The fastest ever Jaguar production car around the legendary Nurburgring – 7 minutes 40 seconds – is now destined for the UK streets with news that 10 of these very big cats will be offered to buyers here. At £135,000, this track-focused, street legal XKR-S GT is at the top end of GT car pricing, but its face-warping technical specification certainly backs up its eye-watering sticker price.
Under that long, vented bonnet is Jaguar’s now tried and tested – and distinctly hearty – 550bhp and 680Nm, supercharged 5-litre V8 engine petrol motor. The all-aluminium, 32-valve thumper powers the (very fat) rear wheels via a 6-speed sequential transmission and an active electronic rear differential. Acceleration is as epic as the top speed, with 3.9 seconds to 60mph and an electronically limited top whack of 186mph. And having driven the similarly-powerful XKR-S, I can confirm this hot Jag GT will sound like a Spitfire on the hunt as it cracks these big speeds.
Whilst the XKR-S and XKR-S GT share the same powerplant and horsepower output, the GT variant has been highly equipped to attack the track, and looks even meaner still than the distinctly snarling XKR-S that I drove. The XKR-S was phenomenally fast with a chassis that reacted well for such a big car – aluminium construction helps here for sure – but with the extra track-focused beef to be found on the new XKR-S GT, I’d expect the GT car to be as sharp, pointy and poised as a big GT car could ever get.
The pulsating XKR-S GT enjoys bespoke aerodynamic components and suspension parts to increase downforce and optimise high-speed cornering, with the aero reading like a weekend at Le Mans. We’ve got a carbon-fibre front splitter, dive planes, extended wheelarch spats, high-level rear wing, rear diffuser and an aluminium rear valance. All of this adds up to 145kg of maximum downforce. Enforcing the undercarriage are more race-ready goodies, including height-adjustable, bespoke adaptive dampers with increased spring rates of 68% at the front and 25% at the rear.
The XKR-S GT is also wider across the frontal track than the already so-fat XKR-S, and also gets so-racy-feeling increased camber, revised bushings, and a new steering system with a faster steering ratio. The GT will be as firm as a drill sergeant for the track, but with those adaptive dampers it can also be set softer for the road. Now you can have your racecar, and drive it.
Fashionable and highly effective carbon ceramic brakes come to a production Jaguar for the first time, and at 398mm front and 380mm rear, the discs are distinctly dustbin lid-like and should haul the GT like monster reverse thrusters thanks to 6- and 4-piston monoblock brake calipers.
Priced at £135,000 on-the-road – or indeed, on-the-track, the most fast ‘n’ focused production Jaguar GT car ever will make its way to UK owners from October.
By Dan Anslow