There’s something to be said about a car that blends the best of class and speed. Perfectly shaped and styled with only the most exquisite British tastes and matched with a 5.0L supercharged V8, the 2014 Jaguar XKR Convertible is a fantastic sports car. Putting out 510 hp, the XKR simply flies through the gears of its six-speed automatic transmission just as quickly as it pushes its occupants right back into the supple leather upholstery. Simultaneously, the powertrain lets out a fierce growl as money is being directly converted to smiles with every kilometre traveled.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, that description matches up to both the base XKR as well as my test vehicle for the week, the 2014 XKR Convertible with the optional Black Pack. I’ve been a huge fan and avid supporter of the XKR since the day Double Clutch started to review modern cars. I have yet to waver from that position, but the XKR does leave you with a bit of a head-scratching scenario. The XKR as-is represents the pinnacle of the automotive tweeners. It’s not exactly a supercar, but it’s just so much more than a regular daily driver.
Priced at a reasonable $5500, the optional Black Pack features a unique front splitter, black gloss accents on the side vents, front grilles, air intakes and boot lid finisher. The 20” Takoba black alloy wheels are sharp and allow the red calipers to really pop. The more aggressive lip spoiler on the trunklid is also a welcome addition that in my eyes finishes off the sexy stance of the car. A black XKR with the Black Pack is by far one of the best-looking two door vehicles on the road today. The chaps over at Jaguar have invested a lot of time into making sure the most meticulous details are there, all of the visual cues are yours to discover and not situated front and centre right in your face.
Jaguar also offers a Speed Package to go with the XKR, which I would find to be more of a worthwhile upgrade as it raises the speed limiter from 250 km/h to 280 km/h. It’s understandable that the only scenario that such speed would be necessary would be on a closed track setting, but I prefer an unlocked car to that of just visual cues. It speaks my mantra as it regards to cars – function over style. Taken to an extreme, the Nissan GT-R would embody such a statement, leaving my position to one of moderation. Society on the other hand, looks at vehicles from a pure aesthetic standpoint and this is what ultimately helps the XKR’s Black Pack stand out.
The performance of the XKR Convertible is absolutely ludicrous. Its supercharged 5.0L V8 puts out a ‘modest’ 510-horsepower, and 461 lb-ft of torque. In a straight line, the car hauls ass. If anything, it’s a bit too powerful, which makes me seriously interested in the horsepower and torque bump of the XKR-S. After we did a cross-country rally with the 2013 XKR Convertible, it confirmed for me that the sound of this car is like no other. The Brits really have done it correctly; the sound of the supercharged V8 thundering up to its redline makes grown men go weak in the knees.
I recommend taking a close look at the photo gallery below and forming your own opinion but there’s no denying that the 2014 Jaguar XKR with the optional Black Pack is truly set apart from the base XKR and moves it closer to the more-limited XKR-S. Personally, I would rather stick with polished silver wheels and regular trim on the regular model, but my voice was vastly positioned in the minority with a simplistic impromptu survey over our test week with the car. With its stunning looks and performance, this XKR simply blew people away.
2014 Jaguar XKR Convertible Gallery