New York: Jaguar may offer fastest-ever XK to more markets image

Jaguar’s 186mph XKR-S GT, which the company originally planned to make available only to North American customers, could still be offered in other markets.

The initial programme envisaged 25 for the US and another five for Canada, but at the New York show global product marketing director Steven de Ploey said Jaguar would re-assess this based on feedback.

“Based on the launch, we may consider offering it in selected markets, including the UK,” he said. “It was developed with our US colleagues because this is the largest market for performance-oriented and sports cars by far.”

The car is being billed as a track car suitable for road use. It has a 545bhp 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine, track-honed suspension, unique aerodynamics and carbon ceramic brakes. It is expected to cost around $35,000 more than the XKR-S in the US.

The GT appears less than two years after the XKR-S was launched as the ultimate performance XK. Jaguar has sold around 3,000 versions of the XKR-S so far, with a significant proportion in the US and Canada.

De Ploey says Jaguar was “very conscious” of the potential to upset XKR-S owners during by adding a version above and has gone out of its way to make sure the two are completely different in character.

“It is a touchy subject,” he admitted. “We were anxious not to create another high-performance car for the road. This is a track car which is capable of going on to the road.”

The idea for it came from within Jaguar and was later picked up by the North American marketing teams. “We wanted to experiment with new technologies to see what the car is ultimately capable of and how we could carry on developing it,” says de Ploey. “It started out an internal device to unleash the XK’s full capability.”

text: Headline auto