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Review: Jaguar XK

Review: Jaguar XK

Nick Cooper gets up close and personal with Jaguar’s latest XK.

While comparatively little has altered cosmetically in the 15 years since it first launched, the Jaguar XK still looks fresh. And more importantly, relevant.

Maintaining its curves, it has had some minor nips and tucks here and there over the years. And is all the sleeker for it. It was never intended to be dramatic, say, in the way that Lamborghini’s Countach was, and as it’s aimed at an altogether different customer base, that is hardly surprising. The XK offers an elegant heritage bridge back to Jaguar’s roadsters of old, like the D and E types of the 1950s and 60s.

The XK will likely be driven by the more mature consumer, which is no bad thing. Younger, brasher types with egos bigger than their wallets often seek out the drama of Italian marques, and as a consequence are more likely to gloss over any finesse or finishing shortfalls. The beauty of the XK is that it’s intended for someone who appreciates the craftsmanship, thought and introspection that obviously went into designing and making it.

The leather is exquisite, the piano black veneers an exciting 21st-century upgrade on the perennial Jaguar hardwoods of old. The satnav/entertainment/comms portal is top- drawer, being very intuitive and a breeze for a first-time user to suss out and master. The whole space is very considered. Almost lean, without venturing into sparseness, as if any extraneous distractions were excised on the drawing board.

If I had to find one tiny fault, it would be that, at times, I wish the power could be more feral, than refined feline. This is nitpicking, mind you. When you’re exploring the upper rev ranges, it shifts like billy-o. And sounds magnificent. It’s just that having driven its supercharged sister, the XF-R saloon, the difference is noticeable. The XF-R appears to be like any other luxury four-door saloon, until you plant your foot to the deck. Then it’s billy-OMG all the way. There is a supercharged model available, but it wasn’t available for press testing. I bet it is near perfect. Don’t misunderstand, it’s a teensy little flaw and was the only thing I could think of to provide some objective balance.

And, true to form. No sooner had I got comfy with the XK, it is time to say farewell. All time is relative, said einstein. So true, Albert, so true.

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