Jan 19 2009 Peter Hayward
XK8 the most marvellous Jag
WHEN it comes to big sporting grand tourers, few cars better the wonderful Jaguar XK8 and XKR.
From the svelte, seductive and truly stunning shape that no recent German model can match, to the bespoke, beautiful and very British leather and wood interior, this is the car that says you have arrived.
The Mercedes SL and the BMW 6 Series don't even get close to those looks and as for Porsche and the Italians, sorry, I'd rather have a Jag.
The XK comes with a 290 or 300bhp V8 engine in standard form, or 370 and 400bhp in the barnstorming supercharged XKR and all have a five or six speed automatic gearbox with a rather poor manual function that most owners rarely use.
The wonderful V8 engines sound marvellous when pressed and are muted and almost silent lower down the rev range.
Performance is marvellous from any speed in all of them but everything happens that much quicker in the XKR.
Bear in mind that economy is not up to much and full service history is a must. You will then have the most marvellous car in which to enjoy many delightful miles.
Inside, the leather and wood shouts top quality and every extra comes as standard in most of them.
Price : Pay about £9,400 for an '01 Y-reg, £15,800 for an '03 03-reg, or £22,500 for an '05 05-reg, convertibles are about £3,000 more.
Mechanical : 290bhp, 3,996cc, 8cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 6spd automatic gearbox
Max speed : 155mph
0-62mph : 6.4 secs
Combined mpg : 22
Insurance group : 18
Marks : 10/10
Main rival : Mercedes SL