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Worth the Hype? The New Jaguar XK: An insider’s look at the new Jaguar XK

Worth the Hype? The New Jaguar XK: An insider’s look at the new Jaguar XK

When I was invited with other car journalists for a Jaguar XK Trip Around Cabo , I realized then I couldn’t get enough of this super luxury sports car.

I mean, how can a car enthusiast not love the rounded haunches enveloping the back wheels, the vintage-looking grille and the optical illusion of the coupe’s back window? Yes, the Jaguar XK all fits together into one of the best-designed sports cars ever.

Driving the Jaguar XK around Mexico at speeds of more than 100mph was a thrill, but how did the Jag stack up for everyday street and freeway driving? Well, in our neighborhood just north of glitzy Newport Beach, the XK definitely made heads turn.

But feeling like a fat cat was nothing compared to driving this nimble beast. When I had a chat right on the beach a few months before with Jaguar’s head designer Ian Callum, he said the Jag’s engine noise was specifically engineered to make a signature deep-throated growl. And this pussy doesn’t disappoint. The Jaguar XK’s engine roars to attention when pushing the red keyless start button.

And it’s no wonder the 300 hp, 4.2-liter DOHC, 32-valve, V8, six-speed automatic engine has excellent acceleration, superior suspension and tight handling. Jaguar engineers worked for years to get this newfangled model’s all-aluminum body, super charged engine and aerodynamic exterior to work perfectly together. And it shows.

And at a price tag starting at almost $75,000, here’s hoping buyers of the all-new model are purchasing a future collector’s item. The model we tested, a liquid silver beauty with an ivory and slate interior, rounded out at $86,125 with the advanced technology package and “coupe lux aluminum pak,” which includes aluminum veneer trim, 20-inch wheels, soft-grain leather interior, leather instrument panel and 15-way adjustable seats.

But the most pressing reason for trying the Jaguar out for a week was to try out the way cool multi-function computer system. The Jag XK’s in-dash computer screen is actually the most pleasing we have ever seen. The soft color palette for the touch-screen navigation, audio, climate, Bluetooth and overall system is thoroughly modern, yet classic at the same time.

In fact, this is what the new Jaguar XK has brought to the table in both the car itself and the new brand marketing campaign: timeless beauty, classic style and modern luxury appeal.

Here’s some notes from the male and senior perspectives:

“Is this the new Jag, man?”

Never before has my attention seeking-always-needing-to-be-stroked alter ego been fed so abundantly, as when I roared the 4.2-liter DOHC, 32-valve, V8 engine of the new Jaguar XK Coupe. The opening question startled me a bit as I sat in the newly designed, sleek liquid silver Jag with an ivory/slate interior. This was one of my favorite occasions. I had driven the James Bond-looking Jag, with it’s tailored aero-dynamic front end that tapers around the vehicle to the end where it raises slightly over the tires, from my home in Orange County to the heavenly gates of Universal Studios.

However, I was not there to see the theme park. I was on the lot in my capacity as a working actor. My traditional 55-mile drive through Southern California’s maze of freeways had taken on special meaning because I had earned a role in the new film “Evan Almighty” (and a 7 a.m. call time to go with it.). The only good thing about the early call time was that there was no traffic to contend with on the morning commute. I really opened up the acceleration on the wide-open freeways. So when I say the engine roared, I mean it! I nicknamed the thing “Mufasa,” because I was reminded of the king of the jungle from the Lion King movie every time I floored the beast! I pumped the gas a little while waiting to gain entry to the Universal Studios lot. (I couldn’t help it.). That prompted the guard to come over and stick his head in. “Is that the new Jag man?” “Yes, sir, it is,” was all I replied. The guard oohed and awed for a while before finishing with a response appropriate for the guy code. “Go head on, brother,” he said. There was no hating here. The man was just paying respect to the Jag, and its driver. Enough said. – Derick Alexander

Most people don’t expect a minister to drive up to church in a Jag, much less the 2007 Jaguar XK Coupe, the most luxurious top-of-the-line Jaguar with a price tag of more than $75,000. I heard a senior male parishioner calling to me, “Hey, Rev. What’s that you’re driving?” Envy dripped off his tongue. “It’s the new Jaguar. Want to see it?” After showing him all the accoutrements, he was thoroughly impressed, and even more so when I grabbed the beautiful silver shift knob, dropped it into drive and let him feel the 32-valve, V-8 engine open up on the freeway. It was a trip he (and I) will never forget!

If you’re a senior who loves “living the high life,” the Jaguar XK is a vehicle made for the demanding luxury aficionado. From the side window screens to halt those nasty cancer-ridden rays to the heated wood steering wheel that keeps your fingers warm and toasty, to the feel of lamb wool rugs under your feet, the Jaguar XK is like a visit to a spa in Fiji — it pampers every inch of your body and soul.

And like the failry tale “Cinderella”, the sleek silver Jag with its push ivory interior was transformed back into my little red 1999 Honda. But I’m still waiting for my senior prince to ride up in his Jaguar XK Coupe and whisk me off to his castle in Newport Beach because one ride in this car and you’ll never want to return to your Honda hovel with cheap vinyl seats and four little overworked horses instead of twelve high-powered stags. – Rev. Joanne Tucker

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