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2007 Jaguar XK and XKR

by Martha Hindes

2007 Jaguar XK and XKR
2007 Jaguar XK and XKR Interior

Lean, sultry and breathtakingly hot, how else can one describe Jaguar's XK. Like the tawny jungle cat that lent its name, it moves with nimble, powerful grace. Simply delicious, it wears the naughty abandon of a Paris Hilton or a wicked Rebecca Romijn battling for the substance of an America Ferrara soul.

Not that the XK doesn't have soul. It has plenty. And the combination breeds a tantalizing mix of polished rear-drive, road-owning power with overtones of sultry passion. In a supercharged XKR performance rendition, it masters the need for sensuous luxury in look and feel with outstanding precision capability.

Underscoring the XKR is a 420 bhp-rated, 4.2-liter V8 with six-speed "paddle shift" automatic that pours out the kind of throaty exhaust tone, through quad exhaust "speakers," that can make strong men weak in the knees. Distaff drivers can certainly enjoy the authentication.

Beauty in the eye of the beholder can be a galvanizing thing. Revving from zero to 60 in a scant 4.9 seconds (coupe model) and racing to 155 MPH (on a track, of course) adds the substance (even if it blows away the 18/17 premium fuel-obtained MPG rating).

Sport seats, optional burled walnut trim, Touchscreen, Keyless Entry and Start, heated steering wheel, active front lighting, DVD-based nav system and leather - even in door trim - take pampering amenities to a level approaching decadence. Tripwise, its Grand Touring heart soaks up miles in stride, adding comfort and convenience for four. Heated rear window, powerwash headlamps, automatic rain sensing wipers and reverse park control are safety valves that complement a full range of safety equipment. A drive away lock keeps it from straying at the hands of the smitten.

Expect to pay a minimum of $75,500 for the XK coupe, or $92,500 for the XKR Convertible. And know that a nasty interruption can't spoil a trip thanks to the security of emergency trip interruption/travel expense insurance.

Delicious colors abound in the new XK pair - a magical Ultraviolet, warm Caramel, spicy Salsa among them, and of course that mandatory British Racing Green. Even with over-the-edge intentions, a little tradition can be a very good thing.