appeal hath no more explicit form than the cars from Coventry, among the most
beautiful of which is the Jaguar XK8. Since its introduction back in 1997, the
sexy kitty has beguiled us with its voluptuous contours, its smart, sassy gaze
and its prodigious power. And no more alluring has it ever been than it is today.
Now, most movie
stars get facelifts more often than do Jaguars, but six years is nonetheless a
long time to duke it out in the none-too-fickle premium sports car market. Fittingly,
the XK8 has been touched up a little for 2003 with new headlight surrounds, new
wheels and various minor trim changes. But those are only minor enhancements,
testimony that the design needs no real improvement in spite of its age.
interior of the XK8 is coddling and snug. Its 320-watt sound system is as delightful
to the ears as its Connolly leather seats are to the bum. The wood is, in a word,
spectacular. Both the curvalicious coupe and the racy ragtop have a silly littls
back seat that, honestly, makes a much better auxiliary storage space for your
purse or a few shopping bags than anything else. And anything you can't fit back
there, however, you can probably fit in the trunk, which measures a generous 11.5
cubic feet in coupe models and a nearly-as-generous 10.8 in the convertibles.
The long, notched key stirs the XK8's 294-hp engine to life, a power
plant now mated to an automatic transmission with no fewer than six forward gears.
A 390-hp, supercharged version of the engine is available, too, but it helps launch
the car to way over our $80K threshold, so we won't dwell on it (it sure is fun,
though). Just know that an XK8 in any form is an extraordinarily beautiful, loin-stirring,
capable, prestigious and sexy automobile that drives as wonderfully as it looks.