Car of the Year 2010: No. 7 Jaguar XKR

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Feline Pedigree

Soon after the first E-Type Jaguar was unveiled in 1961, the car with the cat quickly became known as the embodiment of grace and pace, as well as the purveyor of not a little bit of pain. Happily, the oil leaks and electrical mishaps of that era are history, and the legacy of Jaguar’s past is a performance pedigree that continues to make today’s XKR a favorite in the GT category. With four fewer cylinders and a supercharger for added excitement, Jaguar’s most powerful V-8 engine even bests the V-12 Aston Martin DBS in terms of horsepower. Although the backseats are at best gratuitous, two occupants can travel in comfort without compromise. —Robert Ross


Coupe de Grâce

The XKR has rescued Jaguar in the grand touring category, where its previous efforts fell far behind those of Aston Martin, Bentley, and Mercedes-Benz. What is more, it has launched the marque into an era of higher performance. Much of the credit for this transformation goes to the new supercharged 510 hp engine developed for Jaguar and its sibling, Land Rover. Although some may regard the interior as spare in comparison with past models, others might consider that, with the XKR, Jaguar has lessened, rather than lost, the lines and fine materials that have always given its passenger compartments a luxurious, clubby feel. This is a go-fast, feel-good, exciting coupe. —Paul Dean

[ SPECIFICATIONS ] Configuration Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe/GT Engine 5-liter supercharged V-8 Transmission 6-speed automatic Power 510 hp at 6,000 rpm Torque 461 ft lbs at 2,500 rpm Curb Weight 3,865 pounds (European market) Zero to 60 4.6 seconds Top Speed 155 mph (electronically limited) Base Price $96,000 Jaguar, www.jaguarusa.com

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