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2014 Jaguar XKR-S GT: Track-tuned for the street

  • 2014-jaguar-xkr-s-gt_100422946_l.jpg

    Jaguar

  • 2014-jaguar-xkr-s-gt_100422947_l.jpg

    Jaguar

  • 2014-jaguar-xkr-s-gt_100422956_l.jpg

    Jaguar

Jaguar's ETO division, a little-known but intense group of specialty vehicle creators launched last year, has one-upped the XKR-S with this, the XKR-S GT.

Track-tuned, but built for the street, this is likely the hottest version of the XK Coupe we'll see--at least in this generation.

The ETO, or Engineered to Order, division has equipped the 2014 Jaguar XKR-S GT with more than just some track-looking frippery; the car generates 320 pounds of down force with a carbon fiber front splitter, dive planes, extended wheel arch spats, rear wing, rear diffuser, and aluminum undertray.

Power comes from the familiar 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 engine tuned to 550 horspeower and 502 pound-feet of torque--the same figure you'll find in the new 2014 Jaguar XJR sharing the New York Auto Show stand with the XKR-S GT.

The combination in the XKR-S GT is good for 3.9 seconds to 60 mph and an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph. An active exhaust system reduces backpressure and opens up the V-8's soundtrack.

Reining in the XKR-S GT's substantial kinetic energy is a set of carbon ceramic brakes, 15.7-inches in diameter up front and 15.0 inches out back. Six-piston front calipers and four-piston rears clamp the high-tech discs. Jaguar says this is the first time for such a brake system on one of its production vehicles.

There are other tweaks to aid the XKR-S GT's track abilities: wider front track, more negative camber, revised bushings, and a faster steering ratio. Height-adjustable dampers with twin springs, and an increase in spring rate of 68 percent in the front and 25 percent in the rear further sharpen handling characteristics.

Riding on 20-inch wheels wrapped in 255/35 front and 305/30 rear Pirelli Corsa tires provide the grippy interface that completes the track-focused (but still road-legal) XKR-S GT package.

Inside, there's grippy bucket seats, Alcantara trim and a no-nonsense look for the dash.

The car goes on sale this August at a starting price of $174,000.

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