Value Car of the Year: Jaguar XKR
You may think we’ve lost our marbles here, but rupee for rupee, horsepower for horsepower, this is quite a package
If you’re done laughing, may I continue? Thank you. Let’s get straight to the numbers. Mercedes SL 350: 316bhp. Rs 1.14 crore. BMW 650i convertible: 407bhp. Rs 1.4 crore. Aston Martin Vantage V8: 430bhp. Rs1.64 crore. Maserati GranTurismo: 405bhp. Rs 1.53 crore. Jaguar XKR: 503bhp Rs 1.11 crore.
Unless you’re hopeless with maths, you don’t need me to explain why the XKR is such shattering value. The XKR is one of the most powerful cars in India. And it’s the cheapest among the powerful cars. In fact, horsepower to rupee, the XKR might simply be the cheapest car in the country.
Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Now, if you argue that the car that offers the best value should simply be the one that’s the cheapest, or the one that offers the maximum seats for minimum money, then we are amazed you read this magazine. And we don’t think the XKR is great value just for the horses. We think it’s great value because it’s got the most rowdy, unruly and badly behaved horses on anything that requires a driving license. Even with all the electronic aids on, you can feel these beasts sending their power to the rear wheels with the sole purpose of getting the back ahead of the front.
And if you hold down the traction control button for 10 seconds and disable the electronics, that is very much likely to happen. However, the electronics in the XKR don’t complicate the car or the driving feel.
This brute is like shopping in Mumbai’s Fashion Street. It isn’t for everyone. You need to be highly skilled at bargaining and need to shop based on your instincts rather than on warranties or fit. If you aren’t that type, you’re better off walking into air-conditioned retail outlets and paying retail prices.
The XKR, though, is a little less convenient than that. What you have is an extremely good-looking powerhouse that moves at your command. Sure, the XKR has its flaws. The steering feels disconnected at high speeds and the touchscreen media interface is horrible. But try fretting over that when you notice the scenery around you turn into a blur.
This single ability of the XKR – to transform intent into motion for way less money than its rivals – is what makes this Jag such incredible value.