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Jaguar XK Convertible 5.0 V8 Portfolio
8/10

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Road Test

Jaguar XK Convertible 5.0 V8 Portfolio

Driven June 2009

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Even in non-supercharged, non-R guise, the XK is genuinely quick. Armed with the new 5.0-litre V8 - our first look at this engine in naturally aspirated form - the convertible will hit 60 in just over five seconds, as fast as the old supercharged XKR. That's rapid.

It handles, too. Click the variable dampers into ‘race' mode and you've got a pointy, wieldy thing with no more than a hint of chassis flex. A 911 Cabrio might give you a fraction more edge, a fraction more feel when you're really kicking on, but the XK isn't far behind.

But to kick on is to miss the point in the XK convertible. It's a car that has always done the lazy, wafting, light-footed thing better than just about anything out there, and the good news is that it still does, just a little bit faster than before. There's a delicacy to the XK that German cabrios just can't match, a floatiness that melds perfectly with the 380bhp V8 and the ultra-quick six-speed auto ‘box.

It's a Zen thing: drop the roof and enjoy the delicious thrumbling noise from the direct-injection V8, appreciate the stitching on the dash (honest, it's really nice), the cracking stereo, even the pop-up gear selector. Suddenly the world's a happier place.

The XK is fast without being hurried, agile without being twitchy. Exactly the car to tool along a sun-bathed coastal road on a lazy long weekend, in fact. Even without the supercharger.

Sam Philip

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