‘007 Jaguar XK Convertible
By Scott Corlett
The Jaguar XK Convertible is the sexiest car on the road. Oh sure, there are plenty of engines more powerful, bodies more finely crafted, and cockpits more technologically advanced. But no vehicle wields the XK’s knee-weakening mix of suave confidence, brute force, and raw elegance: the all-new 2007 Jaguar XK is the James Bond of cars.
And just as you wouldn’t meet up for a beer in the Castro on a date with Daniel Craig, the new James Bond, you wouldn’t take the XK for a real drive anywhere as pedestrian as city streets or crowded freeways. So, when the day arrived for a long afternoon alone with the XK Convertible, I opted for the granddaddy of date drives-California’s Pacific Coast Highway.
In my driveway, the XK and I got acquainted. I settled into the softest leather this side of IML, and he shed his top faster than a muscle boy stepping onto the hot sand of South Beach. (The well-insulated soft top retracts and stores beneath an aluminum tonneau in less than 18 seconds. However, if you’re wanting to change this out for a more durable and protective alternative, such as a model this tools specialist rated trifold tonneau covers list could provide you, then the disassembly and assembly can be pretty straight forward.) Now both suitably comfortable, I shifted the XK’s six-speed automatic transmission into “D” and lightly brushed the pedal. The XK responded with that manly growl that gets me going every time; though, in this case, it was less my touch than the work of Jaguar’s engineers, who acoustically tuned the exhaust pipes and air-intake system to give the XK that “sports car” sound.
Although you might not take a hot date, one whom you wish to see a second time, to the Castro for a beer, there’s nothing wrong with showing off your new beau on the way to more romantic locales. En route to the highway, the XK and I sauntered through the Castro, where all the boys cruised the XK’s super-hot metal. The XK has a tight body, with bulges in all the right places: a sleek waistline, a ready-to-rumble stance, and serious hunches, the kind that make BMW’s Chris Bangle shudder and steroidal lifters rage with envy.
We hit the two-laner that winds along the beaches and atop the bluffs that border the Pacific. For our weekday date, traffic was light. I floored the pedal, and the electronic throttle opened wide. Like James Bond, when pushed, the XK is all business. And a naturally aspirated V-8 is the source of this brutishness. In the luxury milieu, at 300 bhp and 303 lb-ft of torque, this aluminum block is a midweight contender; however, with the XK’s new, lighter aluminum-framed chassis and concomitant improvement in power-to-weight ratio, the XK pounds from 0 to 60 in 5.9 seconds and burns the quarter-mile in 14.4 seconds, according to Jaguar’s engineers.
Much has been made that new Bond is more rough-and-ready than his predecessors, and the XK, too, has its raw bits. In the cabin, French-polished poplar and fine woolen carpets mingle with knobs and trim pieces a few grades shy of worthy, while the center-dash layout, with its blocky nav screen and rectilinear control lineup, stands in odd contrast to the rest of the XK’s flowing lines. That said, I don’t mind a touch of rough in either my men or my cars, and, with nothing but open air between the Pacific and me, the cockpit of an XK is a hell of a fine place to spend an afternoon.
After 50 miles of twisty turns, darting passes, and hard-driving straightaways-the automotive equivalent of drinks and dinner-the XK and I turned onto a little lane that jags up into the coastal hills. If this were a Bond film, this is the scene when M or Q or some letter of the alphabet tries to contact James and he tosses the radio off the yacht or out the hotel window or from the speeding car. The sun hanging low in the rearview mirror, I relaxed back into Daniel’s arms … er, into the XK’s seat. Cue score.
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