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Throughout its model run, the Jaguar XK has maintained the same platform and is therefore a one generation model. However, beginning in 2010 new engines and modest interior changes were made to refresh this model.
The Jaguar XK line is composed of XK and XKR variants, the latter offering more performance and a higher trim level. All models offer standard rear-wheel drive.
The earliest XK models were powered by a supercharged 4.2-liter V8 engine and paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. That engine is rated at 420 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. This model is EPA-rated at 16/25 mpg city/highway.
Beginning in 2010, Jaguar swapped in a larger engine displacing 5 liters. This normally aspirated V8 engine makes 385 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. This model is EPA-rated at 16/24 mpg city/highway.
For shoppers of the XKR, a supercharger is included, which raises the performance numbers remarkably to 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shifting is the lone gearbox choice. This model is EPA-rated at 15/22 mpg city/highway.
Special models have also accompanied the XK series, particularly for the final model year. Jaguar offered both XKR-S and XKR-S GT models rated at 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. Only 25 copies of the XKR-S GT were made available in the United States.
The Jaguar XK has a sleek body marked by an oval grille, a lower air intake, wraparound headlamps and a sloping hood. This model has strong shoulders, an ever so slightly rising beltline, a sloping hood and distinctive side vents.
Pronounced rear haunches, wraparound tail lamps, a rear diffuser and dual exhaust ports are also present. Convertible models offer a power folding roof that slips into the trunk.
Inside, the Jaguar XK has bolstered bucket seats up front and what might be best described as half bucket seats in the rear. That rear seat has virtually no legroom and would be best folded to extend the storage area, itself measuring 11.1 cubic feet. The front seats are covered in thick, plush leather. Leather, wood and chrome trim covers much of the cabin.
Behind the steering wheel is the instrument panel featuring tachometer and speedometer analog displays with a digital driver's information center in the middle. The center stack is composed of switches and knobs that manage the climate and audio systems. Between the seats are the transmission shifter and cup holders.
Standard equipment for the XK includes alloy wheels, automatic power folding side mirrors, keyless entry, push-button start, power-adjustable and heated front seats, a navigation system and Bluetooth.
Upgrades depend on trim level and model year, with common options including larger wheels, 16-way heated and cooled front seats, softer leather upholstery and a Bowers & Wilkins audio system with 14 speakers. Adaptive Xenon headlamps, an electronic limited-slip differential, performance brakes, a rear spoiler and active dampers with adjustable ride height accompany the high performance editions.
Chief competitors to the Jaguar XK are most any sports car on the market. The Nissan GT-R, Aston Martin DBS, Porsche 911, Audi R8, BMW M6 and Chevrolet Corvette are a few of the specific models to compare.