By Cars.com EditorsAugust 24, 2010
About the video
Cars.com's Mike Hanley takes a look at the 2011 Jaguar XKR Convertible. It competes with the BMW M6 and Mercedes-Benz SL-Class.
(upbeat music) <v Announcer>Cars.com auto review. (upbeat music) Hi, I'm Mike Hanley with cars.com. Now in its fifth model year, the 2011 Jaguar XK has aged remarkably well.
And the XKR model, like this one here, packs a big punch, thanks to a supercharged V8 engine. But with a starting price of more than $100,000, you expect everything to be top-notch in this car. But when you get inside, that's not the case. The XKR received some mild styling tweaks last year that were focused on this new front end. But for 2011, the look is much the same, but that doesn't diminish the presence and grace that this convertible has. It takes around 20 seconds to lower or raise the soft top. And when it's down, it stows under this hard tunnel cover that gives the car a clean, finished appearance. Traveling on the highway with the top down, it's definitely breezy inside, but it's not overly so. And one thing I like about the XK convertible is that it has a stiff body structure. There's none of the shaking or jiggling that you get in some convertibles. The XKR received the big bump in horsepower for the 2010 model year, thanks to a new supercharged V8 engine that's rated at 510 horsepower. And it's strong enough to accelerate this car from zero to 60 in just 4.6 seconds. That's pretty fast for a car this big, but what's equally impressive about the engine is its high speed passing power. Even with part throttle acceleration, this car surges forward at highway speeds. The XKR is fitted with a six speed automatic transmission that includes paddle shifters on the steering wheel for manual control of gear changes. Now, a lot of cars have systems like this, but they aren't always the most engaging to use because they're slow to react when you press one of the paddles. But that's not the case in the XKR. Press one for an up shift or the other one for a down shift and you get an immediate response that's probably gonna make you more likely to use it. The XKR theoretically has room for four people, but if you take a look at the back seat, you can tell most people probably wouldn't be comfortable back there. And the interior does have its nice finishes, like these leather seats, black and chrome buttons, and suede wrapping on the A pillar. But there are also some downmarket elements that aren't appropriate in a car that starts in more than $100,000, like the window switches and mirror controls and also the onboard navigation system, which is woefully slow to react when moving through the various things that it offers. Whether you have the partition in place for the soft top or not, the XKR's trunk is pretty small. So plan on bringing some soft luggage if you're going on a trip. Or I guess you can put those rear seats to some use, and keep your things back there. To fully utilize the XKR's performance potential, you really need a racetrack. So if you don't have one of those at your disposal, I'd recommend going with the less expensive XK, because it has all the style of the XKR and nearly as much of the quickness. (upbeat music) <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com, or our blog kickingtires.net.