Billed by Jaguar as the most powerful and fastest open-top GT model in the brand's history, the new XKR-S Convertible will make its world premiere today at the 2011 LA Auto Show.
Packing 550HP and 680Nm (501 lb-ft) of torque from its supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that was borrowed from XKR-S coupe, the convertible model accelerates from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.2 seconds and can reach an electronically limited top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).
"There is nothing as liberating as life behind the wheel of an open-topped Jaguar and the new XKR-S Convertible takes the Jaguar GT experience to new heights”, says Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar Global Brand Director.
Predictably enough, the hot convertible adopts all the styling cues from the coupe model including a redesigned nose and front bumper with twin side inlets, a vented hood, new sills and a rear wing with a carbon insert on the outside, as well as the carbon fiber trim on the inside.
Despite losing its top, Jaguar claims that the XKR-S Convertible's aluminum chassis has an extremely high torsional rigidity, which makes it the stiffest car in its class thanks in part to the reinforced rear suspension damper mounts that make up for the reduced rigidity any convertible has compared to its fixed-roof version.
Chief engineer Mike Cross explains: "Because the XK was designed as a convertible it has great structural integrity. This allowed us to apply the XKR-S coupe's sporting suspension settings to create a convertible with no compromises. Its blend of great speed, precision and dynamism is given an extra dimension with the roof down and that thrilling exhaust soundtrack."
The front suspension features a new aluminum steering knuckle that increases camber stiffness by 23%, providing greater levels of steering accuracy and feedback, while the Active Differential has been uprated to reduce steering sensitivity at very high speeds.
The High Performance Braking System, which comprises of 380 mm front and 376 mm rear discs, is fitted as standard and provides ample stopping power. Moreover, Jaguar has tweaked the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system to reduce intervention when the driver selects the Trac mode.