Looks like summer has come early for sun-loving Jaguar fans. The legendary British marque has clawed the roof off its XKR-S to create what it promises is its most powerful drop-top ever.

The soft top, we think you'll agree, adds an extra layer of sexiness to a car that was already pretty gorgeous. It opens and folds away in 18 seconds, which is just quick enough to help prevent a soaking during sudden downpours, but just slow enough to attract the jealous ire of passersby. 

Obviously, its open-top design will be more condusive to low-speed cruising than barnstorming track runs, but the XKR-S Convertible uses the same supercharged 5-litre V8 engine as its coupe cousin, so it has access to a stonking 550PS and 502lb/ft of torque. That, Jaguar says, is enough to provide a 0-60mph time of 4.2 seconds and a barnet-destroying, electronically limited top speed of 186mph.

Eagle-eyed petrol heads will have noticed the XKR-S' performance figures are identical to its coupe cousin, which is an impressive achievement. Usually, when companies remove a car's roof, the vehicle goes all wobbly and requires heavy strengthening components that provide much-needed rigidity.

Fortunately, the basic XK, on which this car is based, was designed as a convertible from the outset, meaning very little weight -- just 40kg, in fact -- has been added to the car. Despite the paltry additions, Jaguar reckons the XKR-S Convertible has the highest torsional rigidity in its class, so it shouldn't turn to jelly on bumpy roads.

It shouldn't disgrace itself if you show it a bend or two, either. Jaguar's tweaked the car's suspension for increased agility and beefed up the software controlling its adaptive dynamics stability control system to come to the assistance of inexperienced drivers, who are prone to running out of talent mid-corner.

Needless to say, the XKR-S Convertible will be pretty exclusive. Jaguar has slapped a £103,000 price tag on the sticker and says it will initially make just 100 examples, though if they prove popular, there's every likelihood it'll make a few more to cater for demand.

Have a gander through our photo gallery above to see it in more detail, then let us know what you think.

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