1974 Jaguar XKE Roadster
Great desirable color combination of Silver on Red
Manual Transmission and yes it does have a soft top.
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Auto blogWed, 16 Apr 2014 14:30:00 EST
Some automakers make a hardcore model, then sit back and revel in its awesomeness. Jaguar does things a little differently. It takes a standard production model, gives it more power, bigger brakes and a tighter suspension and slaps the letter R on it. Then it gives it even more power, even bigger brakes and an even tighter suspension and calls it an R-S. Sometimes the engineers in Coventry don't even think that's enough, so they strip out some weight and dial things up even further and call it an R-S GT.
So far, they've only gone that far with the XK (transformed first into the XKR, then the XKR-S, and finally the XKR-S GT), but with that model on its way out, Jaguar seems to be preparing to give the newer F-Type a similar treatment. Now we can't be sure that what we're looking at is an F-Type R-S GT, especially since the 550-horsepower engine from the XKR-S and XFR-S is already powering the existing F-Type R Coupe, but it does seem to have all the makings of a hardcore performance model.
Compared to the existing F-Type, the development model pictured here has a bigger front splitter (like the one on the Project 7 concept), a big rear wing and a set of what looks like pretty big lightweight alloys. It's also, tellingly, a roadster, which (unlike the coupe) has until now topped out at 500hp with the V8 S model. So while it may be hard to say exactly just what Jaguar has in store for us here (or what they'll call it), one thing's for sure: it's gonna be fast and loud.
With tighter emissions and fuel economy regulations looming, Jaguar may have to do more than make a small, fuel-efficient hatchback to lower its model range's consumption figures - it also might give up its venerable V8 power, Drive reports. But not anytime soon, says Steven de Ploey, Jaguar's product and marketing director, who recognizes that the V8 can be replaced only by something that offers the same, or better, performance. But he has a word of caution: "We are not wedded to V8s."
In the meantime, de Ploey says there are other ways to reduce emissions. One of the first steps Jaguar could take is to shift away from the use of superchargers, which aren't as good as turbochargers at maintaining efficiency and making power. But he adds that supercharging still is "at the heart of Jaguar's performance proposition," and that the company has addressed the current downsizing trend by "replacing our naturally aspirated V8 with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6."
Consider one of de Ploey's comments on the cancelled C-X75 supercar (pictured) for some clue about Jaguar's future: "Some of the stuff we have already exploited to the extreme in the C-X75 is the kind of thinking for us and is an essential test bed to see how we could evolve from today to something that is sustainable in the future."
Jaguar has been on a campaign to replace any and all retro cues with modern ones. Just look at the current XJ and the one it replaced, or the XF and the S-Type that came before it and you'll know what we mean. The one remnant is the XK and its oval grille, in and of itself a throwback to Jags of old (which started to look more like a certain Star Wars alien in above-pictured XKR-S form). But don't expect it to hang around.
Newer Jaguars have been ditching the oval aperture for a more squared-off one, and the next XK will have to fall in line. But don't expect that to be the only change in store for the next-generation Jaguar coupe and convertible.
With the new F-Type now holding the more enthusiast-oriented ground, the next XK is expected to grow bigger, softer and more luxurious. That will likely mean a more commodious back seat as well, though that shouldn't be hard to do considering the lack of space in the back of the current model...