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      03-24-2013, 09:20 PM   #1
adc
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vs. Jaguar XK-R and XK-RS

This Friday I had the opportunity to drive a bunch of Jags at FedEx stadium. Tried the new XJ on the road, the XF-R and XK-R convertible on a slow road course, the XK-R on an autocross course and the XK-RS in a 0-100-0 run.

There were many things I liked about the XJ, but it was such a dissappointment in so many areas for an executive sedan: pitiful trunk space and packaging, amazing leather interior but too hard seats, subpar Meridian audio system for this class, unresponsive touch screen, and crappy buick-y over assisted steering. Basically I liked the design and the suspension which was surprisingly hard and sporty for the target audience, but thought the details hadn't been worked out. And in this class, everybody has the basics covered, and the details are king.

The XK-R had the same numb and over assisted steering, but a great suspension compromise, very little lean and an absolutely stonking engine, with amazing AMG-ish soundtrack. Sounds like the blues, goes like stink. It was nice how well the front and rear roll ratios were coordinated, could do lots of easy to control oversteer in the dry. Would probably skate around like a supermarket cart in the rain though. My biggest niggles were the light steering and a slight delay in throttle response, at least in the Dynamic (aka Sport) mode, which made for an interesting bunjee effect in the autocross. I didn't get used to it sufficiently fast on my first orientation lap so I couldn't post the best time of the day on my second one.

The XK-RS was stupid fast of course, with massive wheel spin on this cold day, and given how buttoned down it looks, it became very unsettled at around 100 mph, where the super light steering didn't do it any favors. But huge power and torque of course and again great sound. Oh, and good brakes...

The convertible XK shocked me with the stiffest structure I've experienced in a ragtop. I guess they put all that extra weight to amazingly good use.

I also had the chance to sit in the new F type, which looks absolutely amazing, both inside and out. Incredible choice of materials, superb finishing, a class act.

I came back away impressed with the cars quite honestly, given how low my expectations were, going in. I've been reading recent positive reviews especially from the British press, and wasn't sure if they were looking at the cars with rosy tinted spectacles - they were, IMO. I cannot believe anybody can praise Jaguars steering, I thought it was some of the worst I've experienced. But that aside they aren't bad cars, with good drivetrains and suspensions. I think their closest competition is Mercedes (and not Maserati or Aston as some reviewers have seemed to imply).

Going back to the M3? I was greeted by a superb driving position, well weighted controls, great steering feedback and weight (!) and a more tossable nature. Yes more lean in Comfort, but also more feedback to the drive. No regrets, and a much much better drivers car.
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      03-26-2013, 06:55 PM   #2
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My old man owns a XK-RS and its as fast as a 997 Turbo without PDK. No where near as precise as a M3 or any Porsche, but hat being said I would still take it over any BMW including the new M6. Its much more raw than any other grand tourer in the market.
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      03-26-2013, 09:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrClean335i View Post
My old man owns a XK-RS and its as fast as a 997 Turbo without PDK. No where near as precise as a M3 or any Porsche, but hat being said I would still take it over any BMW including the new M6. Its much more raw than any other grand tourer in the market.
I wouldn't take it over an M3 quite honestly, even if price were no object. Just didnt think it was a better driver's car, and just because it's faster in a straight line doesn't float my boat anymore. At around $140k, I'd get a GT3 in a heartbeat...

But, at least after this test drive I understand where the appeal might lie, even if it's not for me.


I bet your dad is having fun with it...
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      03-27-2013, 12:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
I wouldn't take it over an M3 quite honestly, even if price were no object. Just didnt think it was a better driver's car, and just because it's faster in a straight line doesn't float my boat anymore. At around $140k, I'd get a GT3 in a heartbeat...
Apples to Oranges the XKR-S is a Grand Tourer the GT3 is a all out track car that is street legal.

The XKR-S could be compared to the M6, Maserati GT and to the Vantage V12 or Vanquish. The XKR-S is faster than all of those and feels more driver oriented when compared to them as well.


Maybe the XKR-S GT would be more of your liking

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      03-27-2013, 08:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrClean335i View Post
Apples to Oranges the XKR-S is a Grand Tourer the GT3 is a all out track car that is street legal.

The XKR-S could be compared to the M6, Maserati GT and to the Vantage V12 or Vanquish. The XKR-S is faster than all of those and feels more driver oriented when compared to them as well.


Maybe the XKR-S GT would be more of your liking

No I'm telling you, two things are killing it for me personally: the lack of a manual gearbox, and the incredibly light & numb steering. More power and harder suspension like in the GT above doesn't really fix any of my complaints.

I'd love to drive a Vantage V12, see how it stacks up... Or an M6 GrandCoupe...
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      03-27-2013, 08:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
This Friday I had the opportunity to drive a bunch of Jags at FedEx stadium. Tried the new XJ on the road, the XF-R and XK-R convertible on a slow road course, the XK-R on an autocross course and the XK-RS in a 0-100-0 run.

There were many things I liked about the XJ, but it was such a dissappointment in so many areas for an executive sedan: pitiful trunk space and packaging, amazing leather interior but too hard seats, subpar Meridian audio system for this class, unresponsive touch screen, and crappy buick-y over assisted steering. Basically I liked the design and the suspension which was surprisingly hard and sporty for the target audience, but thought the details hadn't been worked out. And in this class, everybody has the basics covered, and the details are king.

The XK-R had the same numb and over assisted steering, but a great suspension compromise, very little lean and an absolutely stonking engine, with amazing AMG-ish soundtrack. Sounds like the blues, goes like stink. It was nice how well the front and rear roll ratios were coordinated, could do lots of easy to control oversteer in the dry. Would probably skate around like a supermarket cart in the rain though. My biggest niggles were the light steering and a slight delay in throttle response, at least in the Dynamic (aka Sport) mode, which made for an interesting bunjee effect in the autocross. I didn't get used to it sufficiently fast on my first orientation lap so I couldn't post the best time of the day on my second one.

The XK-RS was stupid fast of course, with massive wheel spin on this cold day, and given how buttoned down it looks, it became very unsettled at around 100 mph, where the super light steering didn't do it any favors. But huge power and torque of course and again great sound. Oh, and good brakes...

The convertible XK shocked me with the stiffest structure I've experienced in a ragtop. I guess they put all that extra weight to amazingly good use.

I also had the chance to sit in the new F type, which looks absolutely amazing, both inside and out. Incredible choice of materials, superb finishing, a class act.

I came back away impressed with the cars quite honestly, given how low my expectations were, going in. I've been reading recent positive reviews especially from the British press, and wasn't sure if they were looking at the cars with rosy tinted spectacles - they were, IMO. I cannot believe anybody can praise Jaguars steering, I thought it was some of the worst I've experienced. But that aside they aren't bad cars, with good drivetrains and suspensions. I think their closest competition is Mercedes (and not Maserati or Aston as some reviewers have seemed to imply).

Going back to the M3? I was greeted by a superb driving position, well weighted controls, great steering feedback and weight (!) and a more tossable nature. Yes more lean in Comfort, but also more feedback to the drive. No regrets, and a much much better drivers car.

The F type is gorgeous but they really missed the mark on the pricing on that thing. The V8 versions are what... 100k?

Jag needs to attract customers from BMW, MB, Audi... not send them running for the hills with their pricing with motorsport cars with no motorsports pedigree!
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      03-27-2013, 09:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M3THOD View Post
The F type is gorgeous but they really missed the mark on the pricing on that thing. The V8 versions are what... 100k?

Jag needs to attract customers from BMW, MB, Audi... not send them running for the hills with their pricing with motorsport cars with no motorsports pedigree!
I agree.

I think the F type weighs as much as an M3, but gets a 300 HP engine, and starts at $69k. That's Boxster S territory but without the performance or the pedigree.

I'd still like to drive one though, see what it's like.
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