Like that of the XK we tested last year, the cabin of our XKR Convertible review car featured a forest of rich dark-wood trim for the dash, center console and door panels, and attractive leather finishing on the cowl and the front seats.
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The upgraded audio system gives drivers the ability to use digital sound processing (DSP) to set the sweet spot for sound output in the cabin.
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The XKR features a secondary LCD display located between the speedometer and the tach in the instrument panel. This rectangular, full-color display gives helpful--and very visible--information on the car's systems, such as open doors and engine notices, as well as trip information and figures on average mileage.
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The XKR comes with a wireless start key, which lives in a slot in the central storage console.
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The XKR Convertible comes with an as-standard navigation system, which takes the form of a touch-screen LCD. The screen displays bright, colorful maps and intuitive programming menus, and a useful matte finish, which minimizes glare with the top down. Destination entry is straightforward, with drivers able to plug in an address or a point of interest, or make a selection directly from the map.
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A few cosmetic interior signs differentiate the XKR from its naturally-aspirated sibling, including "R"-embossed headrests, and "R" logos on the top of the shifter and the bottom of steering wheel.
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Among the traditional luxury of the XKR's cabin, there are some advanced tech features, including the electronic parking brake, which is activated via a chrome lever in the central wood-trimmed console.
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Those who splash out on the Luxury Package get the benefit of heated seats with 16-way power adjustment, which are controlled by a button cluster on each of the doors.
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The 2008 XKR looks good with the roof on...
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...but great with the top down. The XK series was reportedly designed as a convertible with the coupe as an afterthought. With the soft top down (Jaguar says it decided against a hard top for aesthetic reasons), this really shows, as the XKR Convertible's bold beltline merges with the sculpted tonneau cover to produce a car with dashing lines.
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The XK comes standard with 19-inch alloy wheels. Our test car came with upgraded 20-inch Senta wheels, which added an extra $5,000 to the price tag.
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The 2008 XKR Convertible comes with Bluetooth hands-free calling as standard. With a phone paired, drivers are presented with an onscreen keypad to dial outgoing calls, which is accessible even when the car is moving along.
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Our favorite aspect of driving the XK was its consummate handling and balance, and the XKR Convertible delivers an equally razor-sharp ride. Front and rear springs and dampers are enhanced on the XKR to the tune of 38 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Added to the model's 52/48 weight distribution, Jaguar's eCATS two-stage damping system, and the XKR's monocoque body structure leads to a delightfully surefooted ride.
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With a 420-horsepower Eaton-supercharged 4.2-liter V-8, the XKR is one of the most powerful cars to ever roll out of a Jaguar factory, and with the family resemblance to the beautiful XK still intact (albeit with a few "R"-inspired blemishes), it is also one of the most attractive.
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