The key to a great GT car is that it should be able to eat up the miles at blistering pace, but also leave the driver feeling fresh as a daisy once they’ve arrived at their second home in the South of France. There’s no doubt that the XKR fulfils that brief, and you’d be hard pushed to find a car that could do it better.
Comfortable seats are an important factor, and Jaguar has done a great job here. Instead of using the kind of bucket seats that you’d find in a sports car, the XKR comes with more traditional looking leather wrapped chairs. However, these are what’s known as adaptive seats, since when the time comes for some fun, you can literally pump up the side bolsters to give you a bit more support through the bends.
There’s a dizzying array of controls mounted in the door that can adjust the seats in almost every possible way – forwards, backwards, up, down, recline angle, lumbar support and of course, those inflatable bolsters. The driver’s seat has three memory settings too, in case you’re not the only regular driver.
Not so impressive are the rear seats, which, in reality, aren’t seats at all. Even if you were planning on using them solely for children, they wouldn’t be particularly comfortable, unless you’ve got kids who like sitting in buckets. By comparison, the rear seats in my 911 are infinitely more comfortable, but then the Porsche doesn’t have a boot in the usual sense of the word. The XKR on the other hand has a very large boot, which will no doubt find itself filled with golf clubs most weekends, highlighting again, just how versatile the XKR is.
The XKR will be ideal for these cold winter mornings too, with both the front seats offering degrees of heating – if you’ve never had heated seats in a car, believe me it’s far nicer than having the fan blowing hot air at you. As if that wasn’t enough, the steering wheel is heated too, after all, you don’t want your delicate little fingers getting cold while you’re driving.
You’ll be well looked after in the summer too, with dual zone climate control ensuring that you and your front passenger are kept at optimal temperature, even if your opinions differ on such matters.
The XKR comes with automatic lights and wipers, along with auto-dimming mirrors too, so you won’t get dazzled by someone coming up behind you with their high beam on. The wing mirrors also fold in automatically when the car is locked, reducing the chance of them being knocked off when you’re parked at the side of the road.
The aluminium gear selector dial is no less of a novelty on the XKR than it was on the XF, and it looks beautiful. Of course if you want to take more control yourself, you can use the paddles to shift gears manually, while switching the chassis into Dynamic Mode will sharpen everything up a little. And if you just want to take things easy, you can flip the cruise control on and ensure that you’ll get to the end of the motorway without drifting over the speed limit.