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Car Tech Video: 2011 Jaguar XK Convertible
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Car Tech Video: 2011 Jaguar XK Convertible

7:29 /

A lovely convertible in need of a tech overhaul.

The Jag XK, lovely to look at even more so to drive, except for that [unk] head unit. Let's roll in the 2011 XK Convertible and check the tech. Now there's no denying the inside of any modern Jag is really nice, beautiful, muted kind of design, nothing stands out saying I'm glitchy, it's just very rich, a nice environment, but a couple of things drive me nuts and they're all chrome. These surrounds on these buttons here and those chrome rings around the Speedo and the Tach are just chic plastic chrome, they're not well done. I get it. Cars are plastic these days, but you can do it a lot better like in this car, these are beautiful plastic chrome, the seat controls. These look like something you cut off to the chrome tree on the last really cheap model car you made. Now onto the actual interface, First of all, you've got a little mini color LCD between the two main gauges, gives you things like additional clock, virtual one, your gear selector, a lot of information about things like cruise control mode and that sort of thing, very nice little helper. But the big guy this one here in the center console and this is a standard head unit, by the way. There's no optioning has been done on this car. XK's are well-trimmed out. Right away, you can see my first reservation here and you've heard me harp on this before, this damn needles back and forth animation. Why do that? Give me something direct. AM/FM on this guy, HD radio is optional, satellite radio is serious. CD refers to a 6 discs In-dash. Portable audio brings us to a couple of hook ups are both here on the console. We have a USB jack and we have a specialty connector that goes to the iPad. Once you get into the interface scrolling your iPad let said, it's a little pokey and they just don't use much screen real estate, I mean, this is the right side where I can see what's on my, in this case, USB drive. Why aren't we using this? What? Will real estate prices too high? Bluetooth hands-free on this guy. No A2DP. No Bluetooth streaming as you saw on the audio panel, weird way to go through your contacts. Let's see I wanna go into the east and then when I'm ready I hit "Okay" and then I can scroll the east, that doesn't make any sense. I wanna go search for a name, not go browse a letter. These are navigations screen. This is DVD base, by the way, not hard drive base. So they've missed the step already in terms of current technology, but that's not a maker break. Good-looking screen resolution. Again, you've got this same sort of In-N-Out menu slidy thing for entering a destination. Also, this giant knob here is for fan speed. Really? That big old thing for fan speed and that little guy is what handles volume? You know what I do a lot more often? I turn the volume up and down, not adjust the fan speed. In the center console the knob that runs the transmission. This is the Jaguar drive select PRND standard automatic settings, 6 feet automatic gearbox. And let me tell you, many are the times because I drive similarly different cars that I've reached for this to adjust that. Here is your dynamic stability control also a track mode for bad conditions like snow and mud coz, you know, that's will you take this car in a lot. Automatic speed limiter is interesting, not the same as cruise control. This will simply limit your speed. It's a governor. You invoke that and then you use this rolly-scrolly wheel here to say "This car shall go no faster than that." Here's our dynamic mode. This puts the car into a more aggressive mode in terms of reshaping the transmission behavior, the throttle tip in, that's standard, kind of a nice touch, but again, it's kind of a pricy car. Now, the XK Convertible is a true closed-top convertible, no retractable top is going on here, part of that whole traditional English motoring thing. The backlight is glass, heated, about as big as you can get for a top that is this has felt. It goes down on 18 seconds. And when the top is down, pretty decent trunks face, weigh more than some other retractables and convertables on the market these days, and of course, you've got the traditional chrome rails all at original E type. Now, up here on the engine bay lies the latest edition of Jaguar's generally loves series of V8, up to 5 liters now. It's the stock engine on the XK. You can get it blown on the next KR, that's a different video. 383 horsepower, 380-foot pounds of torque, 0-60 is 5.3 while delivering 1622 MPG. Farther performance of this car, which is pretty brisk considering it's a pretty FT vehicle, is due to what you may have picked up here on the shock tower. Notice the unusual shape. They are castings, aluminum castings. In fact, the entire structure of this car and the bodywork is aluminum. That dynamic mode tightens up the undercarriage, which is no swap to begin with. It also tells the gearbox to shift more sharply and hold the gears longer as well as making the throttle response more direct. I'm not sure what to make of this XK Convertible. On one hand, it has really good road capability. I mean, it's a really good performer. It's not a sports car per se, it's more of a GT, in fact, that's exactly what is. But if you really hold its own on the road, there's good power, good power delivery, a relatively responsive transmission, I don't think I have mentioned earlier. We have paddle shifters on the wheel. It's buttoned down like a drum, I mean, nothing rattles, extremely well-made feeling car. I think the whole rigidity of the bonded aluminum chassis, you know, chassis body, the whole, the whole structure is about big part of that. I think my final thought on this car that was so interesting is as they were sizing it up, driving it, looking at the specs, I kept being surprised at how much good stuff it had. Standard one choice only 5 liter V8 with some really good numbers. A lot of aminity is in here that are really nice. And then, I thought why does that surprise me in a Jaguar? This should be well-equipped cars. But over the last 10 or what, 10 or 15 years, they've done so much damage to their brand with the S type and the X type that even myself as a two-time former Jag owner thought they were a lesser car. By the way, the XK is the car that introduced pedestrian hood impact protection. It blows 2 charges under the hood in the event that you hit a pedestrian that pops the hood up a few inches to create a sort of cushion that's at least better than smacking into the engine underneath the sheet metal. The 2011 XK Convertible is basically a $90,000 car with delivery. Not a whole lot of options, just about everything we've showed you rolled in there; exceptions are, HD radio for $350---- that should be already included---- Heated front windshield $375, and the advanced tech package for $2650, that's going to get you adapted cruise control, a forward collision mitigation system using the same sensors, and it also gives you automatic steering front headlights.

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