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Top cat gets a makeover. Image by Jaguar.

Top cat gets a makeover
We finally get to see the long-awaited facelift of Jaguar's XK coupé at Detroit.
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Spy shots of the facelifted 2010 model year Jaguar XK have been doing the rounds on the Internet for absolutely ages; so much of what Jag has unveiled at Detroit isn't that surprising. However, some is, so keep reading.

First the stuff we all knew about: it's got a 'sharkfin' aerial at the back now (which we've seen); some subtle front and rear bumper revisions (which we've seen); and the Jaguar DriveControl rotary transmission dial in place of a traditional stick (which... yes, that's right). There are a few new trim combinations too, including new colours and altogether more leather.

More specifically, 20-inch rims are now standard across the range, there are smatterings of new chrome at the front and back and some chunky tailpipes outside. Inside, the dials are now white, heated/cooled seats are standard and you can get black suede headlining. Nice.

However, and here's the good bit, the new XK gets the all-new aluminium 5.0-litre V8 just unveiled in the XF-R. That's the kind of beyond-skin-deep facelift we're all in favour of here at Car Enthusiast, because the new engine is a step in the right direction in every which way. The 5.0-litre block is, in supercharged form, capable of propelling the XKR to 60mph in 4.6 seconds (0.1 faster than the XF-R) and from 50-70mph in a mere 1.9 seconds. Yikes.

Fuel economy is better too at 23mpg (although very fractionally), and CO2 emissions take a small drop too, at 292g/km. And like the XF-R, the majority of Jaguar's work has gone into making sure low down energy is the priority; like throttle response and torque delivery between 1,500rpm and 3,000rpm - there's 461lb.ft of the stuff, all of it available from 2,500-6,000rpm.

Fans of supercharger whine will be disappointed, however, because it has been engineered out almost completely (we know - Jaguar showed us a graph and everything), because the top engineering brass felt it sounded unpleasant.

It follows that the standard XK would get the non-supercharged version of the same engine, for which all the same characteristics apply (the low down response stuff, that is). It generates 380bhp and 380lb.ft of twist, and is capable of sending the coupé to 60mph in a fairly quick 5.2 seconds. Sadly some might say, the barmy 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel Jaguar has just unveiled will not appear in the XK, as was speculated. For the time being, anyway.

Prices should rise incrementally for both the XK and XKR, meaning you'll pay around £60k or £70k depending on how much poke you want.

Mark Nichol - 12 Jan 2009

2009 Jaguar XKR. Image by Jaguar.2009 Jaguar XKR. Image by Jaguar.2009 Jaguar XKR. Image by Jaguar.2009 Jaguar XKR. Image by Jaguar.2009 Jaguar XKR. Image by Jaguar.

2009 Jaguar XKR. Image by Jaguar.2009 Jaguar XKR. Image by Jaguar.2009 Jaguar XKR. Image by Jaguar.2009 Jaguar XKR. Image by Jaguar.2009 Jaguar XKR. Image by Jaguar.    - Jaguar road tests
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