New Jaguar XKR driven

* 500bhp 5.0-litre V8 engine * Blasts from 0-60mph in 4.6sec * On sale now, from £72,400...

New Jaguar XKR driven

Jaguar likes to think of the pulsating starter button and rising rotary gear selector in its new XKR as a 'welcoming handshake'. In reality, they are merely polite precursors to a good old-fashioned kick up the backside.

That's because, along with the other design pleasantries, such as re-profiled bumpers, LED lights and new interior trim, Jaguar has fitted a 500bhp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 under the bonnet of its slinky supermodel.

Numbers are not enough

Although mere figures can't begin to convey the intensity of the forces unleashed when you crush the accelerator to the floor, we can tell you that blasting from 0-60mph in the coupe takes just 4.6 seconds, and its 50-70mph time is only 1.9 seconds. Get the picture?

Thankfully, both the coupe and convertible versions of the XKR are more than capable of handling all this explosive performance.

With a lightweight all-aluminium construction, suspension that automatically adjusts to road conditions, an electronically controlled limited-slip differential and elegant finessing of the steering and braking systems, the XKR delivers the type of composure that will leave most exotic supercars for dead.

Taking it easy

Just as impressively, though, the XKR will also double as a Sunday stroller. Set the suspension and gearbox to comfort mode, stroke the throttle and you'll skim through the air with little more than a murmur, leaving you free to appreciate your sumptuously trimmed surroundings.

Just be careful not to accidentally knock the steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddle, because overly indulgent downshifts elicit a blast from the quad exhaust pipes that's loud enough to knock the froth off a pint from half-a-mile.

See the convertible in action

What's the roof action like? Click below to see for yourself.
See the roof open and shut here

Jaguar XKR
You'll like: Elegant looks and a sublime driving experience
You won't: Prodigious thirst. Choosing between the coupe and the convertible
On sale: Now
Price: From £72,400