Jag with the split personality
The Jaguar XK is a large British sports car with styling unashamedly based on the legendary Jaguar E-Type.
From the nose’s big oval opening to the rounded tail, the XK’s design works exceptionally well.
In this review, we will look at the all-new Jaguar XK launched here in July 2006, partly because those before it are getting on in years and as it’s made entirely from aluminium, with panels riveted and bonded using aircraft-style technology, the Jag’s mono construction body/chassis unit.
Not only is it lighter than its forebears, it is considerably stiffer, facilitating better handling.
Owners say their XKs have a split personality. On the one hand, it is a comfortable grand touring car that lopes along with ease. But push it harder on a tight and twisting road and it becomes a surprisingly agile, fun to drive sports car.
It has a superb combination of handling and ride provided by its reduced weight and the cheekily named Computer Active Technology Suspension, with the acronym of CATS.
Power comes from a V8 engine, interestingly, the first engine of this
configuration ever used in a Jaguar as the company had made its name building beautiful-looking straight sixes. Initially, the V8 had a 4.0-litre capacity. That was raised to 4.2 litres when the engine was heavily revised in 2002. Further changes with the new model of 2007 improved it again. Even better is the 5.0-litre V8 imported to Australia from January 2010. It is offered in natural or supercharged aspiration.
At the top of the performance tree sits the Jaguar XKR with R features. With semi-race suspension, Brembo brakes and an emphasis on serious motoring, it’s a car to dream about from a Jaguar enthusiast’s point of view.
Jaguar’s dealer network in Australia is long established and operates efficiently. Spare parts aren’t cheap, but we’ve seen worse.
Better built and more reliable than older Jaguars, the latest Jaguar XK models are complex cars and servicing and repairs should be left to the professionals.
Insurance isn’t overly expensive, provided you have a good driving record and live in an area where theft is seldom a problem. There may be higher charges for the supercharged engines.
A professional inspection should be regarded as essential once you have eliminated the duds.
Jaguar XK was discontinued in 2015, with the last imports landing here in March.
A 2006 Jaguar XK.