Thursday, July 5, 2012

This fast cat has a super-high fun factor

This review originally appeared in the June 2012 edition of the Northern & Central California Cruisin’ News published out of Folsom, California – mg

Sacramento, California I and colleagues who test-drive cars do so to inform the public and hopefully provide needed information to motoring enthusiasts.

But deep in our hearts, all of us also are waiting for a big one.  And it arrived for me recently: a 2012 Jaguar XKR-S convertible.

The numbers speak for themselves.  A 550-horsepower supercharged V-8 engine, an advertised top-end speed of 186 miles per hour (NO, I did not get it up to that threshold), 20-inch super-sexy wheels and a sticker price of $145,250.

Yes, so expensive that you don’t want anyone near the car … “Hey, you kids, get away from there!”

Wheeling around so much excess in these wobbly economic times can make you feel guilty, and that oh-so-pricey gas goes quickly with fuel mileage of 15 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.  But when the guilt goes away in 90 seconds or so, you’re ready to have fun.

And that’s what this Jag is: pure fun.

For a week, I had a supercar that others did not, and well, it was payback time for all those motorists who’ve been bullying me on my daily commute.  Just a small smash on the accelerator made everything around me on four wheels slow to a seeming crawl.  I figured this is what the world looked like to the Six Million-Dollar Man.

I could almost hear the wails of others motorists through my droptop’s roof.  By the way, watching that power roof disappear into the back boot (and then reappear later) at the press of a button is a sensational show.

Naturally, when you drive a car like this, people think you have loads of money to blow, and who am I to let them know that I had the ride for only a week?  I somehow resisted the temptation to scream out the driver’s side window: “Hey dude, you could have bought three top-line Camaros with the money I spent on this car!”

Luxury?  Are you kidding?   Everything from a heated windshield to a carbon fiber spoiler to front seats with more power features than a jet fighter.

Alas, there are drawbacks.

Don’t even think of trying to smash two people into the back seats of this XKR-S.  What are you, a sadist?

And for some reason, the satellite radio kept cutting out on me.  I don’t know if that was because the car is so low-slung, or because it was simply moving faster than the speed of sound.

Might have to call the Jag factory to get an answer on that one.

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