2010 JAGUAR XK — SCROLL TO READ
The 2010 Jaguar XK
Legend In Motion
Written by Erica O'Young
We have to admit that before we even lighted up that famous ignition, the sound system won us over. Premium Bowers & Wilkins audio, along with the functionality of fully-integrated iPod capabilities, added a final touch of classic Jaguar luxury. But the legendary purr of the Jag XK as it hit the road didn't sound too bad either.
Jaguar roadsters have always held a high place in the royal hierarchy of sleek sports cars. The legendary XK120, forerunner of the current model, was the world's fastest standard production car when it was introduced to the world in 1948, and Hollywood legends from Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart found the car's looks as equally irresistible as its speed. Evolution brought us the famous racer XK120-C, or C-Type, and then the D-Type, then E.
Stylistically the new XK coupe and convertible pay homage more to the XK-E with its oval mouth. It is slightly sportier than its predecessors but not modified to the point of detracting from its heritage. New rear lights fitted with LED technology, new rear body valance, body-colored side power vents, chrome-detailed inserts, and sleek alloy wheels add a nice ultra-modern touch. Changes are most obvious in front, with a larger mesh grille below the bumper and a more prominently defined front lip spoiler. The XK features aluminum construction. Its body/chassis combination is formed from aluminum tubes and panels, glued and welded together like a commercial jet. According to Jaguar, the XK has the lightest shell and the most torsional stiffness in its class, requiring less energy to move, yet remaining more resistant to bending or twisting over big bumps and bad surfaces, even in its convertible form. The end result is better handling and a smoother ride.
Inside, everything including the one-touch transmission is now automatic. From automatic climate control, automatic rain-sensing wipers and automatic folding exterior mirrors, the XK starts to have a very futuristic feel. It also features the disappearing, radial gear selector introduced in the Jaguar XF sedan, now standard with the keyless starting and trim choices galore: wool carpet, Rich Oak, Burr Walnut, Dark Oak, Knurled Aluminum, Dark Mesh Aluminum. The 2010 Jaguar XKs will continue with ZF's six-speed automatic transmission, widely used by luxury car builders for its smooth operation and excellent performance. All will be equipped with steering-wheel levers for manual shifting, though the transmission in the sport-oriented XKR will be tuned for faster, more aggressive shifts.
For speed-demons, the most exciting upgrade may be under the hood. A new generation of V8s considerably more powerful than their predecessors make the XK a force to be reckoned with. Jaguar's AJ-V8 Gen III updated technologies decrease both emissions and fuel consumption and extend maintenance intervals. The 5.0-liter V8 in the XK Portfolio delivers 385 horsepower, 85 more than the 4.2-liter V8 it replaces. The supercharged 2010 XKR produces 510 horsepower, 90 over the current model. Jaguar claims 0 to 60-mph times of 4.6 seconds for the XKR and 5.2 seconds for the XK Portfolio. Jaguar also predicts a slight increase in EPA mileage rating for both cars. The 2010 XKs will be equipped with a new adaptive suspension system, Jaguar's Adaptive Dynamics, intended to better balance sharp, precise handling with a smooth, comfortable ride by electronically varying the rate at which the shock absorbers dampen road shocks, depending on conditions and the driver's demands. Adaptive Dynamics are being touted by Jag as having more computing power and considerably quicker response time than its previous CATS adaptive suspension system.
In today's market, much more spiffy looking cars crowd the raceways. But the XK holds its own in a manner of controlled power and gracious elegance. Much like the Hollywood legends that have carried its way, the 2010 Jaguar XK makes its debut gracefully, without airs. It hails from a royal line in the family of speed and style. It belongs here - it needs no introduction.
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