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2007 Jaguar XK Convertible

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 2007Jaguar XKR Convertible Vehicle Review A 10-year duration might be a good thing for the effects of a redwood deck-sealing product, but it’s a rather distressingly long time for a luxury car to be in production awaiting a full redesign. And indeed, the Jaguar XK8, sold from 1997-2006, was increasingly outclassed in its later years. Change is afoot for the 2007 model year, though, with the introduction of the new, second-generation XK. The 2007 Jaguar XK (the ‘8’ has been dropped from its name) is still a two-door luxury car sold as either a coupe or a convertible. It’s also still V8-powered, rear-drive and, in standard form, priced well under the $100,000 barrier. The high-performance XKR is reborn as well, and as before, has a potent supercharged V8. The most important changes on the redesigned XK relate to its new aluminum body structure, larger interior and more luxurious features. Like the XJ sedan, the Jaguar XK features all-aluminum construction for its body structure and body panels. In the XK’s case, the main advantages to aluminum construction are weight reduction and body stiffness. The 2007 Jaguar XK is a bit lighter than the previous-generation XK8 and noticeably lighter than its main competitors. Jaguar also claims that the extra body stiffness has improved handling, ride quality and crashworthiness. Bigger brakes and a more sophisticated Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) are also part of the upgrade, and a lengthened wheelbase has freed up considerably more room for front occupants. These changes, along with a more comprehensive features list, have dramatically changed the fortunes of Jaguar’s coupe. Previously, this luxury coupe and convertible had eye-catching styling and not much else to recommend them. Now, the XK is more luxurious and entertaining to drive. (In an odd twist, though, Jaguar’s attempt to make the new XK more aggressive-looking has made it less attractive to some eyes.) Certainly, there’s a wide range of coupes and convertibles available for those buyers with about $90,000 to spend. For the power-hungry, though, the standard XK’s carryover 300-horsepower V8 and lack of a manual transmission will probably be off-putting alongside cars like the BMW 6 Series, Maserati Coupe and GranSport, and Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class and SL-Class. And while the Jag feels stable and secure when going around corners, its handling limits are still lower than many peers in this price range. The faster and more firmly tuned XKR coupe and drop top start to close the performance gap, but when properly optioned, they easily hit six figures, treading dangerously close to more serious performers like the M6, CLK63 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage. In addition, those shoppers wanting the latest in techno-gadgets will find this new Jag comes up a bit short in this regard as well. Still, for most people, the sleek-bodied XK should strike a nice balance between performance and luxury, especially in a segment where appearances are everything. If a high-dollar luxury coupe or convertible is in your future, there’s no doubt the 2007 Jaguar XK is one you’ll want to consider. Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options The 2007 Jaguar XK is available as a two-door coupe or a two-door convertible. Each body style comes in standard and high-performance XKR form. Highlights of the standard XK’s equipment list include 18-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension system, bi-xenon HID headlights, rear parking sensors, keyless start, leather upholstery, power-adjustable and heated front seats with memory settings for the driver, Bluetooth connectivity, a DVD navigation system and an in-dash six-CD changer with MP3 compatibility. In addition to its supercharged V8, the XKR adds 19-inch wheels, a firmer suspension (with recalibrated settings for the adaptive dampers), retuned steering, larger front brakes, upgraded adaptive headlights, aluminum mesh grille and fascia inserts, ‘Supercharged’-embossed hood louvers, quad exhaust outlets and sport seats. Major options on all XKs include various 19- and 20-inch wheel designs, an adaptive front lighting system, adaptive cruise control, upgraded front seats with higher-quality leather and a premium Alpine surround-sound system. Buyers are also able to choose between burl walnut and poplar wood trim. Powertrains and Performance All Jaguar XKs are rear-wheel-drive. The standard XK coupe and convertible are powered by a 4.2-liter V8. It develops 300 hp and 310 pound-feet of torque. The 2007 Jaguar XKR has a supercharged version of that engine rated for 420 hp and 418 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on all XKs, and steering-wheel-mounted paddles allow drivers to shift manually should they desire. Switched to its sport mode, the transmi