Zao should have won that battle on the ice. Forget the fact that homeboy was a badass albino Asian rocking diamonds under his skin. The Die Another Day henchman whipped a Jaguar XKR that nearly murked James Bond’s Aston Martin V12 Vanquish in one of the wildest car chases of the 007 franchise. A decade later, Jag’s battle cat coupe has been refreshed and tweaked. The Carbon-clad XKR-S is more sculpted for the best aerodynamics ever, setting it apart from Aston Martin, and giving its British counterpart a real run for the money.
Mass Appeal rolled out to Picture Cars East where we filmed legendary graffiti artist Mr. Kaves detailing the Jaguar XKR. Watch Kaves treat this Jaguar model like a subway car in the video below. Continue reading for the review of the XKR-S. Two for the money!
Video by Ryosuke Tanzawa
ON THE DRIVER’S SIDE
So how does one prepare for seat time in a $132,000 neck breaker? If you’re like me, you naturally pop in the most obnoxiously large set of zirconias in your collection (don’t play like all that ice is real, homie!) and hit the boulevard, traction control off, E-40 on blast. Before I even got that far, the Jaguar and I had a bit of a bonding session—no beastie. As I instinctively moved my hand towards the console-mounted ignition, something grabbed my attention. The backlit push-button start wasn’t just illuminated, it was pulsating—like a heartbeat. Lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub. Bond would
have something corny to say here. Me, I just smirked while picturing some Matrix-like biomechanical mating with the car the second we made contact.
ON THE TRANSMISSION
Firing up the Jag’s 550-hp supercharged V8 is a THX experience that could shatter the asphalt. For the split second it takes to settle into idle, its throaty, ominous roar is borderline violent. Already in aural lust, I powered down the windows and vowed to keep them lowered, even if it meant I’d have to talk to people. I also quickly learned, the XKR-S throttle ain’t exactly mashable. This ride’s power commands respect and restraint. Stomp too hard, and you’re either going nowhere, or sideways, off the road’s shoulder. Keep your bubbling testosterone in check, and the power greets you in a smooth and linear manner, still with enough force to send your stomach coddling and spooning with the lumbar support. This car was cuffing me, and I couldn’t have been a more willing prisoner.
ON THE HANDLING
Now here’s the part of the drive where I wish I could tell you my superior drifting skills had this rear-wheel-drive beast careening through the curves in a striking display of tire-smoking, controlled madness. But I’m no longer the rogue agent (known to crash into mountains) I once was. Even with some professional training now notched in my belt, the Jaguar kept me humbled beyond belief. Of course it didn’t stop every Long Island guido douchelord in a G37 from trying to race me, but that’s life out here in the thuggish 631. For every hardcore hater, there were heaping handfuls of compliments and head-nods; not to mention a Boss Mustang and Benz C63 that wanted absolutely zero beef.
ON INTERIOR SPACE
You want to talk practicality? C’mon, son. Cargo space is decent for what the car is, but its back seats are a joke—unless the posse you roll with is comprised of Far-East contortionists and professional horse jockeys. The XKR-S is a +1 only whip, and she better be bad. She better have patience too, as the mere thought of replacing the composite front lip will have you creeping over speed bumps like they’re Afghan IEDs.
Much to my apprehension, the time for me to hand back the keys to this pretty kitty came all too quick. But if your racks are stacked better than your boy’s, solicit your local Jaguar dealer and you’ll find the decision making process for your own super-coupe is relatively simple. A drop-top version is available, but for the battering ram, missiles, or Gatling-gun, you’ll have to make a call to your mans and ‘em. Other than a small run of relatively standard check boxes, the biggest decision you’ll face is what hue best suits your ego. ‘North Korean Operative Green’ didn’t make the color swatch, but Jag’s no-flake finish of ‘French Racing Blue’ is about as suitable as substitutes come. Zao—or whatever his post DNA-reassignment moniker might have been–would be up for a rematch.