Wheelbase 2752 mm
Kerb Weight 1753 kg


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs