Jaguar XKR-S Convertible review

Jaguar has produced a soft-top version of the mighty XKR-S - but is it as good as the XKR-S coupe? evo's Henry Catchpole decides

Evo rating
Price
from £103,000
  • Serious performance, NASCAR soundtrack
  • Light steering, lacks traction

What is it? 

The Jaguar XKR-S Convertible, the entirely predictable drop top version of the most powerful XK coupe.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Technical highlights?

The R-S gets tweaks to the suspension (focussing on camber and castor stiffness) as well as a reprogrammed Active Differential to increase stability at high speed. 

What’s it like to drive?

The XKR-S is truly monstrously fast, and being open to the elements only adds to this sensation. The ride is very good, as you’d expect from a Jag, but those lured in by the R-S badge might find the experience a little less hardcore than they were expecting. The six-speed ZF gearbox is still very good for an auto and the paddles attached to the back of the steering wheel respond well, but it now lacks a little edge and alacrity compared with the best double clutch ‘boxes.

If you like having more power than grip, then this could be just the car for you. It will spin up its tyres with incredibly little provocation, especially on the wet Irish roads where we conducted most of our first drive (a habit made life extremely interesting!). In the wet the steering is a little too light and lacking in feedback to give you all the information and confidence you want in order to place the front wheels in a turn. In the dry with more resistance from the tarmac, however, this would improve.

How does it compare?

For a little less money (or about the same with a few options), you can buy an Audi R8 Spyder, which is still our pick of all the convertibles. We would be inclined to say that you consider the £20k cheaper standard XKR Convertible as well, unless you really want the extra wings and the (admittedly lovely) Recaro seats of the R-S.

Anything else I need to know?

Being a convertible obviously means that you hear the Performance Active Exhaust all the better, and in this case you’re treated to a deep, rough-edged snarl, with just the occasional hint of high-pitched supercharger whine too. 

Specifications

Engine5000cc, V8, petrol, supercharged
Max power542bhp @ 6500rpm
Max torque502lb ft @ 2500rpm
0-604.4 secs (claimed 0-62mph)
Top speed186mph (limited)
On salenow

Most Popular

Visit/mclaren/203132/mclaren-765lt-2020-review-latest-long-tail-returns-to-reset-the-status-quo
McLaren

McLaren 765LT 2020 review – latest Long Tail returns to reset the status quo

McLaren’s latest Long Tail fulfills its brief in once again pushing the supercar to the next level, the 765LT just has to prove its magic on the road …
29 Sep 2020
Visit/porsche/panamera/203126/porsche-panamera-turbo-s-2020-review
Porsche Panamera

Porsche Panamera Turbo S 2020 review 

Monster straight-line pace and impressive handling, but the Panamera sweet spot is found elsewhere
26 Sep 2020
Visit/ford/mustang/201971/ford-mustang-mach-e-gt-turns-up-electric-suv-to-459bhp
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT turns up electric SUV to 459bhp

The all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV has gained a hot GT variant, rivalling Tesla’s Model Y Performance
28 Sep 2020
Visit/lexus/203133/lexus-lc500-cabriolet-2020-review-eccentric-convertible-is-as-glamorous-as-it-looks
Lexus LC

Lexus LC500 Convertible 2020 review – eccentric cabriolet is as glamorous as it looks

The eccentric LC500 cabriolet is better than a boulevard cruiser and feels every inch the halo product Lexus intended
29 Sep 2020