Jaguar unleashes its fastest drop top ever, the XKR-S Convertible

Chopping the roof off the XKR-S has given Jaguar another milestone: the new XKR-S Convertible is the quickest, most powerful open topped car the company has ever made. Isn't she lovely.

The car is making its Los Angeles Auto Show debut this very day, smack bang in the middle of a city that will lap up the ultimate drop top "Jagwuarrr" like a tramp on chips. (Phrase © Nick Hewer.)
Naturally it has the same engine as the XKR-S coupé, meaning a 5.0-litre supercharged one with 542bhp.

The Convertible is a little heavier than the coupé on account of its additional chassis strengthening (by 47kg, if kilograms make any sense to you), but that has no bearing on the performance: 0-62mph happens in 4.4 seconds.

Top speed is 186mph, though Jaguar reckons it could comfortably top 200mph with the speed restrictor removed.

It has a Performance Active Exhaust, which is partly what makes it more powerful than the standard XKR (remapped fuel timing is the other thing), but also what gives it a sensational, throaty roar. Of course, this can be enjoyed to the full in the open roofed Convertible.

Styling changes over the regular XKR include a big rear wing, made mostly of carbon fibre, and a passive-aggressive body kit. Inside is a pair of extra deep racing seats, piped in white like an '80s sofa, and a steering wheel rim swathed in suede, like a pair of Elvis's shoes.

The kit's not just for show. The rear wing, for example, gives the XKR-S 26 percent more downforce than the XKR, while the lowered ride height (by 10mm) contributes to stability, and carbon fibre is used extensively to keep weight down; the XKR-S Convertible is lighter than a Maserati GranCabrio.

It gets 20-inch alloys as standard, and the suspension is redesigned using aluminium parts, for lightness and improved handling.

Jaguar says that the roof opens and stows in just 18 seconds, which in the gamut of roof opening and stowing times is...we neither know nor care, to be honest.

The XKR-S Convertible hits the shops early next year in the UK, with Jaguar 'estimating' the price at £103,000.
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