Not long ago a friend of mine stopped over with a surprise for me. He handed me a key fob with a Jaguar insignia.
I expected to exit my home and see a large sleek sedan, an XJ or XF perhaps. But I was mistaken.
What I was greeted with was a French Racing Blue XKR-S. Once I had gained composure, after having given into a bought of childish giddiness and uncontrollable giggling, we set off.
Upon entering the sumptuous leather cabin and adjusting the seats I noticed the entire interior is awash in a cool blue lighting. At night the effect is soothing and gives a thoroughly modern feel.
Push the start/stop button and the engine roars to life. The idle is subdued but cannot hide the engines supercharged 5.0 Litres. It produces 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. It will do 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and it continues to pull relentlessly to a top speed of 300 km/h(186 mph).
Stomp on the accelerator and you will be treated to a wholly titillating if not terrifying sound as you are pressed back into the very comfortable and supportive seats. The braking is equally effective pressing you into the seatbelts.
To say that the ride in car was comfortable would be a stretch. Even with the suspension in its most forgiving setting we were bashed and jostled over the slightest ripples. When we cautiously drove over a raised manhole cover the loud clunk that followed had us convinced we had broken something.
We took this beast down a curvy scenic road near my home, at night to ensure empty roads, in an effort to truly appreciate what this cars stiff suspension is really for.
The steering is eerily psychic, I had only just realized there was a corner ahead and the car was already turning at speed without fuss. Zero roll, and no tire squeal. A normal car would have been sliding towards the ditch with much tire noise telling us, albeit a tad late, that we were going well beyond the suggested cornering speed.
The XKR-S has adaptive headlights, which in a car that covers ground as swiftly as this, should be mandatory. It left us no surprises in the way of unseen potholes or rabbits.
We found ourselves spending most of the time awed by the noise of acceleration and kidney bruising cornering grip.
As for practicality, the Jag has room for two with a brief case or perhaps a soft gym bag. There is a trunk. It will hold enough for a weekend away at a hotel.
We found the back up camera helpful allowing us not to reverse into a sizable pothole in an unlit parking lot, we used to turn around and re-drive a particularly thrilling stretch of smooth asphalt.
This is Jaguars fastest most powerful production car to date. And that’s were my friend and I found ourselves perplexed.
You need this car in your life, if only for the noise it makes and the very appealing silhouette.
But I could not help feeling depressed as we made our way home. Every road on the North American continent has speed limits. Limits so old and low as to be ridiculous. But they are there and they are enforced.
So how could I buy this stunning, exhilarating car only to be forced to bridle its purpose, never legally able to harness the potential?
Honestly if I had this car every drive would be a little sombre, unless I was on my way to a track day.