It's been suggested that Jaguar's top-performing R models are just a smidge too tame-looking; that they're wolves in sheep's Wilton woolens. Design director Ian Callum has fixed that but good with the 2012 XKR-S, an JAGUAR XKR
with the volume cranked to about 18, both figuratively and literally.
Subtlety is out, starting with a jutting prow that incorporates a black mesh upper grille, a gigantic bottom-breather air inlet, a carbon-fiber splitter, two ram-air vents, and a pair of side-mounted vanes that allegedly help keep air attached to the nose for a smoother flow past the front wheels. Proceeding around the side, the fenders get a lovely horizontal air extractor topped with a black chrome flourish, and the door sills flare out.
The calipers are red, too, though Callum wishes management would okay the kelly green used in the R JAGUAR S
badges that adorn the grille and tail. The going-away view is dominated by a wing and rear diffuser (both rendered in carbon fiber) and four big chrome tailpipes. The word Jaguar
is replaced by a leaping cat emblem centered on the hatch. The front splitter and rear wing reduce lift by 32 and 14 percent respectively, balancing total lift reduction at 26 percent.
Not overt enough? Paint the whole thing in electric French Racing blue. Callum fumes that the U.S. dealer body is balking at this hue, claiming its customers won't go for it. "Well, of course they won't!" he huffs, "This car is about attracting NEW customers!" Inside there's textured metal on the dash and woven soft carbon-fiber-look trim on the door panels and the heavily bolstered seats. Silver switchgear gives way to soft-touch black with easier-to-read white markings. An optional leather headliner is offered.