by Michele Fleury
Short of actually being on the old Dinah Shore show, with Dinah Shore herself, could there be anything like arriving at Dinah Shore Weekend in a $92,000 car?
How about a $92,035 car, to be exact?
Not only did I feel like royalty heading out to Palm Springs, to take part in this year’s fashion show and Logo festivities—I looked liked some titled Brit behind the wheel of the Jaguar XKR convertible.
The drive from Los Angeles to Palm Springs is 2 hours of flat, straight highway- the perfect road to test the XKR’s supercharged eight-cylinder, 420-hp engine. The rumble of the Active Exhaust
System is just the first hint that you’re about to be pressed deep in your seat by the Jag V-8. Like a bar bouncer, it’s all about controlled rage—shooting to 60 mph in 5 seconds flat.
Inside and out, the Jaguar XKR lives up to the promise of that rippling V-8. Fast, strong and nimble describe the XKR’s handling, and it weighs almost 2 tons and sits at 188.6 inches in length—or, 18 inches longer than the Honda Element and 3 inches wider.
We’ve told you all about the ravishing looks of the Jaguar XK elsewhere at Gaywheels. The exterior is near-perfection, all lovely kitty lumps and aggressive lines. The XKR’s raked windshield, long lean hood adorned with vents and the oval honeycomb grille add to the
elegance created by its stunning profile. The look flashes back to the 1961 Jaguar E-Type (for non-car nuts, you might recognize the E-Type as the Austin Powers Shaguar) but with a distinct cutting-edge twist. The only cars that come close in outright sex appeal are the Maserati
Gran Turismo and Aston Martin V8 Vantage. But even the $110,000 Gran Turismo and $111,300 Vantage lack the refinement evident in the styling of the XKR.
The interior of the XKR is the finest example of modern meets classic. The leather seats are like clarified butter and they adjust in 16 different ways. The cabin has accents of wood and aluminum as well as the modern center panel that houses one touch screen for audio, climate control, navigation and vehicle stats. It’s a brilliant use of space leaving the rest of the dash clutter free. The one thing missing was an MP3 jack. Granted, I might be slightly younger than the XKR’s target market but even my parents have ventured into iPod territory. We were forced to rely on old-fashioned CDs to test the 160-watt Alpine stereo. How retro!
For all the XKR’s power and might, it is a shockingly quiet ride thanks to the insulated soft top that keeps with its retro aspirations by not caving to the hard top convertible trend. And it’s a sure- footed one, too—the XKR handles with more grace than any Jaguar before it.
On Sunday morning all the tired and hung over women of Dinah Shore trudged toward the hotel valet. Alone in my giddiness I handed my ticket over with a smile. Before I knew it, the XKR was having her own runway moment as she rolled down the drive towards us. I had little choice but to hop in, put on my wraparounds and enjoy my America’s Next Top Model moment.
Jaguar is a gay-friendly company.
Read other Jaguar reviews by Gaywheels.com’s writers