Only 30 examples of Jaguar's road-legal XKR-S GT track car -- unveiled at the New York Auto Show -- are to be built.
There's no questioning its speed, handling or performance but to the untrained eye, the Jaguar XKR-S GT looks less like a serious track car at the cutting edge of racing technology and more like an unused prop from "The Fast and the Furious," thanks to its huge carbon fibre chin spoiler and air splitter and equally large rear tail. And while all of these exterior fittings are necessities for real racing, their presence detracts somewhat from the lines of the otherwise graceful, subtle and stylish coupe. The standard XKR on which this snarling, vicious race car is based is neither the fastest nor most technologically advanced car in the premium sports coupe segment, but it is certainly one of the most attractive.
However, it's clear why Jaguar made such modificiations in its redevelopment of the car for the track. Jaguar has one of the greatest racing heritages of all carmakers, new and old, and over recent years has been taking bigger and bigger steps to reassert its reputation and to re-engage with existing and potential customers who value performance as highly as comfort and cruising.
The XKR-S GT is a showcase of the company's ETO division and its capabilities in terms of suspension, engine tuning, aerodynamics and chassis technology. The car is capable of going from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds and on to an electronically-limited top speed of 300 km/h. Keeping that performance under control are huge carbon ceramic brakes and Pirelli Corsa tires.
The company now has a dedicated test facility at the infamous Nürburgring so there's no doubting the car's on-track abilities and there is clearly a market for track cars that are sufficiently road legal so that their owners can drive them from their homes to the track and back rather than having to invest in a trailer and an SUV to tow it.
Although Jaguar officially launched the car Wednesday at the New York Auto Show (open to the public March 29-April 7), it is not scheduled to go on sale until the summer, when it is expected to cost $174,895.