Jaguar XK8 Review

Posted on 23. Jun, 2006 by in Auto News

Let's get this out of the way: the Jaguar XK8 is a grill-challenged automobile. It's as if Ford sent all their remaining Taurus grills to the UK and then leaned on Jaguar engineers to find them a home. Or maybe the XK8 the grill was determined to be well-deserved punishment, a punishment of the brand to venture designers, a "new" car that borrows so much its up-market British cousin create two-door. Or perhaps the large mouth bass BBQ is all about brand differentiation, a stylistic flourish designed not to ensure that no potential buyer confused the Jaguar XK8 and the Aston Martin DB9. Now, if someone had grafted the front end of a BMW 650i to the XK, we might have something …

Once you get past the pedestrian (and walkable) snout, the XK8 design is damn nice, in a group consensus manner. Despite the failure of the aluminum XJ, to ignite the sales chart, Jag was right to stick with the basic shape and proportions of their "gorgeous" XK. The front wing "power vents" add a welcome touch of aggression. My only real criticism of the Jag is the small window-tall rear paw. Do people really enjoy driving around in a bathtub? The resulting view of a stage for the sporty coupe genre: limited and sometimes dangerous.

Oddly, Jaguar Coupe $ 75k does not work with a sunroof. The omission reflects either savvy his homeland bad weather or lack of brand marketing. The tailgate is a nice touch, which might deter buyers who find the function either downscale or eccentric (last BMW Z Coupe, the best / worst example of this strange breed). In any event, the vast majority of the American XK buyer go topless. And rightly so, mate. The convertible bond is both sexier and more practical than the coupe. The cloth top is one of those modern, multi-layered canvases, the largest part of the road and wind noise, have vitamin D seekers. The best of both worlds

The XK8 inside also offers a selection. Traditionalists can opt for the demure burnished walnut or poplar wood inserts. Aluminum accents are available for modernists or the masochist? (Did You ever touches of aluminum trim in a bright summer sun on the left?) XK8 has all the must-have luxury car Gizmos-keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, touch screen navigation, satellite radio, MP3, radar-guided cruise control. Tooling up your roadster is not cheap, the options packages are a premium on a high-priced car. At least you get some real gee whizzery: a dual-zone climate control system, which is programmed to send de-humidified air to the windscreen.

The big story about this next generation XK8: aluminum. Jaguar clearly understands that the weight is the enemy of fun, or maybe they just do not have the antigravity technology used by the Germans in their £ 4,455-light-sport cars. Sitting on an aluminum monocoque (unlike Audi aluminum space frame and body parts across the street), the great British two-seater weighs in a relatively sprightly £ 3,671. Fuel consumption is the biggest advantage, rather than outright performance. For six seconds to 60 is much damn fast for Jag core clientele, it is not enough to attract adrenaline-loving Pistonheads. That is, the 27 mpg highway rating (either coupe or convertible) top of the class, and the upcoming XKR version is no doubt ratchet up the performance ante.

The XK8 the all important handling is a particular combination of properties: soft plush and appropriate responses in turn, tilted at an extremely rigid chassis combined. It is very nice at first, especially from the ultimate punishment machine. But after a few hard corners, begin the journey to feel distinctly nautical movements. The initial application of the brakes is too soft, but their skills are above reproach. I have a strong feeling that the car was developed with the old driver in mind, but the engineers wanted to ensure that the power was still there when the codgers wanted to dig for them. The result is neither fish nor foul.

The XK8 is a giant step forward for Jaguar and undoubtedly the best all-around car in the latest Ford family. It has an excellent design count, more-than-just-adequate performance, great comfort, excellent functionality and high gizmo. It handled well, well, stops gorgeous and flounces with ease. So why the XK8 feel like a watered-coddling GT? Because it is a watered-GT effeminacy. For some reason, Jaguar, Lexus decided to become English automobiles. Granted, if you liked your last XK8, you will love this. But if you sit your driving tastes more against Porsche end of the spectrum, or if you think a Jaguar "sports car" was a bit of E-type aggression in its DNA, did not seem to mind.